Loretta Pyles

Community organizing, holistic pedagogy and practice, global justice, disasters, gender-based violence

The World Within Reach
Loretta Pyles

School of Social Welfare
Director, Doctoral Program

Richardson 201



B.A., Philosophy and Sociology (1991), Baker University
M.A., Philosophy (1994), University of Kansas
Ph.D., Social Work (2005), University of Kansas

Additional Information

Loretta Pyles is an engaged scholar who is concerned with transformative social change and holistic social work practice and pedagogy. Her scholarship has centered on the ways that individuals, organizations and communities resist and respond to poverty, violence and disasters in a policy context of neoliberal global capitalism and social welfare retrenchment. She has recently studied the role of community participation after disasters in Haiti and the U.S. Gulf Coast through a National Science Foundation grant. She is the author of Progressive Community Organizing: Reflective Practice in a Globalizing World, 2nd ed. (Routledge, 2014). Her latest book, Holistic Engagement: Transformative Social Work Education in the 21st Century (with co-editor, Gwendolyn Adam) (Oxford University Press, 2015), introduces a framework for social work pedagogy that affirms teaching with and to the whole self (bio-psycho-social-spiritual). She is a certified yoga instructor and utilizes mindfulness and embodied learning in her pedagogy, both in the classroom and in the community. For more information, visit: