Recent attention to human spirituality, research on congregationally-related practice, and growth in employment within religiously-based organizations energize the creation of educational initiatives to prepare future professionals for competent social work practice within these settings. Internship experiences with congregations and religiously-affiliated organizations (RAOs) play a pivotal role in delivering the competencies required by the social work accreditation body. Conceptual tools are needed for understanding congregationally-related practice, for navigating potential conflict between faith and professional practice, and for delivering effective internship experiences. This article, written from the faculty’s perspective of a Christian, religiously affiliated social work degree program, offers a framework for conceptualizing social work with congregations and RAOs and a beginning discussion for sorting out dilemmas in the integration of faith and practice in these settings. Two models, individual placement and rotational model placement, for congregationally-related internship experiences are presented and evaluated. Recommendations for enriched internship learning and future research are offered.
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