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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Social work as a vocation: balancing ministry and profession

Author: Taylor, K.G; Wolfer, T.A
Author Background: College of Social Work, Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia 29208
Date Fall 1999
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social-Work-and-Christianity
Volume/Pages 26(1): 112-126
Subject Matter Professionalism-; Religion-; Social-work; Individualism-; Social-justice; Spirituality
Abstract The profession of social work has a long history that includes a spiritual heritage affirming the traditions of social justice and service to the community and God. In recent years heritage has been pushed aside by increasing professionalism and individualism. This article articulates the tension between ministry and profession that social workers of faith can feel and proposes a way to resolve that tension. The authors review several approaches to the concept of ministry and one's call to a profession. The authors suggest that a sense of vocation can alleviate this tension and improve the social worker-client interaction through an emphasis on relationship. (Journal abstract, edited.)