Social Work



Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Lance Peterson


This Banded Dissertation focuses on religious affiliation, professional identity, and collegial relationships in examining attitudes and perceptions held by social work professionals concerning religious affiliation in an effort to examine respect for diversity within the profession. This was accomplished through a conceptual framework looking through the lens of the NASW Code of Ethics, the CSWE EPAS competencies, and the Social Identity Approach, a quantitative study, and a workshop presentation.

Product One is a conceptual manuscript examining the literature regarding ethical behavior and diversity as it relates to religious affiliation, professional identity, and collegial relationships within social work. Conclusions reached include that integrating religion and spirituality content into social work curriculum continues to be a challenge, views about incorporation of religion into practice vary, and there are some experiences of perceived negative treatment due to religious affiliation.

Product Two is a quantitative study which surveyed 199 licensed clinical social workers-board approved clinical supervisors (LCSW-BACS) in Louisiana. The study explored challenges social workers perceived they had experienced in their social work practice as a result of their religious affiliation. A one-way analysis of variance was used to assess the relationship between age and years of professional experience with perceived challenges due to their religious affiliation, which revealed no statistical significance. There were, however, two noteworthy differences in the results in which t-tests were used: 1) males indicated they had experienced challenges more often than females, and 2) those who identified with a Christian religious affiliation perceived they had experienced challenges less often than those affiliated with non-Christian religions.

Lastly, Product Three consisted of a workshop presentation at the annual meeting of the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW) on November 7, 2020. This presentation included information from the conceptual manuscript along with some preliminary results from the research conducted for Product Two. Limited information exists examining religious affiliation, the social worker, and perceived challenges they experience. As such, further research is needed to have an understanding. Content must be incorporated more intentionally into the curriculum of social work education and discussions surrounding religious affiliation so as to better prepare for work in the field both with clients and colleagues. Understanding all facets of diversity and exploring one’s own attitudes and biases must take place in order to maintain a respect for differences thus impacting positively behavior towards both clients and colleagues.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Included in

Social Work Commons