Social work is more than helping people in need. It’s about bringing hope and working toward justice.
The Social Work Program prepares students to work compassionately with clients to understand strengths, assess needs, and provide intervention and resources. Here you will learn about human rights, ethical practice, social justice, and reconciliation from a deeply rooted Christian faith perspective so you can bring hope to individuals and communities locally and abroad.
Majors, Minors, and Programs
|Social Welfare Studies Minor||Minor|
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Promoting the Well-being of Community Members
The Social Work Program will prepare you with the knowledge and skills to work with individuals, families, groups, or communities. Through coursework and hands-on experience, you’ll develop the skills to recognize strengths, assess needs, and provide intervention and resources in a supportive yet challenging environment. Practicum study will give you real-world social work experience, preparing you for immediate entry into the social work field upon graduation. This program also equips you for graduate-level social work education, including 1-year Advanced Standing MSW programs. You’ll acquire social work knowledge, values, and skills that promote the well-being of people and communities. You’ll also integrate a Christian faith and justice perspective that honors the dignity and worth of all persons. It’s about taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, so we can accomplish incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.
0th in Social Work Degree Guide's "20 High-value BSW Degrees in Metro Areas with Top Salaries for Social Workers 2014"
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Professional practice experience
Learn to incorporate ethics and compassion with strength and resiliency as you work with client systems. Graduates can be licensed and enter the job market immediately upon graduation.
Ability to incorporate diversity
Build leaderships skills to promote reconciliation in advocating for human rights and social and economic justice.
You’ll integrate a Christian faith and justice perspective that honors the dignity and worth of all persons to make a positive impact on the world.
Small class sizes
Support through learning with a community of peers and faculty that allow for exploration and connection to your personal passions and interests as you develop your career.
Grounding in the liberal arts
Here, you’ll gain an understanding of people in their environment. Study a well-rounded broad framework of biological, social, and behavioral sciences for an informed social work perspective.
Critical thinking skills
Gain the skills for prioritizing needs, following best practices, applying research to your practice, and successful preparation for further education.
The faculty encouraged and challenged me to not settle for good enough. They fostered strong personal character alongside becoming a strong social worker. Their approach to persevere through challenges impacted my work ethic in all levels of social work.Stephen Horn '10
Current job: Case Management Supervisor at Pinnacle Services
While abroad, God broke my heart for the injustices happening in the lives of women. The support and mentoring I received from the department taught me to speak and act strongly against injustice, offering healing hope to the hurting.Emily Defenbaugh '13
Current job: Women's Advocate at 360 Communities, Lewis Home
The Social Work program at Bethel helped me combine my passions for learning about society and culture at a global level, and for helping individuals by coming alongside them in purposeful ways. It is so meaningful to be a partner in people's stories and lives.Katy (Stemler) Radloff '11
Current job: Program Supervisor, New American Services at Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis
What can I do with a social work major?
Social Work graduates work in schools, hospitals, mental health facilities, nursing homes, international settings, and adoption agencies.
Our social work graduates work as:
- Community organizers
- Case managers
- Social policy makers and researchers
- Administrators and managers
- Residential treatment counselors
- Homeless shelter staff members
- Child and family welfare personnel
- Public health workers
- Educators in special education
- Domestic violence program advocates
Graduate schools our alumni have attended:
- University of Minnesota
- University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine University
- Augsburg College
- University of Michigan
- Washington University, George Warren School of Social Work
Our alumni study:
- Social work
- Special education