The Catholic University of America


      Welcome to the Center for Spirituality and Social Work      

 "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."                           Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ (attributed)



CSSW is co-sponsoring a workshop with the  Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW)   "Hardwiring Happiness: Weaving Love and Inner Peace into Your Brain & Life" with Rick Hanson, author of "Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom"

                                       Saturday, October 19th from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. held at:                                                                                         Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville,                                                  100 Welsh Park Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

                                                            Workshop Description:                                                                               Positive experiences are the main source of the neural structures underlying motivation, self-worth, the executive functions, good mood, kindness, resilience, and other inner strengths. Unfortunately, most positive experiences are wasted on the brain because it evolved a negativity bias to help our ancestors survive. This workshop will present the four simple HEAL steps of taking in the good, which turn passing experiences into lasting neural resources.  We'll explore how to use these menthods to hardwire happiness into the brain.         6 CEUs

     Detailed Flier Click Here             To Register Click Here   


 About CSSW

The Center for Spirituality and Social Work (CSSW) is a continuing education and research center within the National Catholic School of Social Service, which is dedicated to promoting knowledge, values, and skills for spiritually sensitive practice. CSSW strives to increase awareness of the role of both religious and non-religious expressions of spirituality in all aspects of life. Part of this commitment is to deepen respect and understanding across diverse spiritual traditions and worldviews. Spiritually-sensitive social work entails practice at all levels of practice – with individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, and communities. It also includes attention to the natural environment as well, focusing on eco-justice and sustainability as spiritual issues. Spiritually-sensitive practice also requires attention to the growth and development of the individual practitioner, recognizing that nurturing our spiritual selves not only benefits us, but also those we serve.

Our Continuing Education events address these goals through offering a range of learning opportunities to social work practitioners, educators, and students, as well as members of the broader community. This includes events developed through the Center as well as continuing education opportunities co-sponsored with other community partners. 

Our Research initiatives focus on engaging in state-of-the-art study of the role spirituality in the human condition, as well as its inclusion in social work practice and education. Most recently, the Center completed a two-year study on religion and spirituality as health protective factors for African American caregivers of elders. This research was one of only 7 national research projects funded under the John Templeton Foundation’s initiative on spirituality and health. The Center was also involved in producing a special edition of the Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work, which focused on the connection between "Spirituality and Social Justice." Click here for information regarding previous and ongoing research projects and scholarly contributions.


Other Important Organizations

The Center is connected to a variety of other organizations congruent with its mission. Read about these valuable resources below.


National Society for Spirituality and Social Work

The U.S. Society for Spirituality and Social Work (SSSW), is a network of social workers and other helping professional dedicated to spiritually sensitive practice and education. Founded in 1990, its purpose is to create connections and mutual support among social work scholars, practitioners, and students of diverse religious and nonreligious spiritual perspectives in order to encourage development and innovative approaches to spiritually sensitive social work practice, education, and research. You can become a member of SSSW through this website - just click on the  “Join the Society” link for membership. Annual membership includes discounts for Society conferences and events, and a subscription to the Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, which is published by Francis and Taylor quarterly.

Join the Society


Our Center at NCSSS hosted the 6th North American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work in June, 2011, which was attended by over 250 people from the DC area and around the world, and we participated in the 7th North American Conference held in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.  The 8th North American Spirituality and Social Work Conference was held on June 20-22, 2013 in Puerto Rico on the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. The theme was "Spirituality: Controversies and Opportunities."


  Canadian Society for Spirituality and Social Work

The Canadian Society for Spirituality and Social Work (formerly the Network for Spirituality and Social Work), was created in 2001. Since its inception, the CSSSW has hosted four national Canadian conferences and seven North American conferences co-sponsored with the Society for Spirituality and Social Work (USA). At present, the CSSSW provides a website, a listserve for members wishing to receive e-mail updates about conferences and educational events across Canada, and organizes annual conferences. See what our neighbors to the North are doing by clicking on the link embedded in the title above!


CSWE Religion and Spirituality Clearinghouse

Our Director is also a member of the Religion and Spirituality Working Group of the Council on Social Work Education, which has launched the “Religion and Spirituality Clearinghouse,” an online repository of peer-reviewed educational resources for academic and professional continuing education settings. This is an excellent resource for educators and trainers interested in infusing materials on spirituality into their courses or continuing education events. Check it out through the embedded link above!






Center for Spirituality & Social Work
National Catholic School of Social Service
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC 20064
Director: Michael J. Sheridan, PhD, MSW

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We are located in Shahan Hall on Catholic University's campus.
Most of our Continuing Education Workshops are held in Caldwell Hall at CUA.
Here is a map of our campus: CUAMAP