Social Work at Messiah College
The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree at Messiah College, a top-ranked Christian college, is nationally accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). As a graduate of the social work degree program at Messiah College, you qualify for advanced standing status in an accredited Master of Social Work (MSW) degree program, meaning you can go on to earn your MSW in just one year. Messiah College’s unique approach to the BSW degree intentionally integrates Christian faith formation and extensive field education, effectively preparing you to become a competent and skilled professional social worker.
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.
- Accumulate several hundred hours of experience by your senior year (most other schools do not have this experience until the senior year).
- 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
Our accredited degree program gives you hands-on experience working with human services agencies, and helping those in social, emotional or economic need. Our social work students often connect with each other through a common theme—they are passionate about social justice and enhancing the well-being of others. Throughout the social work program, you actively integrate your Christian faith with the field of social work and are challenged to explore how your faith influences your practice of social work.
Classroom learning and practical experience as a social worker
The BSW degree program balances classroom learning with practical experience. You finish the major with a minimum of experience with three social service agencies. We place a strong emphasis on field education. In your senior year, you complete 450 hours of social work practice. Our goal for you is to develop as a social worker who can engage the world and facilitate change through enhancing community and actively participating in issues to address social and economic justice in rural, urban and international settings.
Job or MSW degree preparation
And as a graduate of Messiah’s social work degree, you’ll be prepared for a variety of entry-level jobs 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. Visit our FAQ’s for more info.