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Course: Spiritual Diversity in Social Work Practice: The Heart of Helping
Edward R. Canda, Ph.D. and Leola Dyrud Furman, Ph.D.

CE Credit Hours: 10
Fee: $49

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In this well-received second edition Edward R. Canda and Leola Dyrud Furman, update and build on their highly regarded initial offering. Again, they provide scientific and heartfelt information that will be helpful to social workers and other clinicians interested in the ethical application of Spirituality and people helping. The text presents a logical framework for dealing with the issues professional helpers face in their clinical work. The authors also present how to make health service organizations healthier for the administration, staff, treating personnel and their clients.

The book is for social workers and clinicians in private practice or in clinics and institutions. The book is insightful and practical in it's presentation of religious and spiritual concerns facing individuals, families, and communities. The authors integrate existentialist, transpersonal, and holistic systems theories with Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Judaic, and Shamanistic traditions of helping. They provide the knowledge, ethical guidelines, and practical skills and techniques that all social workers and clinicians can follow, regardless of their particular theoretical approach.

Stories, practice examples, insights from a national survey of social workers, and learning exercises support professional and personal growth. Each chapter closes with directed exercises that provide clinicians an opportunity to make personal applications in their own lives and practices.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the clinician will be able to:

  • Communicate the primary mission and core values in the social work profession
  • Use the 'transperspectival' approach when assessing a client's spirituality concerns
  • Discern appropriate ethical interventions with clients seeking spiritual and religious explanations for life occurrences
  • Work with the implications of the core beliefs of Zen Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Shamanism, Transpersonalism and Existentialism when delivering social work service
  • Design and maintain a Health Service Organization that is less bureaucratic and more sensitive to the administration, staff, treatment personnel and clients
  • Clinically, make use of Erickson's perspectives on spiritual development emerging through out the life cycle
  • Clinically, make use of Fowler's perspectives on spiritual development emerging through out the life cycle
  • Avoid crossing (even with well meaning intentions) an ethical boundary with clients wanting more spiritual direction

Syllabus / Course Instructions

  • This course is appropriate for CE for beginning, intermediate and advanced level clinicians.
  • The Course consists of reading the selected book, successfully completing an online posttest and filling out a course evaluation.
  • The book is not included. It must be purchased separately. We have supplied a link to for your convenience. This book is also available in other formats such as Kindle, or as a download to your computer via Amazon
  • Purchasing your course will give you access to both a printable copy of the test and an online version. Print the test to use as a companion as you read the book and answer the questions.
  • You cannot exit the online test once you begin, so have your answers ready.
Additional Resources On This Site for CE

Additional Resources Not On This Site

  • Spirituality and Religion in Social Work
    Edited by T. Laine Scales, Terry A. Wolfer, David A. Sherwood, Diana R. Garland, Beryl Hugen, Sharon Weaver Pittman
  • Walsh F. (2001). A Family Resilience Framework for Intervention and Prevention in A.R. Roberts and G.J. Greene (eds.), Social Workers Desk Reference. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Home Page of Edward R. Canda,MSW,PhD
  • Association of Social Work Boards
  • Canda, E. (1999). Spiritually Sensitive Social Work: Key Concepts and Ideals. Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice, Vol. 1, Issue 1 Pg 1-15
  • Canda, E. , & Nakashima, M. , & Burgess, V. , & Russel, R. , & Barfield, S. (2003). Spiritual diversity in social work: A comprehensive bliography with annotations, second edition. Council on Social Work Education.

Bio: Edward R. Canda, PhD

Edward R. Canda, MA, MSW, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Office for Research on Spiritual Diversity in Social Work at the School of Social Welfare and Couresy Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Kansas. He received his Bachelors of Art in Anthropology from Kent State University.

His focus was on anthropology of religions, art and art history, and interdisciplinary studies. He received his MSW and PhD in Social Welfare at Ohio State University. Dr. Canda has stated, "I am committed to promoting ways that people of diverse religious and non-religious spiritual perspectives can understand each other and cooperate in order to encourage peace and justice for all people and all beings."

Bio: Leola D. Furman, PhD

Leola Dyrud Furman, MSW, PhD, is an Associate Professor Emerita in Social Work at the University of North Dakota, and adjunct faculty in Social Work at the College of St. Catherine/University of St. Thomas and Augsburg College. She is Principal investigator of the international Study of Religion and Spirituality in Social work Practice.