Virtually every congregation has four purposes for what they do:
• education, and
Congregational social workers provide leadership in more than one, and sometimes all, of these purposes. In fact, the broader their work is in addressing all four purposes of congregational life, the more central they are to the life of the congregation. While some of these purposes are outside of the church walls, all four work together to create a healthy and impactful congregation.
Our desire is to train students to conduct congregational research, develop full-time congregational staff positions and strengthen community transformation initiatives in their communities. We raise awareness of the resource that social workers can be for strengthening congregations and their ministries. We also are an interdisciplinary group learning from scholars from all academic backgrounds on how to best serve congregants and congregations.
In addition to the Congregational Initiative, the Garland School of Social Work also works with congregations through the Center for Church and Community Impact or C3I. The Center provides research and hands-on training to congregations, denominational agencies and religiously affiliated organizations that bridge the divide between church and community.
For more information about this initiative, contact:
Dr. Gaynor Yancey
Read about congregational social work from current students, alum, and current faculty and staff:
Texas: Social Workers can refuse services to LGBTQ, Disabled By: Erin Albin Hill
Congregations and social work: Moving into the unexpected By: Julianna Marraccino
Local coalitions need congregations: A call to action By: Rachel Gillespie
Seeing the unexpected: Connected congregations and social work By: Julianna Marraccino
Social Distancing as an act of sacred mercy By: Erin Albin Hill
After MLK Day and Black History Month, now what? By: Julianna Marraccino
Discovering your community through the practice of the labyrinth By: Rachel Gillespie
Love your neighbors but don't forget God and yourself By: Jackie Murphy
Spiritual Formation: One Season at a Time By: Dr. Gaynor Yancey
Where is Home for You? By: Dr. Gaynor Yancey
Grief, the holidays, and the Church By: Julia Wallace
Spiritual Care and First Responders: Why Bother? By: Heath Holland
Spiritual Trauma and Congregations: A Missing Link By: Jess Gregory
What Collective Trauma Teaches Congregations By: Erin Albin Hill
Why All Congregational Ministry Should be Trauma Ministry By: Erin Albin Hill