Rebecca Clark, Academic Chair, Associate Professor
Amy Crossland, Associate Professor
Cayce Watson, Associate Professor and Practicum Coordinator
“From life’s beginning to its end, from the first cry to the last smile, social workers touch the world…and Christian social workers touch the world for God.”
The mission of the social work program is to prepare students to touch the world for God as competent, compassionate generalist social workers who exhibit Christ-likeness through interpersonal sensitivity, sacrificial service, academic excellence, professional passion and personal integrity.
The Department of Social Work and Sociology offers a major in social work, a minor in social welfare and a minor in sociology.
Lipscomb’s social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the only national accrediting body for social work education. Because of this accreditation, students are eligible to apply for Advanced Standing Master of Science in Social Work programs.
Lipscomb students earn the Bachelor of Social Work degree, rather than the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree. Thus, social work students take the math, science, and humanities required for general education. They do not need additional hours of math or science required for the B.S. or language required for the B.A. degree. Lipscomb social work students do not need additional hours of math or science beyond the general education requirements for the B.S. or music, art or philosophy for the B.A. degree. Lipscomb social work graduates’ credentials are evident on their degrees, making applying and interviewing for employment a simpler process.
Lipscomb students earn over 500 hours of supervised practice experience during their time in the program. This is earned in service learning experiences, as well as in two field placements as seniors. The social work program has relationships with numerous agencies in the Nashville and surrounding area. Recent Lipscomb social work students have been placed in schools, hospitals, counseling agencies, foster care and adoption agencies, long-term care or nursing facilities, crisis pregnancy services, teen shelters, juvenile court, domestic violence shelters and others.
Lipscomb social work faculty and students have participated in mission efforts across the state, across the country and countries around the world. In recent years, social work students have participated in or led international mission trips to Guatemala, Africa, Australia and Honduras. In addition to teaching about Christ, students on these trips have served children in orphanages, elderly people, poor families and people in need of medical care.
The social work program is housed in Lipscomb’s Ezell Center. Students benefit from classrooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including an Interviewing and Recording Skills Lab with stationary recording equipment and two-way mirror for observation.
According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, social workers are the nation’s largest group of mental health providers. Federal law and the National Institute of Health consider social work as one of five core mental health professions. Over 40 percent of all disaster mental health volunteers trained by the Red Cross are social workers.
Sociology courses are available primarily in support of general education requirements, as well as nursing, social work, and education majors. These courses are designed to acquaint students with the nature of human relations and society, as well as provide them an understanding of society’s essential structures and processes.
Social work graduates provide counseling, crisis intervention, case management and support services to individuals, families, groups and communities through employment in:
- Child and family service agencies
- Nursing homes
- Senior citizen centers
- Preschools, day care, and school settings
- Children’s homes
- Foster care
- Residential treatment
- Home health care
- Administrative and sales work
- Personnel work with public and private organizations
- Agencies providing child and adult protective services
- Pursuit of advanced degrees in the medical, legal and business fields
Admission to the Social Work Program
In accordance with CSWE accreditation standards, the social work program has a formal admission process, which typically occurs in the student’s junior year, after the completion of SW 1103 , SW 2313 and SW 3533 . Admission must be obtained prior to a student’s entry into SW 3623 and SW 3632 , which are taken in the fall of the senior year. Applications for admission to the social work program are available from the social work program director. A completed admission packet includes an application; a brief autobiography utilizing the outline contained in the application; references from three non-social work faculty, staff or administrators (or approved employers or faculty from transfer institutions); and the summary results of the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory taken with instructions provided by the University Counseling Center (without cost to the student).
Prerequisites: Social Work course descriptions listed on the following pages include required prerequisites. Because of course sequencing, students are advised to complete SW 1103 , Introduction to Social Work, prior to the fall of their junior year. Failure to do so may delay a student’s graduation. Since most Lipscomb students have several elective hours, students interested in the helping professions (psychology, family studies, education, counseling, nursing, family ministry, etc.) should consider enrolling in the SW 1103 course as an elective during their freshman or sophomore year. Doing so would prevent a graduation delay in the event the student later wished to change majors and earn the B.S.W. degree.
Program of Study Requirements