By Dr. Jerry Jo Gilham, Associate Professor of Social Work at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

This article appears in Social Work and Christianity, vol. 39, no. 3 (Fall 2012).

Since the 1980s, the social work profession has experienced a renewed interest in spirituality and religion (Canda & Furman, 1999). The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics mandates that social workers obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of diversity and oppression with respect to religion (NASW, 2008). Current Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) standards require schools of social work to demonstrate their commitment to diversity throughout their curriculum. Furthermore, graduates must demonstrate competence in engaging diversity and difference in practice (CSWE, 2008).

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