My Journey as a Social Work Professor

  • Victor Manalo California State University, Los Angeles
Keywords: faith, spirituality, teaching, relational teaching, teacher-student relationship


After my second year as an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, I began to question the role of my faith in my professional life. This was followed by three seemingly unrelated events: a parting remark from the new Pastor of my church, a 10-week leave to develop my research agenda, and a trip to Rome with my wife. These events led me to search for a way to integrate my faith into the social work classroom. In this narrative, I recount my journey through which I discover that my faith, as articulated through Catholic Social Teaching, has called me to the profession of social work. As a social work professor, I bring my faith into the classroom through the use of my authentic, sacred self to establish relationships with my students that facilitate mutual growth and learning.

Author Biography

Victor Manalo, California State University, Los Angeles
Associate Professor, School of Social Work