All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

James Slack

Advisory Committee Members

Akhlaque Haque

Michael Howell-Moroney

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Public Administration (MPA) College of Arts and Sciences


Until very recently very little attention has been paid to the role played by religion and spirituality in the practice of public administration. This reflects the strictly secular understanding of the profession that has dominated it since its inception. This deeply held understanding does not reflect the way public administration is actually practiced in the United States. A survey of American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) members currently involved in the active practice of public administration found that 58% of the practitioners surveyed reported that “Religious values guide my decisions,” and over 74% report that they feel “called” to a career in public service. Even administrators who do not define themselves religious or spiritual must confront the following four types of religious or spiritual challenges in their work: (1) the increasing religious diversity in local communities and the workplace; (2) the growing interest in spirituality in the workplace; (3) the renewed call for people to reflect their values in their work as public servants; and (4) the new national interest in faith-based organizations. In the face of this reality, the profession of public administration must begin to rethink its strictly secular approach and begin to explore the role of religion and spirituality in the public administration workplace.



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