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Social Work Program Details

Bachelor of Arts

Bethel’s Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Graduates are eligible to be licensed as social workers. While preparation for generalist-level professional practice is the program’s primary objective, academically qualified graduates are prepared to pursue graduate-level social work education. The students from Bethel’s social work program are eligible for advanced standing admission to CSWE accredited graduate schools. The 60-credit major includes classroom and field courses, and select biological, social, and behavioral science foundational support courses.

To earn an undergraduate degree from Bethel, you will need a total of 122 credits. The listed number of required credits is based on a minimum of 60 transfer credits from previous professional, military, or educational experiences.

If you are applying with fewer credits, your enrollment counselor can help explore options for obtaining additional credits.


Fully Online

You'll complete 100% of your coursework online.

Location: Online

Start Dates: Courses start every 6 weeks. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

Total Credits


Finish in as Few as

30 months


  • Examining Crucial Questions (CORE330H)

    Summary of the Christian biblical narrative. Identification of the roles of scripture, history, experience, and reason, as they form convictions related to social and ethical issues. Examination of selected theological concepts using the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, as well as the application of those concepts to real life situations.

    4 credits

  • American Government and Politics (POLS100)

    Examination of essential concepts, ideas, and facts from American politics and the discipline of political science. Development of connections between concepts and their relation to political phenomena. Recognition of the role of Christianity in American politics. Employment of political science methods of analysis rather than ideological opinions to explain institutions and behavior. Foster a thoughtful and civil approach to political engagement.

    4 credits

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSYC100)

    Methods, theories, and principal findings of psychological investigation.

    2 credits

  • Introduction to Sociology (SOCS101)

    Major concepts, theories, methodologies, findings, controversies, and history of sociology. Contributions of sociology to Christian life and thought.

    4 credits

  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SOWK180)

    Analysis of individuals, families, and groups utilizing systems theory, learning theories and psychosocial frameworks as part of human behavior in the social environment perspective. Appraisal of important lifespan milestones and the influence of social environment on human development. Application of information and theories consistent with social work values, cultural diversity and the promotion of social justice.

    4 credits

  • Introduction to Social Work (SOWK210)

    Understanding of social work mission, core values, history, and field of practice overview. Recognition of the dimensions of diversity, cultures, and structures that may oppress and marginalize people groups. Communication and collaboration with diverse individuals with community-based, cross-cultural service learning. Consideration of social work as career choice.

    4 credits

  • Socioeconomic Impact on Justice (SOWK240)

    Critical evaluation of how market economies operate, their broad socioeconomic consequences, and their impact on the lives of socially disadvantaged people. Evaluation of global and local processes and mechanisms. Analysis of theories and approaches to social justice that advocate and promote social and economic justice, and human rights.

    2 credits

  • Social Work Practice with Organizations and Communities (SOWK304)

    Description of how cultural structures and values affect privilege and power. Identification of practices that ensure that rights and responsibilities are distributed equitably. Analysis of strength-based assets and community empowerment. Application of self-awareness and self-regulation, relationship building and inter professional collaboration strategies, multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks and intervention strategies based on assessment, research, values, and preferences of clients.

    2 credits

  • History of Social Change Through Policy (SOWK312)

    Interrelationship of social problems, social welfare policies, and service delivery from historical, economic, political, and program perspectives. Social systems content applied to social policy analysis. Students develop, analyze, advocate, and provide leadership for policy and service delivery that promote economic and social justice. Historical and critical examination of the social and political movements that have shaped the emergence, resistance and commitment to social activism. Evaluation of significant turning points and their legacies in society with a view to gain appreciation of the linkages and contexts that inextricably interconnect past, present, and future social welfare reform efforts. Identification of strengths and weaknesses of the American welfare state and its impact on the delivery of social services.

    4 credits

  • Social Work Practice with Individuals (SOWK313)

    Introduction to generalist social work theory and practice with individuals and families. Application of professional development, critical thinking, effective communication, Human Behavior and the Social Environment (HBSE), ethical and evidence-based practice. Development of knowledge and skills of social work practice: engagement, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, and termination.

