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Christianity and Social Work: Readings on the Integration of Christian Faith and Social Work Practice – Fifth Edition (2016)


Christianity and Social Work: Readings on the Integration of Christian Faith and Social Work Practice – Fifth Edition (2016)

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The fifth edition of Christianity and Social Work is written for social workers whose motivations to enter the profession are informed by their Christian faith, and who desire to develop faithfully Christian approaches to helping.

Christianity and Social Work is organized around four themes: a) Christian Roots of the Social Work Profession; b) Christians Called to Social Work: Scriptural Basis, Worldviews and Ethics; c)  Human Behavior and Spiritual Development in a Diverse World; d) Christians in Social Work Practice: Contemporary Issues. Chapters address a breadth of curriculum areas such as social welfare history, human behavior and the social environment, social policy, and practice at micro, mezzo, and macro levels.

Containing 19 chapters and more than 400 pages, this revised edition of CSW (IBSN 978-0-9897581-1-6) include six new chapters and six extensively-revised chapters in response to requests by readers of previous editions, including chapters on working with clients from the LGBT community, evidence-based practice (EBP), congregational social work, military social work, human trafficking, and spiritual assessment. Check out the table of contents, or a sample chapter.

NACSW provides college faculty and trainers upon request an accompanying electronic resource entitled Instructor Resources for Christianity and Social Work (2016) by Mary Anne Poe at no cost. This resource offers outlines, suggestions regarding specific core competencies found in the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards of the Council on Social Work Education, summaries of key concepts and terms, learning objectives, discussion questions, suggested class activities and assignments, teaching notes for the three decisions cases in CSW5, and annotated bibliographies for each chapter.

In organizing this 5th edition, NACSW has carefully considered the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) from the Council on Social Work Education. It is important for schools of social work to show how they prepare students to demonstrate specific competencies in social work practice. To help with this integration, CSW5 includes Appendices with charts that guide readers toward potential connections. These tools will be a helpful guide for both instructors and students.

Sister Ann Patrick Conrad, PhD, LICSW, Fellow, Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies and Consultant, Doctor of Ministry Program, The Catholic University of America, says that “this edition of Christianity and Social Work is a must-read for experienced social work practitioners, new professionals, students, and social work educators regardless of religious affiliation. In it, professional practice within the context of multiple Christian Faith Traditions is represented.  Contemporary and historical aspects of direct practice, ethical/virtue considerations, as well as related spiritual, scriptural, and cultural dimensions are addressed.  And, as a value-added, the editors have included careful attention to the professional practice competencies monitored through the social work education accreditation process.”

Peter H. Lauber, MSW, PhD, Director of the MSW Program at Spring Arbor University, comments that: “after adopting previous editions of this useful resource for our MSW program, I welcome this 5th edition of Christianity and Social Work and the revised and added content that it incorporates. The faculty recently voted to adopt a 10th competency dealing with the ethical integration of faith and social work practice after several discussions that were stimulated by the chapters in this highly useful resource. I anticipate that the new treatment of EBP and the inclusion of the three decision cases will quickly find a place in our curriculum. I highly recommend this text for students and practitioners alike.

Kenneth M. Stoltzfus, PhD, LCSW, Social Work Department Chair at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, suggests that “as a social work educator at a Christian university, I have the privilege to work with many students who have discerned a vocational call to serve those in our world who are most in need of assistance through a career in social work.  I’m grateful for NACSW’s commitment to supporting such students by providing many avenues for them to explore the ethical integration of Christian faith and social work practice.  I’m especially excited by the upcoming release of the 5th edition of Christianity and Social Work:  Readings on the Integration of Christian Faith and Social Work Practice. The previous editions of this book have made an invaluable contribution to the education of many Christians in social work and I am certain that the updated and expanded 5th edition will continue this longstanding tradition.