Faith-Based Social Work Specialization

While the Faith-Based Specialization rises out of Aurora University’s historic roots founded as a seminary in 1893 and the George Williams College/YMCA heritage, which is the foundation of today’s School of Social Work, the specialization is firmly grounded in Aurora University’s non-sectarian commitment to serve individuals from all faith traditions.

The Faith-Based Specialization encourages the doing of spirit-filled social work. To do spirit-filled social work practice is to integrate clinical theory with a client’s spirituality and religious practices in order to fully support the wholistic well-being of individuals, families, and larger social systems. Through the specialization students will explore the integration of clinical theory and spirituality towards successful outcomes for their clients as well as have the opportunity for critical individual self-reflection to gain deeper insight into how their own spiritual beliefs inform their practice of social work. Faith-Based social workers do spirit-filled social work in a number of settings from counseling centers, social service agencies, government, and faith communities to name a few.

Contact Information

Dr. Joan M. Fedota, MSW, EdD, LCSW
Department Chair  |  School of Social Work
Meyer Hall 216
262-245-8621
jfedota@gwc.aurora.edu

Focus Areas

Individual and Family Counseling Focus Area prepares students to practice clinically, doing both secular and faith-based counseling similar to contemporary mental health therapists and/or pastoral counselors who practice in non-profit secular and faith-based agencies, for profit private practices, hospital mental health units, and other community and/or faith-based centers. Students learn to integrate understandings of faith, clinical theory, and social work practices to support well-being, resiliency, and empowerment for individuals and families suffering as well as recovering from mental health concerns. Students must complete an Advanced Clinically Grounded Spirit-filled (600 hour) Field Placement working with individuals and/or families. Dual specializations with the Health Care Specialization are possible.

Social Group Work Focus Area is designed for students who desire to practice the doing of spirit-filled social work and leadership in community faith-based settings such as Christian Churches, Muslim Community Centers, or Jewish Synagogues to name a few. The specialization is also ideal for students interested in helping faith-based communities to create new programming and/or partnerships with secular and/or governmental agencies. Students will be prepared to integrate clinical theory and spirituality towards the development of new and/or enhanced programming for individuals and families in a number of faith-based settings that fully supports the best that an integration of social work and faith provides. Students can complete either a Foundational Spirit-filled (450 hour) Field Placement or an Advanced Spirit-filled (600 hour) Field Placement. Dual specializations with the Advanced Clinical Social Work Specialization and Health Care Specialization are possible.

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