Riverside – California Baptist University is set to offer a Doctor of Social Work program beginning in the fall 2020 semester.
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences has enjoyed enormous success in its Master of Social Work program, said Dr. Krystal Hays, director of the doctoral program. However, there continues to be a gap in educational opportunities for social workers and other human services professionals who want to take their careers to the next level and serve as leaders in the field, she added.
“The goals and values of the social work profession are very much in line with the mission and vision of the university. Social workers devote their careers to advocacy and service for the most vulnerable and oppressed among us,” Hays said.
The two-year Doctor of Social Work program is designed for working professionals who possess a master’s degree in a human services field. Ideal candidates will have several years of experience in the field of human services and a desire to move into executive, leadership, teaching or scholarship roles, Hays said.
Students can continue to work full time while pursing the degree. They will complete most of the coursework remotely in synchronous classes each week. Students will come to campus twice a year for in-person residency intensives, where they will spend four days with instructors, peers and nationally recognized guest speakers.
There are only 14 other DSW programs in the country, Hays said, and CBU’s program has several distinguishing features. The program is designed to support accessibility for those already serving as professionals in the field and can be completed via a distance format in as little as two years. Further, the program’s broad focus allows students to gain skills in direct practice, leadership, research and teaching.
“Also, our DSW program is one of the only positioned within an explicitly Christian context,” Hays said. “Students in the DSW program at CBU will learn about Christ-centered justice and church-based social movements that will provide models to help them effectively and justly address current social problems.”