Bethel Launches Master of Social Work Program

Built on the strong foundation of excellence in its Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program, Bethel’s Master of Social Work (MSW) provides advanced preparation for graduates to become powerful advocates for hope, justice, and systemic change.

By Michelle Westlund '83, senior content specialist

November 02, 2020 | 10 a.m.

MSW Launch

Bethel’s MSW program emphasizes the natural intersection of faith and justice.

Bethel has launched a new Master of Social Work (MSW) program in two phases over the next two years. In fall 2021, a full MSW program begins—students with a degree other than a BSW can complete this program in 24 months. In summer 2022, the program’s advanced standing option launches, providing accelerated preparation for students with a BSW from a CSWE accredited institution—they can complete an MSW in just 15 months.

In keeping with Bethel’s commitment to affordable, flexible programs for busy adults, scholarship opportunities will help students pursue the MSW. Up to a $3,500 scholarship is available to students who start the full MSW program in fall 2021, and up to a $2,300 scholarship is available to students who start the advanced standing MSW in summer 2022.

Bethel’s MSW builds on the strong foundation of excellence in its undergraduate Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program, with integrated faculty between the programs, significant faculty-student collaboration, and a strong research emphasis. Bethel’s BSW students have placed first in a national social work conference and consistently rank higher then the national average on pass rates for the social work licensure exam. 

The MSW provides the next step in preparing students for advanced ethical and professional social work practice and licensure. Centered around the advancement of human rights, Bethel’s MSW program seeks to promote social, economic, and environmental justice and empowers graduates to work toward systemic change, impacting the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities. The program is academically rigorous and research-based, with opportunities to collaborate with faculty on research for presentation locally and nationally. 

As students progress in the program, its uniqueness will begin to emerge, says Eydie Dyke-Shypulski, program director and associate professor of social work. “Our goal is to create something unlike other MSW programs,” she explains. “We want to offer a program that is centered around the advancement of human rights, and promotes social, economic, and environmental justice.”

Also unique to the program is its faith component. A theology of justice course will promote the exploration and integration of faith and social work practice. “People of faith practice social work as an expression of their commitment to recognize the dignity and worth of every human being regardless of that person’s beliefs or practices,” says Shypulski. The MSW is more relevant than ever as students are prepared to face the most pressing societal concerns of our day. Exploration of issues related to equity, racism, and oppression equips students to seek justice in innovative ways, in wide-based, diverse field settings.

Students 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—and creatively apply research and evidence-based practice to foster sustainable change. Ultimately, graduates are prepared for professional social work practice and state licensure and are equipped to be powerful advocates for hope and change.


Bethel's Master of Social Work Program

Advocate for hope and change in the face of society’s most pressing social concerns. Bethel’s strong reputation in wide-based, diverse field settings will open doors for your work in places like public schools, hospice, domestic violence shelters, adoption, child/adult protection, health systems, mental health clinics, trauma centers, and agencies supporting refugees, the homeless, and youth.

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