Holly Oxhandler

PhD, Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston
MSW, Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston
B.S., Psychology, University of Houston
Full Curriculum Vita
Research Interests
  • Religion and Spirituality in Clinical Practice
  • Evidence-Based Practice Process
  • Scale Development
  • Mental Health 
  • Mentoring and Professional Development


Selected Publications
  • Moffatt, K. M., Oxhandler, H. K., & Ellor, J. (In press). Religion and spirituality in graduate social work education: A national survey. Journal of Social Work Education.
  • Oxhandler, H. K., Chamiec-Case, R., & Wolfer, T. (In press). The development and Validation of the Social Workers’ Integration of their Faith – Christian (SWIF-C) Scale. Social Work and Christianity.
  • Pearce, M. J., Pargament, K. I., Oxhandler, H. K., Vieten, C., & Wong, S. (2019). A novel training program for mental health providers in religious and spiritual competencies. Spirituality in Clinical Practice. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1037/scp0000195
  • Oxhandler, H. K. (2019). Revalidating the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale with five helping professions. Research on Social Work Practice, 29(2), 223-233doi: 10.1177/1049731516669592
  • Oxhandler, H. K., Moffatt, K., & Giardina, T. D. (2018). Clinical helping professionals’ perceived support, barriers, and training to integrate clients’ religion/spirituality in practice. Spirituality in Clinical Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/scp0000189
  • Moffatt, K. & Oxhandler, H. K. (2018). Religion and spirituality in master of social work education: Past, present, and future considerations. Journal of Social Work Education, 54, 543-553.
  • Oxhandler, H. K., Ellor, J. W., & Stanford, M. S. (2018). Client attitudes toward integrating religion/spirituality in mental health treatment: Scale development and client responses. Social Work, 63, 337-346. doi: 10.1093/sw/swy041 
  • Oxhandler, H. K., Narendorf, S. C., & Moffatt, K. (2018). Religion and spirituality among young adults with severe mental illness. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 5(3), 188-200 doi: 10.1037/scp0000164
  • Oxhandler, H. K., Polson, C., & Achenbaum, W. A. (2018). The religiosity and spiritual beliefs and practices of clinical social workers: A national survey. Social Work 63(1), 47-56.doi: 10.1093/sw/swx055
  • Oxhandler, H. K. & Parrish, D. E. (2018). Integrating clients’ religion/spirituality in clinical practice: A comparison among social workers, psychologists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and nurses. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 74, 680-694.
  • Oxhandler, H. K. & Pargament, K. I. (2018). Measuring religious and spiritual competence across helping professions: Previous efforts and future directions. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 5(2), 120-132.doi: 10.1037/scp0000149
  • Oxhandler, H. K. & Giardina, T. D. (2017). Social workers’ perceived barriers to and sources of support with integrating clients’ religion/spirituality in practice. Social Work, 62, 323-332. doi: 10.1093/sw/swx036
  • Oxhandler, H. K. (2017). Namaste theory: A quantitative grounded theory on religion and spirituality in mental health treatment. Religions, 8(9), 168. doi:10.3390/rel8090168
  • Oxhandler, H. K. & Parrish, D. E. (2016). The development and validation of the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale. Research on Social Work Practice, 26(3), 295-307doi: 10.1177/1049731514550207
  • Oxhandler, H. K., Parrish, D. E., Torres, L. R., & Achenbaum, W. A. (2015). The integration of clients’ religion/spirituality in social work practice: A national survey. Social Work, 60(3), 228-237.doi: 10.1093/sw/swv018
  • Oxhandler, H. K. & Pargament, K. I. (2014). Social work practitioners’ integration of clients’ religion and spirituality in practice: A literature review. Social Work, 59(3), 271-279. doi:10.1093/sw/swu018

Holly K. Oxhandler joined Baylor University’s Garland School of Social Work in 2014 upon completing her PhD at the University of Houston. Her research focuses on the intersection of ethical and effective integration of clients’ religion/spirituality (RS) with the evidence-based practice process in mental and behavioral health treatment. She developed the Religious/Spiritually Integrated Practice Assessment Scale (RSIPAS), which assesses mental healthcare providers’ (social workers, psychologists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and nurses) attitudes, perceived feasibility, self-efficacy, behaviors, and overall orientation toward integrating clients’ RS in practice. She has also developed other instruments related to this area of practice, including the RSIPAS-Client Attitudes, the Social Workers’ Integration of their Faith – Christian (SWIF-C) Scale, and most recently, an instrument to measure clients’ perceived relevance of religion/spirituality and mental health. 

Dr. Oxhandler cohosts the weekly podcast, CXMH: Christianity & Mental Health, has clinical and research experience working with older adults with anxiety and depression at Baylor College of Medicine, and co-authored a cognitive behavioral treatment manual that integrates clients’ RS beliefs into practice. Though the integration of clients’ RS in mental health treatment is her primary area of interest, her scholarship also includes evidence-based practice, serious mental illness, anxiety disorders, virtual reality, mentoring, and social work practitioners’ professional identity. Dr. Oxhandler teaches across the BSW, MSW, and PhD programs on courses primarily related to research and statistics.  

Dr. Oxhandler’s research and training have been generously supported by the John Templeton Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, Baylor University, the Gulen Institute, and the Fernando J. Zuniga y Rivero Foundation. She is grateful for these sources of support but is especially thankful for the invaluable mentoring she has received over the years. Because of her exceptional mentors, Dr. Oxhandler deeply enjoys paying it forward by mentoring students outside of the classroom with regard to professional development. 

She is married to Cory Oxhandler, and the couple is both proud of and grateful for their children, Callie (2012) and Oliver (2016).