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Master of Social Work (MSW)

Be an advocate for hope and change.

Centered around the advancement of human rights, Bethel’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program seeks to promote social, economic, and environmental justice and empower graduates to work toward systemic change, impacting the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities. The natural intersection of faith and justice is emphasized, as students study the theology of justice and intentionally integrate it into their learning and practices. The program is academically rigorous and research-based, with opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research for presentation locally and nationally, and it prepares graduates for state licensure and professional social work credentials.

We’ll help pay for your degree!

At Bethel, we’re committed to offering affordable, flexible programs to busy adults. That’s why we’re offering up to a $3,500 scholarship to students who start the full MSW program in fall 2021, and up to a $2,300 scholarship to students who start the advanced standing MSW program in summer 2022.

Program Option(s)

Master of Social Work: Advanced Standing

The MSW advanced standing program is available to students who hold a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited institution. The program prepares graduates for advanced ethical and professional social work practice and licensure, emphasizing commitment to service, social justice, integrity, competence, and scientific inquiry.

Delivery Online
Location St. Paul
Credits 35
Tuition per Credit $750
Estimated Total Tuition $26,250*

See full details

Master of Social Work: Full Program

The MSW full program is available to students with a bachelor’s degree other than a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW). The program prepares graduates for advanced ethical and professional social work practice and licensure, emphasizing commitment to service, social justice, integrity, competence, and scientific inquiry.

Delivery Online
Location St. Paul
Credits 56
Tuition per Credit $750
Estimated Total Tuition $42,000*

See full details

* These program details and costs are estimated and subject to change. View our program details disclaimer for more information.

Social Work Students Take First Place in National Conference

Four senior social work students presented at a national conference for their discipline and two of the four received first-place honors for their work.

May 22, 2019 | 1:30 p.m.

Closing the Gap

Hilda Davis ’20 doesn’t just want to see people be well, but to ensure they have the option to choose wellness. Through her involvement both on campus and off, she’s provided time and resources to support initiatives that focus on community health.

May 06, 2019 | 9 a.m.

Social Work Trip Challenges Students to Connect Human Rights Issues to Everyday Experience

An expedition to the Museum of Human Rights in Canada connects social work course material on human rights to real people and experiences.

March 15, 2018 | 2:15 p.m.

There are no upcoming events.

$65,000 - Median income range of recent Bethel Graduate School alumni

- 2015 Bethel Graduate School Alumni Survey

77%

10-year alumni who are involved in a leadership role

2.1%

Unemployment rate of recent graduate alumni

- 2015 Bethel Graduate School Alumni Survey

Program Highlights

Integrated Christian perspective

The program helps you develop a working theology of justice that informs and integrates with your professional social work practice.

Strong research emphasis

Evidence-based best practices informed by scholarly research are used in applied social work settings in diverse communities, and are combined with innovative and creative strategies to foster sustainable change.

Advanced standing option

Students who have a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from a CSWE accredited institution can complete the MSW program’s advanced standing option in 15 months. Students with a bachelor’s degree other than a BSW can complete the full program in 24 months.

Distinctive emphases

The curriculum centers on ecological systems theory, focusing on the advancement of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice. Coursework and field study embrace the reciprocal relationship between the natural world and the human experience.

High relevance

Exploration of issues related to equity, justice, and oppression prepares students to face the most pressing societal concerns of our day.

Rich tradition

Bethel's MSW program is built on the strong foundation of our longstanding BSW program, fully accredited since 1981. Bethel BSW graduates consistently have higher pass rates than the national average on the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) social work licensure exam.

Social Work in Diverse Field Settings

Bethel’s social work department has built a strong reputation in wide-based, diverse field settings. You’ll be fully prepared to work toward systemic change, impacting the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities.

Skills

Learn how to:

  • Address complex social issues such as poverty, systemic violence, human neglect, trafficking, child welfare, trauma, mental health, health disparities, environmental racism, and social systems reform
  • Explore concepts of theology, race, and equity to address social, economic, and environmental injustice
  • Apply critical concepts related to trauma and mental health to social work practice
  • Apply your training in all contexts, micro to macro
  • Seek justice in innovative ways—in wide-based, diverse field settings
  • Apply research and evidence-based practice to social work contexts and diverse community settings to impact sustainable change
  • Integrate inclusive and bias-free language in your scholarly work and professional practice

Employers

Our graduates can work at places like:

  • Public schools
  • Hospice
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Adoption agencies
  • Child/adult protection
  • Health systems
  • Mental health clinics
  • Trauma centers
  • Agencies supporting refugees, the homeless, and youth
  • Nonprofit and for-profit agencies

Careers

Our graduates can apply their education as:

  • Substance use and recovery treatment counselors
  • Mental health counselors
  • Marriage and family therapists
  • Medical social workers
  • School social workers
  • Foster care social workers
  • Child and family therapists
  • Social and community service managers
  • Social work teachers
  • Policy analysts
  • School and career counselors
  • Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists
  • CBT, DBT, SE therapists
  • Health educators
  • Hospice workers
  • Domestic violence advocates
  • Child protection workers
  • Adult protection workers

Program Accreditation

Students must have graduated from a program accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (CSWE) to be eligible to pursue social work licensure. Bethel University’s BSW program has been accredited since 1981. Bethel is currently pursuing candidacy with CSWE for accreditation for its Master of Social Work program. CSWE states that accreditation applies retroactively to program graduates once it is obtained, but students should check with their state social work board to verify that they will be eligible to apply for licensure in their state if they graduate from a program before it is accredited. The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) provides helpful information regarding licensure requirements by state. It is the student's responsibility to verify licensing requirements with their state social work board. In Minnesota, temporary licenses are available to students graduating from a social work degree program in candidacy status.

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