Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Four social workers, employed by Lutheran churches in the Twin Cities area, were interviewed using an interview guide. The outcomes of the interviews are discussed. Out of these interviews, and the literature review, an understanding of church social work practice, roles, and models used arose. Analysis revealed that the role of social workers in church-related employment was defined by several factors, which in turn shaped job satisfaction and the types of models used in their ministry. Similarities were seen between all the church social workers interviewed and their desire to approach clients holistically. However, the environment and the vision of each church played a large part in how their role was defined. The types of models actively used came as a result of role definition. These findings are significant for professional social work in a couple areas. On the level of direct micro practice there is a need to educate local pastors to consider expanding the possibilities of employment for social workers in the church. On the level of macro practice, training in social work education for the treatment of religious belief systems would encourage greater employment of social workers in local churches.


SC 11.MSW.2002.Hanson.LK

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Social Work Commons