Social Work Major
The Case for Social Work
Social work is a human service profession focused on enhancing the social functioning of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social Work majors learn to impact circles of influence in an effort to advance social justice.
We integrate discipleship into the classroom to prepare you for a social work career of advocating for the forgotten, ignored, and oppressed—the “least of these” as Jesus called them in Matthew 25. Taylor’s Social Work professors integrate Christian values with professional values to challenge worldviews, personal beliefs, and societal constructs.
Our nationally accredited Social Work program is designed to prepare future social workers for beginning-level generalist practice, including formal and informal lifelong learning.
Studying Social Work
Taylor prepares you with in-class education and hands-on service experiences that will allow you to make a difference and incorporate your faith with your everyday work. Our Social Work curriculum breaks down into five content areas:
- human behavior and the social environment
- field instruction
Individual courses integrate social justice work, trauma-informed approaches, psychology, family work, sociology, and biology, allowing you to gain a robust, interdisciplinary understanding of what it means to be a social worker.
Looking to add to your degree? Minors that pair well with a Social Work major include Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Autism Studies & Intervention, Psychology, Public Health, and Entrepreneurship.
Putting Theory to Practice at Home and Abroad
Taylor students receive a wide range of practical experiences where they can apply the skills and theories learned in the classroom to real-life situations.
- All Social Work majors begin by completing 30 hours of volunteer work with organizations like prison ministries, social justice advocacy programs, mental health facilities, churches, nursing homes, schools, and after-school programs.
- Students develop their professional network during junior and senior practicums in the geographical areas that interest them, including traveling abroad during Jterm.
- Senior Social Work majors complete a 480-hour practicum in hospitals, refugee settlement organizations, local schools, and more. (The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) requires 400 hours, but our program gives students an even greater opportunity for real-world experience.)
Interested in Social Work?
- Do you enjoy working with people? Social workers interact with people from a variety of different backgrounds and configurations such as individuals, families, and groups.
- Do you like to see the ‘big picture’? Social workers work for the well-being of communities and organizations.
- Do you care deeply about the well-being of our society? Social workers advocate for change to address unmet needs.
- Do you have experience or interest in working with children or older adults, or people who are differently-abled?
- Are you interested in helping people overcome challenges with mental health, addiction, abuse, or poverty?
- Have you personally witnessed the impact of social workers on the lives of people?
- Are you looking for a flexible career that operates in a variety of settings?
- Do you enjoy problem-solving and managing multiple tasks?
- Are you patient, resourceful, and a good communicator? Are you passionate about making a difference in the world?
If you've answered yes to many of these questions, Social Work might be the path for you! Contact us below to learn more.
And in the meantime, check out this TED Talk by USC professor Dr. Anna Scheyett describing the ways social workers serve their communities.
Did You Know? Stats About Social Work
Social workers are in demand all over the country! These numbers will give you an idea of the scope of this growing field.
- The projected job growth for social workers is faster than average: up 10-14% over the next 10 years.
- There are hundreds of social workers in national, state and local elected office, including: Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI), Senator Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Re. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53), and Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29).
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW’s) are the primary source of psychosocial support for communities throughout the United States.
- The US Department of Veterans Affairs employs more than 13,000 professional social workers.
- According to the National Association of Social Workers: Social workers provide most of the country’s mental health counseling and therapy services. That is: 60% of professionals are clinically trained social workers, compared to 23% psychologists, 10% psychiatrists and 5% psychiatric nurses.
- More than 40% of all disaster mental health volunteers trained by the American Red Cross are professional social workers.
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits Taylor University, meaning your degree will prepare you for a social work licensure valid in all 50 states. With a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Taylor, you can move into a professional position upon graduation or complete a master’s in social work in one year.
Social Work Curriculum & Degree Options
Students interested in course descriptions and academic policies can check out our Undergraduate Catalog here.
Contact the Social Work Department
Deborah Stiles, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Director of Social Work Program
Greta Kiers, Program Assistant