Congregational Social Work

Gaynor Yancey and Diana R. Garland

in Encyclopedia of Social Work

Published by NASW Press and Oxford University Press

Published online January 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199975839 | DOI:

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  • Human Behaviour and the Social Environment
  • Sociology of Religion


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The social work profession has deep roots in religious practices and organizations. Congregations have served as viable contexts for social work practice from the very beginnings of the profession. In this entry, we examine congregational social work as a field of practice through discussion of definitions, historical development, characteristics of congregations, academic preparation of social workers for this field of practice, review of the literature and research, and ways of strengthening the future of social work in this field of practice.

Keywords: church social work; congregational social work; congregant; congregation; parish social work; religiously affiliated organizations; service; ministry; social ministry; faith-based

Article.  9264 words. 

Subjects: Human Behaviour and the Social Environment ; Sociology of Religion

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