Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type

Exploratory qualitative

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Social work education, Social service-Religious aspects, Spirituality-Psychology, Discourse analysis, Religion, Spirituality


This social work master's thesis used a qualitative study design involving non-random sampling of syllabi at accredited master's level social work programs around the United States in order to address the question, "How is religion constructed in social work education?" Materials addressing religion were extracted from syllabi used in first year required practice classes at 15 schools in five different geographic regions around the country. The texts were then analyzed using the techniques of discourse analysis (Carbó, Ahumada, Caballero, & Argüelles, 2016), an approach that considers the active function of language, tending to structure our thinking about abstract concepts and facilitate the normative reproduction of those concepts. In this thesis document I identify and propose three modes of presentation of religion in social work literature: (1) as a resource, (2) as an aspect of culture, and (3) as an assessment factor. Implications for these modes of presentation are discussed and avenues for further research are recommended.




iv, 48 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 34-39, 48)

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Social Work Commons