Allison Tan

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Education

Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 2011
M.S.S.A., Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 2003
B.S.W., Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, 2002

Associated Academic Programs

Social Work

“The social work profession is an exciting one in which we equip both individuals and communities to live into their strengths and potential.”

As an undergraduate and graduate student of social work, Dr. Allison Tan originally planned to work in the area of criminal justice. “Through a number of twists and turns, my first social work job out of grad school was not in criminal justice but instead in the area of HIV/AIDS. While this was not the field I expected practice in, I immediately felt ‘at home’ with the population and the community on the west side of Chicago where I found myself. Through my years in that position, I developed an empathy for those experiencing the impact of the HIV epidemic, as well as an appreciation for the challenges faced by minority populations in our country. Additionally, I began to engage in conversations and trainings around the integration and tensions between the LGBT community and communities of faith. This has become my life’s work.”

What drew her to Trinity:
A graduate of Taylor University, Tan said she is incredibly grateful for the Christian education she gained there. “I have the opportunity to share a similar experience with the next generation of Christian social workers. I am refreshed and inspired by the ability to integrate faith and practice in the classroom here at Trinity.”

Research interests:
For most of her career, Tan’s research agenda has focused on the ways in which LGBT issues and Christian worldview intersect and challenge one another. “While certainly a topic wrought with tension and discomfort for many in our society, my research and experience listening to the stories of LGBT individuals as well as Christian social workers and students has led me to see that there are opportunities for tremendous growth and reconciliation.”

When she’s not working:
Outside of work, Tan spends most of her time with her husband and son. “We stay busy visiting zoos and practicing to become an American Ninja Warrior – my son, not me!”

+ Expertise

As an undergraduate and graduate student of social work, Dr. Allison Tan originally planned to work in the area of criminal justice. “Through a number of twists and turns, my first social work job out of grad school was not in criminal justice but instead in the area of HIV/AIDS. While this was not the field I expected practice in, I immediately felt ‘at home’ with the population and the community on the west side of Chicago where I found myself. Through my years in that position, I developed an empathy for those experiencing the impact of the HIV epidemic, as well as an appreciation for the challenges faced by minority populations in our country. Additionally, I began to engage in conversations and trainings around the integration and tensions between the LGBT community and communities of faith. This has become my life’s work.”

What drew her to Trinity:
A graduate of Taylor University, Tan said she is incredibly grateful for the Christian education she gained there. “I have the opportunity to share a similar experience with the next generation of Christian social workers. I am refreshed and inspired by the ability to integrate faith and practice in the classroom here at Trinity.”

Research interests:
For most of her career, Tan’s research agenda has focused on the ways in which LGBT issues and Christian worldview intersect and challenge one another. “While certainly a topic wrought with tension and discomfort for many in our society, my research and experience listening to the stories of LGBT individuals as well as Christian social workers and students has led me to see that there are opportunities for tremendous growth and reconciliation.”

When she’s not working:
Outside of work, Tan spends most of her time with her husband and son. “We stay busy visiting zoos and practicing to become an American Ninja Warrior – my son, not me!”