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Research Cluster


This Strategic Research Network has been developed with the support of a Strategic Research Cluster - Development Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (see Sponsors).

The spirituality and social work research literature in Canada has ballooned, particularly in the past few years, and situates Canadian scholarship on the cutting-edge of current directions in considering the relevance of spirituality for healthy human development. This research cluster brings together Canadian academics, national and international organizations, diverse community agencies and practitioners, students, and international experts who share expertise in spiritually-influenced social work and other helping approaches. This includes work with individuals, families, organizations and groups, as well as with communities and society.  The focus of our research cluster is learning more about how spirituality can help to promote personal and social change; construct meaningful work; assist in ethical decision making; contextualize international development; contribute to the health of people and their environments; and transform leadership. It brings together the Canadian experts in this field - researchers whose work includes: developing culturally relevant practice models; assessing the helpfulness of holistic practice approaches; building healthy communities; engaging in social action; and working to build healthy workplaces. Much of the impetus behind the inclusion of spirituality in professional practice has been driven by the needs of practitioners and students. This cluster builds on existing community and student connections that are important as participants and partners. The cluster will enable all participants to interact more effectively and to form new coalitions and relationships, which will help to ensure maximum knowledge impact thorough the dissemination of research and practice developments, and the creation of new opportunities for research activity.