Bethel’s Master in Social Work Program Receives CSWE Accreditation

Bethel’s MSW program secures prestigious CSWE accreditation, signaling a top-notch education and unlocking fresh avenues for students’ professional paths.

By Macey Heath, social media content specialist

March 14, 2024 | 4 p.m.

social work

Bethel’s Master in Social Work (MSW) program successfully achieved accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), marking a significant milestone for the department. 

The accreditation, secured through a rigorous peer-review process, ensures that the program aligns with the highest standards in social work education. It certifies that the program has a clear mission and objectives that are consistent with the expectations of social work practice. Earning CSWE accreditation shows the program's dedication to public accountability, transparency, and adherence to educational policy and accreditation standards. 

Eydie Shypulski, chair of the Department of Social Work and the MSW program director, emphasizes the significance of the achievement. “Obtaining full accreditation through the Council of Social Work Education is the pinnacle for social work programs in higher education. This means any student interested in our program can trust our curriculum, faculty, and mission. It also means employers and the public can trust our graduates to provide ethical and effective social work practice that honors the dignity and worth of all people.” 

The accreditation process, spanning over three and a half years, involved meticulous planning, research, data gathering, approvals, and compliance with CSWE standards. It began with initial research in the 2016-2017 academic year and culminated in formal approval just recently. Shypulski explains, “Over 4,500 pages were submitted to CSWE in preparation for full accreditation, which was granted to Bethel’s MSW program on March 11, 2024.” 

Bethel’s MSW program equips graduates to address various societal challenges, with licensed social workers playing a crucial role in various contexts across the nation. “Our licensed professional social workers will be well equipped to work to create change whether it is through clinical practice/psychotherapy, work in schools, hospitals, clinics, shelters, policy work, or non-profit leadership. Licensed social workers, particularly those at the licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW) level, have grown to be the largest single group of mental health care providers in Minnesota: At last count, they made up 75 percent of the state's mental health care providers,” Shypulski says.

“It is an incredible and emerging field that provides a vast array of opportunities to work across diverse systems—with individuals, families, groups, and communities—to support the advancement of meaningful and sustainable change."

— Eydie Shypulski

In a world full of many stressors, graduates of Bethel’s MSW will be properly prepared to go out and create meaningful change, positively impacting the health and wellbeing of others. “It is an incredible and emerging field that provides a vast array of opportunities to work across diverse systems—with individuals, families, groups, and communities—to support the advancement of meaningful and sustainable change,” Shypulski says. “As licensed professional social workers at the MSW level, they will have their choice of how they want to engage in making meaningful change! Whether that be one-on-one with helping individuals change their lives for the better, or at the highest levels of government, moving change forward through policy, and at all ranges in between.”

Social work education at Bethel is viewed as a powerful integration of faith and vocation. “Pursuing an MSW at Bethel is a way to engage in a deeper understanding of issues related to justice, economics, social systems, theology, and what God has to say about justice. In a society that is marred by the deepening divisions between the poor and the rich, we must respond. As followers of Christ, we are called to break the bonds that bind the poor, to advance the common good, to stand for justice through our work to dismantle the systems that perpetuate oppressive structures,” Shypulski says. 

Bethel’s CSWE accreditation not only affirms the program’s excellence but also signals its commitment to producing socially responsible graduates who can positively impact diverse communities across the nation.  

Advance your impact.

In Bethel’s social work program, you’ll become empowered to work toward justice and systemic change while aiding the health and well-being of others. 

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