Graduate School - School of Social Work


Contact Information
Paul Ammons, Director
ACU Box 27866
Abilene, Texas 79699-7866
Hardin Administration Building, Room 108


Phone: 325-674-2072
Fax: 325-674-6525


Page Links:

Admission Requirements

Social Work (MSSW)

Certificate in Social Services Administration

Paul Ammons, Professor
Tanya Brice, Associate Professor
Susan Clark, Associate Professor
Bill Culp, Associate Professor
Stephanie Hamm, Assistant Professor
Darrell Jordan, Assistant Professor
Alan Lipps, Assistant Professor
Thomas L. Winter, Professor











We strive to honor God by advocating social and economic justice for the poor and vulnerable of the earth; by celebrating the joys of diversity; by integrating faith and social work; and by building the evidence of effective social work practice.

Our mission is to prepare graduates to be competent practitioners who are able to incorporate their faith and best evidence into practice; to advance social work knowledge through research and other scholarly activities; and to promote social justice worldwide through leadership roles in the social services.


Graduate Programs

The School of Social Work offers a Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) degree and a Graduate Certificate in Social Services Administration, which may be completed while in the MSSW program of study.

The ACU MSSW program offers an innovative curriculum aimed at preparing leading edge social work practitioners. It is designed to produce versatile social work leaders who are able to incorporate their faith and employ technology to identify and make use of what works – the most promising interventions, the most forward-thinking programs and policies – to empower and instill hope in their clients and to promote positive social change.

There are two programs of study leading toward the MSSW: Standard and Advanced Standing. The Standard Program requires two years of full-time study (64 hours). The first year introduces important ideas and concepts that are at the heart of what it means to be a social worker and to engage in evidence-based practice. The second year concentrates on evidence-based social interventions with systems of various sizes.

The Advanced Standing Program is for students who have completed a BSW from a program accredited by the Council of Social Work Education. Following a 6-hour summer seminar, Advanced Standing students move directly into the 32-hour second year of study.

Both programs combine classroom study with supervised internships in social service agencies and include either a thesis or a research project suitable for dissemination.

In cooperation with the Graduate School of Theology, the School of Social Work has developed plans whereby students could pursue the MSSW degree concurrently with the Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) degree.

The MSSW program is seeking accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The program was granted candidacy by CSWE in October 2007, and is eligible for full accreditation in 2010. Initial accreditation automatically covers those graduating classes of students admitted while the program is in candidacy.

   Admission Requirements
While the Standard Program accepts students with a bachelor’s degree in any field, students are expected to demonstrate a broad liberal arts background. A course in statistics is highly desirable.

Applicants are required to meet all of the admission requirements of the Graduate School. If undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, the GRE or MAT entrance exam is required. The writing sample must be a personal statement addressing your motivation for graduate studies and entering the social work profession, and reflections on the four themes of the School of Social Work—evidence-based practice, God’s gift of diversity, faith and social work, and social justice.

Applications for the Standard Program are accepted for fall admission. Advanced Standing students with a recent BSW degree from a program accredited by the CSWE are admitted in June. Applications received by February 16 will receive early review, priority for scholarships, graduate assistantships and field practicum sites. Applicants who completed the BSW more than five years ago are eligible for Advanced Standing only if they are employed in the field of social services.

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Major Code: MSSW or MSSW-ADV (for Advanced Standing*)

Requirements for the MSSW are:

YEAR 1 COURSES (32 HOURS)                                                                                 

SOCW 615Social Work Research Methods
SOCW 625Human Behavior in the Social Environment
SOCW 641 Social Welfare Policy and Services
SOCW 651 Foundations of Evidence-Based Social Work Practice I
SOCW 681 Foundation Field Practicum I

SOCW 616

Program and Practice Evaluation

SOCW 626

Diversity, Power and Oppression

SOCW 642

Policy Analysis and Practice

SOCW 652

Foundations of Evidence-Based Practice II

SOCW 682

Foundation Field Practicum II


  (Required for Advanced Standing students (MSSW-ADV), optional for other students.)

SOCW 640Seminar for Advanced Standing Students
SOCW 725 Spirituality and Social Work Practice
SOCW 745or

Administration and Planning for Nonprofit Organizations

SOCW 740Special Topic: Psychopathology for Social Work
SOCW 751 Advanced Evidence-Based Practice Interventions I
SOCW 781 Advanced Social Work Field Practicum I
SOCW 798 orProject
SOCW 799Thesis

SOCW 741

Globalization and Social Justice 

SOCW 744

Management and Funding for Nonprofit Organizations

SOCW 752

Advanced Evidence-Based Practice Interventions II

SOCW 782

Advanced Social Work Field Practicum II

SOCW 798 or


SOCW 799


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Contact Information
Bill Culp, Advisor
ACU Box 27866
Abilene, Texas 79699-7866
Hardin Administration Building, Room 108

Phone: 325-674-2072
Fax: 325-674-6525

Bill Culp, Associate Professor
Thomas L. Winter, Professor


Faculty from other departments who
teach in this program:
Paul Lakey, Professor of Communication
Phillip Vardiman, Assistant Professor of
                              Management Sciences

The certificate in social services administration requires 15 hours, and course work may apply toward the Master of Science in gerontology degree or the Master of Science in Social Work degree.

Requirements for the certificate in social services administration are:

          1. Core courses, 12 hours:
              MGMT 532 Human Resource Management
              SOCW 541 Social Welfare Policy and Services
              SOCW 744 Management and Funding of Nonprofit Organizations
              SOCW 745 Administration and Planning for Nonprofit Organizations

          2. Selection, 3 hours:
              COMS 642 Seminar in Communication or
              SOCI 560 Ethics and Social Issues

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