Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 5

This is the fifth entry in a series of posts addressing Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work. The purpose of these posts is to view questions proposed from a friend a few years back when he learned that I was pursuing a degree in Social Work. You can see the entire series as it is posted by clicking here. So, here is the next entry, enjoy!

Q. How do you interpret 2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

Continue reading Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 5

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 4

This is the fourth entry in a series of posts addressing Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work. The purpose of these posts is to view questions proposed from a friend a few years back when he learned that I was pursuing a degree in Social Work. You can see the entire series as it is posted by clicking here. So, here is the next entry, enjoy!

Q. How does Social Work interface with Christianity? Continue reading Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 4

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 3

prayerThis is the third entry in a series of posts addressing Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work. The purpose of these posts is to view questions proposed from a friend a few years back when he learned that I was pursuing a degree in Social Work. You can see the entire series as it is posted by clicking here. So, here is the next entry, enjoy!

Q. In what ways, if any, has your study of the mind shaped your faith?

A. I suppose that saying social work is a studying of the mind would be mislabeling what social work actually is. The difference between a social worker and a psychologist or psychiatrist, in short: is that the social worker seeks to empower the individual to utilize, develop, and understand the tools they possess in order to manage their lives. The field of social work is in fact so diverse that it would be difficult to limit the social worker’s role to any one single spectrum. The above explanation is broad and universal in most social work roles.

I will have to admit that the beginning of my study in social work was met with great trepidation. I was fearful that I would have to embrace theories and practices that contradict my faith and beliefs. But, the biggest hindrance I experienced was that I approached all methods of therapy from a nouthetic approach. I feared that I would no longer be willing or able to help people without compromising my belief system. Continue reading Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 3

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 2

Pandy tip- diplomaPreviously, I posted the first post in a series on Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Intro. I am continuing the discussion of this topic with the first question. Some questions may overlap each other in content, but for sake of clarity, I will allow each question to be answered and posted individually. If you have any questions or insights you would like to offer on particular questions please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to cover this subject as thoroughly as possible.

It is important to note that to differentiate social work and psychology is an important task, and must be done in order to know just what it is that separates the two. The initial line of questioning involved understanding Psychology as a whole and the questioner did not know there was much difference between the two fields, and not many do. The differences will hopefully be illustrated by answering question four. But for now, lets get to the first one shall we?

Q. What motivated you to choose a major in social work?

A. I was motivated to choose a major in this field by a number of factors. Most notably, my exposure to the field at an early age. Not necessarily as a proponent or pupil, but as a subject. I was privy to the insight of many well-educated social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, guidance counselors, and other “social service” workers and agencies. What I experienced personally and through observation showed me later in my life that there are many things that seemed broken in the way individuals are assisted through these avenues. I felt that I could make a difference.

Although not to influence change on the social services and professions themselves, but to learn the methods and means to become accredited and serve in a capacity that would allow me to help individuals one person at a time. I honestly feel that treating everything BUT the sin nature of the individual is inherently evil in and of itself and merely reinforcing the problem that originally created the need for man’s inability to be “good”. That problem I would identify from my own world-view is sin.

My motivation is to reintroduce in the practices I employ as a professional the very things I’ve seen disregarded or ignored in my personal experience. In my opinion, this lack is conclusively identified as the absence of the message of Christ and proclamation of restoration through salvation in him.

What about you? Do you have personal experience with the social work profession or its ideology? What do you think could be different?

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This post is part of a series.

  1. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Intro
  2. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 2

Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Intro

Helping-Hand

A friend has asked me if he could pick my brain regarding my choice of major (Social Work) and how it correlates to my Christian Faith. We started this conversation back in 2009, and having worked in the field for a couple years, some of my responses have changed. The question is one I still keep asking myself and the answer, I believe will be changed several times more. But, the question itself has remained the same. Why did I become social worker? How does my faith and my vocational choice interact with each other? Why in the world would I embrace certain aspects of secular theory regarding human behavior? Is it all just as simple as relating it to sin and calling it a night? These questions all have validity in their inquiry, but does my answer to them hold a candle to biblical truth?

I hope to answer my friends questions as succinctly as possible, and I will be sharing them here. As he is not the first to ask me these, he is the first to take time to put down his questions in written form and allow me to tackle them one at a time. I hope this discussion proves fruitful for him, me, and all others who chose to read this. I hope it piques your curiosity as well, as it is question many of us have in a world where self-help has run amuck, the pharmaceutical companies get filthy rich while they create “cures” for mental health issues, and individuals are consistently convinced that they will “always” have a problem with their…problems…

May Christ be glorified in all this, and I am excited about these questions. I hope you will join me for discussion on these topics. And as usual, there is more to come!

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This post is part of a series.

  1. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Intro
  2. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ, and Social Work – Part 2