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Spirituality and Social Work

Program Overview

This certificate program explores contemporary issues in spirituality and social work. It examines the importance of spirituality in addressing presenting issues and demonstrates the importance of spirituality in the clinical setting. Specific spiritual methods and interventions will be highlighted and applied to practice. Spirituality will be viewed as a dimension in the biopsychosocial assessment and treatment planning process. The program utilizes didactic and experiential components, which will include role playing, narratives, storytelling, and other pragmatic methods.

The program’s primary goal is to develop knowledge and sensitivity to spiritual concepts, practices and values. Students are expected to demonstrate interest and awareness in how spirituality impacts the lives of clients and the values of agency policies and actions. Students need not be spiritual themselves but it is expected that the diverse views and life experiences of the student body will enrich the learning experience of all.

Program Director: nthony Nicotera, JD, DSW Candidate May ‘18, LSW

Anthony is an educator, clinician, development professional, licensed social worker and counselor, and executive manager and leader. He has over 20 years of spiritual and clinical counseling, coaching and teaching experience, as well as nonprofit leadership and management experience. He holds degrees in law and social work from Georgetown, DePaul, and Loyola (Chicago), and has taught undergraduates and graduate students at Chicago, Rutgers, and New York University in peace, social justice, social work, multifaith leadership and spirituality.

Anthony spent six years as a member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), which rooted his spiritual commitments to justice ministry in many settings. He spent many years working in urban Chicago, Latin America, and India (with Mother Teresa), among other settings, and has been arrested some 20 times for nonviolent civil disobedience. His spiritual and activist commitments have led Anthony to be interviewed in various print and online media, as well as for the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary Where We Stood.

With a former student, Anthony cofounded MindfulCloud PBC, a public benefit corporation created to promote mindful media (films, comics, and curricular material) for social justice. MindfulCloud (now part of the Weird World social network) produced the award-winning The 5 Powers, a mixed media documentary about Thich Nhat Hanh, Sister Chan Khong, and Alfred Hassler, and their relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Program requirements

This certificate requires the completion of two semesters comprised of 18 two-hour sessions, running from 6:20 - 8:20 pm. Assignments include weekly readings and a final learning assessment in the form of a project or test.

2018-2019 Program Calendar

Tuesday Evening (6:20 pm to 8:20 pm)
Fall Semester Spring Semester
  • September 18, 25
  • October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
  • November 6, 13
  • January 22, 29
  • February 5, 12, 19, 26
  • March 5, 12, 19

Program Highlights

  • Intersection of spirituality, mysticism, and religion
  • Relational spirituality, community, and alienation
  • The intersection of mind and body: Eastern spiritual philosophy and practices
  • Spiritual approaches to wholeness and transformation of self
  • The intersection between spirituality, religion, and culture
  • Spirituality across the life cycle
  • The contribution of spirituality to social change and social policy
  • Spiritual assessment and transformation
  • Case seminars

Continuing Education Contact Hours

  • 36 NYSED-approved contact hours will be awarded for this program.

New York University Silver School of Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers {#SW-0012}.
NYU Silver School of Social Work, 1415 is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. NYU Silver School of Social Work maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 11/11/16 - 11/11/19. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.  Social workers participating in this program will receive 36 continuing education contact hours.

New York University Silver School of Social Work is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors {#MHC-0083}.

For Mental Health Practitioners: Please check with your state, if you are not licensed in New York, to determine if these credits will be accepted for licensing renewal.


To apply for this program, use the application link below. You will be prompted to create a user profile in order to begin the application. The Advanced Clinical Practice application requires you to submit the following supplemental documents:

  • Current CV/resume
  • Personal statement about why you are applying to this program
  • The name and contact information of one reference, who will receive a notification from the system to provide her or his letter of support


Application deadline: August 1, 2018

Special Accommodations & Grievance Guidelines

Special Accommodations:
Students requiring accommodations have the opportunity to make these known upon registering or by writing to

Addressing Grievances:
For information on our Grievance Guidelines, please click here. If you have questions or concerns contact (212) 998-9099.