Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1982, the B.A. in Social Work (B.S.W.) provides eligibility to practice as a licensed social worker, serving individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations. Our 63-credit major includes classroom and field courses along with select biological, social, and behavioral science foundational support courses.
Why should I study social work?
Employment for social workers is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Social Work Program prepares students for professional generalist social work practice and to work compassionately with clients to understand strengths, assess needs, and provide intervention and resources. Through the Social Work Program at Bethel University, 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.
What can I do with this degree?
Employment opportunities include case management, counseling, and advocacy positions in:
- Homeless shelters
- Substance abuse rehab centers
- Disability services
- Foster care and adoption
- Public health
- Child and Family Services
- Domestic violence programs
- Children’s and adult mental health
- Emergency services
Our graduates also gain employment in positions of:
- Social policy and research
- Administration and management
- Human trafficking prevention
- Community organizing
- Violence and abuse prevention
- Crisis intervention
Our program prepares you to easily transition to graduate-level social work education. Many graduates go on to MSW programs, receiving advanced-standing to complete their MSW in as little as one year of full-time study.
What skills will I develop?
Bethel social work graduates are prepared for immediate entry into careers in social work.
- social work knowledge, values, and skills to promote the well-being of individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations
- leadership skills to promote reconciliation and advocacy for human rights, and social and economic justice
- incorporate Christian faith and justice perspective that honors the dignity and worth of all persons to make a positive impact on the world
What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?
In-depth Internship Experience
Students complete more than 600 hours in community-based agencies and organizations, applying classroom knowledge and theory. The field practicum equips students to enter the workforce with confidence and competence and gain experience in a wide range of social work areas including: homelessness, poverty, mental health, abuse, illness, and family stress.
Participate and learn alongside your peers in additional ways outside the classroom. This club will connect you with ways to live out social work practices on-campus and in the community.
Experience Social Work Abroad
Bethel is one of the only programs to offer undergraduate international social work study opportunities. Travel to and live in Guatemala, Mexico, Uganda, or London to gain a global perspective on the needs and challenges of international work and increase your cultural intelligence. Visit the Off-campus Programs site for more information.
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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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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
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 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