    4 credits

  • Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Experience I (SOWK320)

    Integration of anti-racism and anti-oppressive and justice-informed theories and practice to social work experience. Understanding of how one’s own cultural identity impacts engagement and assessment with individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities. Application of interpersonal skills within a multi-service community based agency setting.

    2 credits

  • Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Experience II (SOWK325)

    Apply and integrate beginning knowledge, values, skills, and ethics for social work practice with an emphasis on diversity, human rights and justice, and professional generalist practice. Weekly field seminar supports integration while students work a minimum of 100 hours in field setting under agency supervision.

    2 credits

  • Identity, Diversity, and Social Justice (SOWK327)

    Examination of societal conditions and their impact on individuals and communities. Evaluation of the influence of power structures at communal, local, and national levels as well as the way they impact the lived realities of people from nondominant cultures and identities. Application of contemporary writings, social theory, and the voice of marginalized individuals. Analysis of systems that promote justice and equity, and those that exist to exploit and further marginalized vulnerable populations.

    4 credits

  • Environmental Justice and Health Disparities (SOWK340)

    Examination of policies established to address the inequitable distribution of environmental risks. Explanation of theories and history of environmental justice. Analysis of environmental justice and health disparities in racial groups and communities. Identification of strategies to reduce environmental injustices and health disparities.

    2 credits

  • Social Work Practice with Families and Groups (SOWK405)

    Application of generalist social work theory to integrated practice within client systems. Emphasis on families/groups and on the planned change process. Application of critical thinking, research-informed practice and culture competence. Evaluation of assessment and intervention strategies applicable to a specific population.

    4 credits

  • Social Work Field Instruction I (SOWK420)

    Application of social work competencies to guide ethical and professional practice. Analysis of personal strength and barriers in professional social work development. Analysis of social, economic, racial and environmental injustices and human rights issues. Analysis of policy practice in relation to human rights and injustice issues. Application of practice skills in the engagement, assessment, intervention and evaluation of client constituencies.

    4 credits

  • Social Work Field Instruction II (SOWK425)

    Demonstration of ethical and professional behavior. Engagement in Antiracist, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI), practice-informed research, research-informed practice, and policy practice. Advancement of human rights and social, economic, racial and environmental justice. Engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

    4 credits

  • Abuse and Trauma and Mental Health in Social Work Practice (SOWK450)

    Presentation of the characteristics and consequences of family violence, intimate partner abuse and child and elder abuse. Identification of theoretical frameworks for assessment and intervention with survivors. Exploration of the role of racism and oppression in addressing abuse and trauma. Application of the DSM in case plans for client vignettes.

    4 credits

  • Research for Social Work Practice (SOWK451)

    Analysis of research methods, with an emphasis on becoming proficient and critical consumers of research-based data, for the purposes of knowledge advancement, informed practice, and program and practice effectiveness evaluation. Application of principles of logic and curiosity in the analysis of relevant scientific information. Synthesis of scholarly research and current best practice in an organized and coherent professional literature review. Analysis and evaluation of appropriate research methods for various practice contexts and purposes. Creation of a research study to improve practice, policy or delivery.

    4 credits

  • Senior Integrative Seminar (SOWK499)

    Integration of generalist social work knowledge, values, and skills through ethics-based case studies and completion of practice/program evaluation research applied to field practicum setting. Critical thinking, leadership, and scholarship emphasized. Understand ethical integration of a Christian worldview into social work practice.

    4 credits

  • CORE Courses

    A distinctive feature of Bethel's programs is our commitment to the development of the whole person. In addition to courses within a program, students explore personal values and faith formation in a hospitable environment that respects learning from one another's perspectives. Rather than teaching students what to think about Christianity, we teach students how to think about the Bible, Christian history, and personal faith.

    • Community, Self and Formation (CORE300)

      An exploration of self in the world, based on personal experience and classical spiritual practices. Students are challenged to think systemically about contexts of family, faith community, workplace, and broader culture as they plan for lifelong formation and contribution to the well-being of others.

      4 credits