Leslie Wuest, PhD, MSW

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Leslie Wuest

I feel blessed to be able to work in a Christian environment with students who are eager to make a difference in the world. I spent the first 20 years of my social work career as a clinical social worker helping children and their parents, before the Lord brought me to academia. I started teaching part time while in graduate school and found that I really enjoyed both the interaction with students and the challenge of preparing classes. I have taught at George Fox since 2010 and am committed to an ongoing development of interesting classes where students learn the knowledge, values and skills they need to be good social workers.

Academic Background

PhD, Social Work and Social Research, Portland State University (2009)
MSW, University of Georgia (1980)
BA, Social Psychology, Occidental College (1976)

Research Experience

I love research! My dissertation examined factors associated with the inclusion of spirituality in classes throughout the social work curriculum at secular schools of social work. At Portland State, I worked on program evaluation research for a local grief support agency and assessment of a novel approach to parent education in a Head Start program. I also participated on research teams looking at the issues of chronic depression and the needs of families caring for children who have chronic emotional needs.

My latest project is a study looking at the factors related to student choice of a major for students in social work, education and nursing. The results will help us advise students who feel called to help others but are unsure which major is the best fit for them.

Teaching Focus

SWKG 570- Social Work Values & Ethics: Spirituality & Religion

SWKG 576, 577- Foundation Field Internship

Outside the Classroom

In my spare time I enjoy taking food and friendship to folks downtown through the HOTEL ministry at my church. I love worshiping God in the fellowship of believers and cherish my quiet times with him where the Lord gives me strength and wisdom for my days. I love listening to TED talks and Tim Keller, going for walks with friends, and learning golf.

Select Research Bibliography

Peer Reviewed Book Review

Wuest, L. G. Book Review: Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the Politics of Work-Family Policies in Western Europe and the United States by K. J. Morgan (2006) Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. In Social Work and Christianity: An International Journal, 38(3), 380-382.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Zheng, Y., Cotton, A.C., He, L., Wuest, L.G. (2021). Spirituality-Integrated Interventions for Caregivers of Patients with Terminal Illness: A Systematic Review of Quantitative Outcomes. Journal of Religion and Health, Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-021-01221-w

Zheng, Y. & Wuest, L.G. (2021). Assessing the impact of factors of parental grief among older Chinese Parents. Death Studies, 45(2), 110-118. doi:10.1080/07481187.2019.1616854

Coleman, D., Cole, D., Wuest, L. (2010). "Cognitive and Psychodynamic Mechanisms of Change in Treated and Untreated Depression." Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66 (3), 215-228. doi:10.1002/jclp.20645

Brennan, E.M., Rosenzweig, J.M., Ogilvie, A.M., Wuest, L. & Ward, A.A. (2007). Employed parents of children with mental health disorders: Achieving work-family fit, flexibility, and role quality. Families in Society, 88(1), 115-123.


Zheng, Y, Wuest, L., Spirituality Integrated Interventions for Caregivers of Dying Patients. Workshop presented at the 2021 Annual Conference of the North American Association for Christians in Social Work. Glendale, California, November 18, 2021.

Zheng, Y, Wuest, L., (2019) Spirituality in Grief Interventions: A Systematic Review. Workshop presented at the 2019 Annual Conference of the North American Association for Christians in Social Work. Indianapolis, Indiana, November 7, 2019.

Lin, M.B., Zheng, Y., Wuest, L.G., (2018). Worker-client relationship: A rationality, art, and spirituality perspective. Workshop presented at the 2018 Annual Conference of the North American Association for Christians in Social Work. Hartford, Connecticut, October 27, 2018. 

Lin, M. B., Wuest, L. G., Zheng, Y. Q. (2017). The genesis of helping: A Biblical integrative perspective. Workshop presented at the 2017 Annual Conference of the North American Association for Christians in Social Work. Charlotte, North Carolina, November 2-5, 2017.

Wuest, L. G. (2015-18). Talking About Research. North American Association of Christians in Social Work Annual Convention and Training Conference.

Wuest, L. G. (2010). Factors associated with inclusion of spirituality in secular social work education. Council on Social Work Education 56th Annual Program Meeting; Portland, Oregon, October 15, 2010.

Wuest, L. (2009). Factors associated with inclusion of spirituality in secular social work education. North American Association of Christians in Social Work 59th Annual Convention and Training Conference; Indianapolis, Indiana, October 29 - November 1, 2009.

Wuest, L., (2004). Ensuring quality client services: Analysis of Charitable Choice legislation in the light of NASW’s Code of Ethics. North American Association of Christians in Social Work 54th Annual Convention and Training Conference; Reston, Virginia, October 28-29, 2004.

Wuest, L. (2003). No Comprendo: Translation Issues Experienced by Project SUCCEED. PhD Seminar, Portland State University, November 4, 2003

Gordon, L.J., Friesen, B.J., Saifer, S.L., Wuest, L.G. and Banek, V. (2002). Community Innovation in Family-Teacher Collaboration: A Training Curriculum Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Young Children. Head Start National Research Conference, Washington, D.C., June 27, 2002. Poster presentation.

Rosenzweig, J.M., Brennan, E.M., Wuest, L.G., and Ward, A.A. (2001). Voices of Employed Parents: Work/Family Fit. PhD Seminar, Portland State University Graduate School of Social Work, October 23, 2001.

Rosenzweig, J.M., Brennan, E.M., Ogilvie, A.M., Wuest, L.G. (2000). Employed Caregivers of Children with Emotional Disorders: Stress, Strategies, Family Support, and Work/Family Fit. Building on Family Strengths Conference, Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health, Portland State University, April 2000.