In the final years of my high school education, I would often reflect on what was important to me. I was approaching a juncture. Soon I would be graduating and would continue on into the next stage of my life. While reflecting, the things that I found to be most important to me were my faith and serving others. I began researching helping professions such as psychology, teaching, and social work. I learned quickly that social work was about equipping others with the tools they need to improve their current situation. What a powerful role to take on! One that would not demand what steps a person should take, but would empower a person to make the changes on their own at the time they were ready and willing. This was something I wanted to be a part of. I received my Bachelor in Social Work degree from Trinity Christian College. Trinity’s Social Work program bases their curriculum on the integration of Social Work and Christianity (check out their program at TCC ). The more I studied the NASW Code of Ethics, the more I knew that social work was the right fit. For me, the values and standards found in the Code of Ethics not only reflected how social workers should treat clients; they reflected how people should treat people. I began seeing how the principles and teachings of social work were helping me to become stronger in my faith. I was learning to meet a person where they were at, without judgment, and take their full environment into consideration when assessing a given crisis. I was learning to give a person encouragement and time to reach their own conclusions instead of controlling the situation – what a powerful lesson… The NASW Code of Ethics (2008) states that, “Social workers’ primary goal is to help people in need and to address social problems. Social workers elevate service to others above self-interest.” (p.5) In the same way, God calls us to serve. He asks that we give selflessly to others, giving the glory to Him. Matthew 25:40 (NLT) says, “’I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” By clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and caring for the sick, we are directly serving God. So how do my faith and social work interact? They enhance one another. Service is what I am called to as both a professional and as a Christian. I am blessed to be a part of a profession that allows me to give back and serve others each and every day. The principles of social work, to me, are the solution to what God has called us to do. Each day social workers are working towards equality, peace and justice, and emphasizing the importance of human relationships. I truly feel that when social work practice and Christianity interact, we are answering God’s calling to humble ourselves and serve.
Mallory B. is Program Coordinator for the Salvation Army in Roseville, MN. She has been a member of NACSW since 2005, when she was a student at TCC.