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SWK 6133: Philosophical Foundations of Social Work

Credits: 3

Key Skills: Assess role of spirituality or religion in social work; discuss existential threats to emotional and psychological well-being; critique the “dual nature of man”; analyze how gender and sexual orientation influence worldviews, social integration, the human experience, and social work practice; define the meaning of a sacred space; differentiate between personal, religious, and social constructs of “evil”; construct a personal philosophy for helping

Description: Philosophical Foundations of Social Work is part of the core curriculum of the online master of social work, challenging students to evaluate the roles religion, spirituality, and philosophy play in the social work profession. With emphasis on deeply self-reflective journals and discussions, students will question and examine personal and social belief systems, traditional religious belief systems, and motivations that lead people to change or grow.

This course will ask big questions about the meaning of human life, humanity’s relationship to nature, where angst and alienation originate, why people reject differences in others, and whether “sinning” or evil acts are forgivable. The most important takeaway from the course will be the development of a personal philosophy of helping from which the student’s passion for social work will grow.

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