Organizations & Other Resources


The Society was founded in 2002. It holds a North American conference every other year (alternate years sponsored by the USA based Society) to stimulate discussion on the topic of spirituality and social work education and practice, with an emphasis on social change and political action. This website is intended to serve as a vehicle to help develop Canadian dialogue and scholarship on the topic of spirituality within the helping professions.

The CSWE Religion and Spirituality Clearinghouse was established in 2011 to promote social workers' knowledge, values, and skills for ethical and effective practice that takes into account the diverse expressions of religion and spirituality among clients and their communities. This website includes educational modules and other resources. The co-editors are Professors Edward Canda and Michael Sherr.

This site, founded in 2000, offers information on environmental issues, ecological justice, deep ecology, ecofeminism, eco-spirituality and sustainable social development. Fred Besthorn, Ph.D., of the Wichita State University, hosts this site.

The purpose of the International Study of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work Practice (ISRSSWP) is to better understand the extent to which practicing social workers incorporate religion and spirituality in their practice and to explore their views regarding the appropriateness of religion and spirituality in social work practice. Cross-national survey research has been conducted in the USA, the United Kingdom, Norway, and New Zealand, to expand the knowledge base with empirical data regarding the global interface of spirituality and religion in social work practice and education. The executive reports from these countries are presented in the HP.

This educational center sponsors an annual International Symposium on Spirituality and Social Work in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The Symposium is committed to themes of spirituality, social work, nonviolence, conflict resolution, and reconciliation. Dr. Edward Canda was a co-director of this symposium for several years.

NACSW is an interdenominational and international organization representing a rich diversity of Christian denominations and traditions. NACSW recognizes that different Christian denominations and traditions use different language to express the heart of historic Christian faith. NACSW's mission is to equip its members to integrate Christian faith and professional social work practice. To fulfill its mission, NACSW offers a wide range of services and benefits to its approximately 1,700 individual and organizational members.

The Society for Spirituality and Social Work is an organization of social workers and other helping professionals that has grown international in scope. It honors and encourages spiritual development and justice for all people of diverse religious and non-religious paths by advocating for spiritually sensitive social work education, research, theory, and practice. Dr. Edward Canda began to develop the Society through networking while at the University of Iowa in 1986-89. In 1990, he founded the Society at the University of Kansas. Subsequent Directors were Professor Robin Russel, Ph.D. (1994-2005) and Professor Ann Weaver Nichols, DSW (1995-2000). The current Director is Professor Helen Lans, Ph.D., at University of Southern California. Membership includes a newsletter, subscription to the Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work, discounted registration for sponsored conferences, and opportunities for networking. Publications from the first three years of the SSSW can be found here (SSSW). This is a collection of the publications of the Society for Spirituality and Social Work (1989-1992), when Dr. Canda was the Society director and publications editor. It contains essays and research articles by some of the early leaders of the movement for spirituality in social work. The bibliographies included indicate the range of publications available in the USA during the late 1980s to early 1990s. This collection has never before been published all together; the contents are rare to find through libraries.

The Center on Religion & the Professions works to improve religious literacy among professionals, to help them serve a diverse public. The center seeks to help professionals and students become more aware and respectful of religious and cultural beliefs among co-workers, clients or patients, and to be sensitive how religion affects perspectives of ourselves and others.

Other resources

ISNA is an association of Muslim organizations and individuals. This is an extensive site that offers networking of centers, outreach programs to foster good relations with other religious communities and civic service organizations, an online library, conferences, services (e.g. domestic violence, care for the aged).

This link goes to sociology and social work-related resources.

Out of its firm commitment to social justice and by virtue of the Catholic mission of our sponsors, St. Catherine University and University of St. Thomas, the social work faculty has looked to Catholic Social Teaching as a rich resource to inform and further specify social justice goals of social work education and practice.

FASTEN offers networking opportunities and informational resources to equip faith-based practitioners, congregations, private philanthropists, and public administrators seeking to collaborate effectively to renew urban communities.

There is considerable interest in questions of Charitable Choice and the collaboration of faith-based groups with the government in delivering social services. We offer quite a few articles and research summaries on this topic. This page is an attempt to draw together all those items in one place, and provide a few additional links to excellent websites on the topic. We do not intend this section to be an exhaustive treatment of the issue, rather a convenient way to examine the charitable choice resources contained on our site.

(If you are aware of a website that addresses diverse spiritual perspectives in the context of professional social work, and which you would like added to this list, please email Dr. Canda at

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