Overview - Master of Social Work
Dr. W. Descoteaux, MSW Program Director
Professors: Dr. B. Cairns-Descoteaux, Dr. W. Descoteaux
Associate Professors: Dr. D. Cecil, Ms. M. Wells
Assistant Professors: Ms. S. Bryson, Dr. N. Placido
The Mission of the Asbury University MSW Program arises from a belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all persons. This belief is sustained by the University’s commitment to historic orthodox Christianity as expressed in the Wesleyan tradition's core emphases on personal and social holiness, resulting in love for all persons individually and for the world, with particular concern for the poor, the vulnerable and the exploited, and a passion to seek justice and an understanding that God's grace provides all persons with transforming potential. Graduates will be prepared for theologically informed advanced social work practice in national and global contexts that is agency or church-based.
The graduate program in social work:
- teaches knowledge, values and skills for students to function as generalist social workers (foundation year of the program), and as advanced practitioners with children, adolescents, adults, and/or family systems (concentration year of the program).
- promotes collaborative processes between social workers and client systems - individuals, groups, families, communities and organizations - in order to relate to all systems in a unique manner.
- teaches students to be culturally-sensitive and to reconcile persons and systems through appropriate social work interventions, including policy analysis and social change strategies.
- develops the students' critical thinking skills, professional use of self as a social worker and effective oral and written communication skills, appropriate for advanced social work practice; and prepares students for lifelong learning both personally and professionally.
- teaches students research processes and skills; so they can evaluate agency outcomes and practices in an ongoing manner, and develop processes within agencies for feedback within and between agencies and social systems.
- focuses on the concerns of the poor and oppressed both nationally and globally, and arising from the Biblical witness of preferential concern for these groups, fosters an understanding of God's grace to all persons. Students in the program are taught interventions to protect and to advance the "rights" of the poor and oppressed, thereby demonstrating God's grace in the world.
- is based on an understanding of the dignity and worth of all persons and on the historic context of social welfare rooted in the Judeo-Christian heritage. From this foundation, the program promotes self-determination as stated in the NASW Code of Ethics.
- prepares advanced social work practitioners for agency or church-based practice with a particular concern for low-income populations.
- encourages students to develop a Christian theological framework that informs their social work identity, knowledge and practice, including an understanding of how historic orthodox Christianity in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition is a dynamic resource for social work practice.
- is a professional community of academic and practice excellence, supportive and sustaining relationships, and vital spiritual growth.
Asbury University’s MSW Program is accredited through the Council on Social Work Education.
A roster of field education agencies and organizations used for Asbury University practicum education are available from the MSW office. Due to unpredictable organizational and staff changes, there may be semesters in which agencies are temporarily unable to accept students in placement. Availability of individual agencies is subject to change without notice. Students are encouraged to explore practicum related interests with their faculty advisor, with other students who have completed a practicum in an agency of interest, and with the Director of Field Education. Students with particular concerns related to their placement assignments should confer with their Faculty Advisor and with the Director of Field Education prior to the due date for submission of their practicum application. Students may not contact any field agencies without prior approval of the Director of Field Education.
The MSW Program offers one concentration (the last 30 semester hours of the Program) in Child and Family Services. Recognizing the importance of positive human development across the lifespan and of strong families for constructing functional communities, the concentration objectives are to prepare students for advanced social work practice supporting the needs of all persons to achieve their optimal God given potential.
SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER CERTIFICATION TRACK
In collaboration with Asbury University’s School of Education the MSW Program offers a School Social Worker Certification Track. There are three plans available: (1) the Advanced Regular Program, requiring 60 semester hours, leading to Rank I Certification; (2) the Advanced Standing Program, requiring 39 semester hours, leading to Rank II Certification; and (3) the Certificate Program, for those already holding an MSW degree with a concentration in Child and Family Services, requiring 15 semester hours, leading to Rank I Certification. Plans one and two require successful completion of all MSW requirements, including the Program’s Child and Family Services Concentration. For all three plans students must take SEG 520 or SEG 638; SEG 630; and SEG 632; and complete SWG 650 and 690 Field Education in two different school levels. Successful completion of the Track requires approval of both the School of Education and the MSW Program. More complete information about this option is available in the MSW Office or Resource Room.
DUAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
The Master of Social Work Program offers several dual degree options in collaboration with Asbury Theological Seminary. Dual degree programs available include: MSW/M.Div. and MSW/MA. The MA Programs available include: Biblical Studies; Theological Studies; Christian Education; Christian Leadership: Christian Ministries; Counseling; Pastoral Counseling; World Mission and Evangelism; Intercultural Studies; and Youth Ministry. The specific details for the dual degree arrangements may vary somewhat from program to program, but are based on mutual recognition of courses among courses resulting in significant reduction of the time required to complete both degrees if pursued separately. For example, in most cases students pursuing an MSW/M.Div. may complete both programs in four years, rather than the expected five years if pursued independently. The programs can be pursued concurrently or consecutively. Students interested in these programs must meet the requirements of both programs and are urged to consult with their advisors early in their academic program planning. Primary contact persons are Dr. William Descoteaux at Asbury University and Dr. Christine Pohl at Asbury Theological Seminary.
The Master of Social Work offers a wide array of electives providing students with multiple options to design a program of study, in conjunction with their Faculty Advisor, individually tailored to their interests and anticipated future area of professional practice. Elective options include social work courses, graduate education courses and, on a space available basis, over 60 Asbury Theological Seminary courses. A listing of these courses is available from the MSW office.
2012-2013 BULLETIN 07/27/2012