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HSER 415 Spirituality and Helping

For the past 30 years helping professionals have deliberated about the role and integration of spirituality or religion in their practice. It is accepted that as clients race, ethnicity, and culture affect their thoughts, feelings, and behavior, so similarly do clients spiritual or religious orientations affect how they function in world and thus perceive and deal with their problems. This course is designed to introduce students to the issues related to spirituality and helping as well as to provide a framework for developing an ethical spiritually-sensitive practice that is cognizant of the significance of these orientations. Students will explore relevant knowledge, skill, and value competencies for success in this frontier of the helping field.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective January 13, 2014 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Students will identify aspects of religious and spiritual views concerning issues of human diversity, human development, and social dynamics.
  • Students will be knowledgeable of the influence of these views on existing helping ideologies and paradigms.
  • Students will identify and critically reflect upon diverse religious and spiritual perspectives and their implications for the helping process ¿ the client, the helper, the helping relationship.
  • Students will be knowledgeable of the qualities and competencies of a spiritually-sensitive helping process.
  • Students will frame and analyze arguments related to issues of spirituality and helping.
  • Students will develop a framework of knowledge, theory, values, and skills for spiritually-sensitive practice.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.