Social Work at Messiah College
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.
Social work major distinctives
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.
- Partner with faculty to complete research on various topics in social work, and possibly event present at a conference.
- 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.
- Join student-run organizations such as the Social Work Club and/or Phi Alpha (national honor society).
Career options for social work majors
As a graduate of the social work program, students are equipped to secure positions such as:
- Child, family and school social workers
- Medical and public health social workers
- Geriatric social workers
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers
- Private practice social workers
- Administrators, researchers, planners, policy makers and advocates
Internship opportunities for social work majors
Messiah’s nationally recognized internship program places students in a variety of social work internships. A few examples include:
- Foster care and adoption agencies
- Retirement communities
- Children's homes
- Correction centers
- Other social service agencies
Learn more about the Department of Social Work
The Department of Social Work is housed in the School of Business, Education and Social Sciences. Learn more about the Department of Social Work by visiting our website, or check out some of the distinctives below.
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.