Graduate School - School of Social Work
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.
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.
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.
Major Code: MSSW or MSSW-ADV (for Advanced Standing*)
Requirements for the MSSW are:
|YEAR 1 COURSES (32 HOURS)|
|SOCW 615||Social Work Research Methods|
|SOCW 625||Human 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|
Program and Practice Evaluation
Diversity, Power and Oppression
Policy Analysis and Practice
Foundations of Evidence-Based Practice II
Foundation Field Practicum II
(Required for Advanced Standing students (MSSW-ADV), optional for other students.)
|SOCW 640||Seminar for Advanced Standing Students|
|YEAR 2 COURSES (32 HOURS)|
|SOCW 725||Spirituality and Social Work Practice|
Administration and Planning for Nonprofit Organizations
|SOCW 740||Special Topic: Psychopathology for Social Work|
|SOCW 751||Advanced Evidence-Based Practice Interventions I|
|SOCW 781||Advanced Social Work Field Practicum I|
|SOCW 798 or||Project|
Globalization and Social Justice
Management and Funding for Nonprofit Organizations
Advanced Evidence-Based Practice Interventions II
Advanced Social Work Field Practicum II
SOCW 798 or
Faculty from other departments who
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
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