Social Work (B.S.W.)

Social Work Major

School of Business, Education, and Social Sciences

Department of Social Work


Get hands-on experience working with local agencies, helping those in social, emotional or economic need.

If you are passionate about social justice issues and enhancing the well-being of others - especially those who are vulnerable, oppressed or living in poverty - then consider pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree at Messiah College. 

At Messiah, you’ll get to work with local agencies and organizations helping people in social, emotional or economic need. And as a graduate of Messiah’s social work program, you’ll be prepared for a variety of entry-level positions in the Social Work profession. Or maybe you’d like to further your studies at graduate school - a path many of our graduates pursue – and you’ll be well prepared for that next step. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Messiah’s professional BSW program qualifies you for advanced standing status in a Masters of Social Work (MSW) program at an accredited graduate school.

As a social work major at Messiah College, you’ll be able to:

  • Learn how to integrate principles of Christian faith with social work values, knowledge and skills.
  • Deepen your commitment to respecting diversity and enhancing social and economic justice for all people.
  • Acquire professional interviewing, recording and problem-solving skills needed for entry-level employment.
  • Prepare for a rewarding career in social service, corrections, child welfare, youth services, gerontology, probation and parole, juvenile and criminal justice, victims services, counseling, health care, Christian ministries, law enforcement, government, research, and many other areas.
  • Take challenging courses such as Cultural Anthropology, Human Diversity and Social Interaction, and Social Welfare Policies in the United States.
  • Gain valuable hands-on experience—even in your first year—through field experiences in various social service agencies in the area.
  • Complete a 450-hour field placement during the spring semester of your senior year. This program is expanding into international locations such as Thailand and Uganda (Spring 2012).
  • Join student-run organizations such as the Social Work Club and/or Phi Alpha (national honor society).

Major Requirements:

PDF course list



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Messiah social work majors, who continue their studies in an accredited Master of Social Work program (MSW), are eligible for advanced standing status, enabling them to earn an MSW in just one year.

Department of Social Work
Learn more about this department
Full-time faculty are licensed to practice clinical social work. 
Faculty continue to practice social work through private practice, volunteering, consultation and community service.
Faculty research interests include Christian counseling models, forgiveness, faith integration, teen pregnancy, and the treatment of mental health disorders.
Opportunities to study in an urban setting at Messiah's Harrisburg Institute
Student leadership cultivated through social work club and Phi Alpha honors society.
Faculty present research at national conferences and are considered experts in faith integration and social work practice issues.