The History of Social Work at LBC
Lancaster Bible College first started offering concentrated courses in Social Work in 2004. Since that time, the Program has seen an increase in interest and enrollment within the program concentration. In 2012, LBC started the pursuit of accreditation of the Social Work Program with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Social Work at LBC
The Social Work Program integrates the generalist practice courses required for a BSW with additional concentration in Bible/Theology courses and Arts & Sciences electives. These courses are specifically designed to help the student develop the head, heart and hands in serving within a ministry and social service context.
In February 2014, CSWE granted initial Candidacy of the Social Work Program at LBC, the first major step of a 3 year-long process of accreditation. This process will engage faculty, staff, students, the community and CSWE in the process of ensuring the educational programming in the Social Work Program meets national standards. The Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) sets the framework for excellence in BSW and MSW education. All curriculum and field education requirements must be coordinated in such a way as to ensure competency in the student. The Program mission, goals, objectives, benchmarks, and measurements will be transparently provided to all constituents. View the Current Program Assessment Outcomes.
Assessment of competencies and outcome measurements are measured on an annual basis. The Program must ensure that it is meeting certain benchmarks as well as students are meeting required competencies. Click here to view the most recent assessment data.
The Lancaster Bible College Social Work Program exists to equip students to serve society and the Church through generalist social work practice, and lay the foundation for graduate studies in the field of Social Work within the context of a biblical worldview.
Program Goals and Objectives
The following goals and objectives have been identified specific to the Social Work Program:Goal 1: Prepare students for generalist practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities
- Program Objective 1: Engage in contexts within the broader society.
- Program Objective 2: Summarize the generalist practice approach to understanding human behavior in light of a biblical worldview.
- Program Objective 3: Demonstrate the planned change process with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.
Goal 2: Develop student understanding of policy and practice, with an emphasis on advocacy which advances human rights.
- Program Objective 4: Develop a missional mindset with a specific interest in human and economic justice.
- Program Objective 5: Evaluate policy and practice as it relates to human rights and economic justice.
Goal 3: Prepare students for culturally relevant and competent practice with diverse populations, valuing human relationships in every context.
- Program Objective 6: Demonstrate relevant cultural language, behaviors, and attitudes toward diverse populations and contexts.
- Program Objective 7: Value the human experience in all contexts engaging in relationships in life, ministry and work.
Goal 4: Recognize the value of self-awareness opportunities in the classroom, in the community and other interpersonal relationships, instilling in the students a desire to value human relationships in every context.
- Program Objective 8: Interpret human well-being along the continuum of the helping relationship.
- Program Objective 9: Prepare for work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities through the continual process of assessing oneself.
Goal 5: Prepare students to engage in lifelong learning and professional development through research informed practice and practice informed research.
- Program Objective 10: Interpret social work through the lens of practice informed research.
- Program Objective 11: Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into his/her knowledge base and value system.
Goal 6: Interpret social work knowledge, values and skills through a biblical worldview.
- Program Objective 12: Formulate a biblical worldview as demonstrated in life and ministry.
- Program Objective 13: Synthesize the strengths based perspective with a biblical approach to understanding people and the world.
A Biblical worldview provides a lens through which to see the world. It informs understanding, perspective and approach to life, people and problems. A biblical worldview provides the building blocks of helping in the social sciences so when we speak about poverty, helping the widows or orphans or meeting the needs of others, the Bible provides us guidance, direction about the value of these pursuits and the benefit that it has for communities. A biblical worldview is other focused and desires to pursue God’s happiness, not our own.
Students are presented with a variety of learning opportunities to understand how a worldview serves as the foundation for personal reflection in preparation for work in Social Work. Lancaster Bible College prepares students to integrate biblical principles of love, care, compassion, service, addressing injustice, mercy, and many other constructs when preparing for work within a social work context. Students are instructed on the core values of social work and their synthesis with biblical values.
The LBC Social Work Program values the strengths-based perspective that has been developed and communicated by Dennis Saleebey (2002) which states the following:
- Every individual, group, family, and community has strengths.
- Trauma and abuse, illness, and struggle may be injurious but they may also be sources of challenge and opportunity.
- Assume that you do not know the upper limits of the capacity to grow and change and take individual, group, and community aspirations seriously.
- We best serve clients by collaborating with them.
- Every environment is full of resources
- The context of caring and caregiving supports strengths and solution-finding.
The Social Work Program offers foundational level courses and practice courses along with the integration into the larger LBC context with bible/theology and Arts & Science courses. The foundational courses of the Program consists of Introduction to Social Work, Policy, Diversity and Human Behavior and the Social Environments I and II. Upon entrance into the Social Work practice level, students enter into 2 semester of a Junior Practicum in the Practice with Individuals and Practice with Families and Groups courses. Students take various electives in Social Work to include Child Welfare, Addictions, etc. Students prepare for research by completing Statistics, Research Design and then Practice with Organizations and Communities. Students enter their intensive Field Education their Senior Year where they must complete a minimum of 420 hours within a social service context.
BSW Program Requirements
Students must apply to be admitted to the Social Work Program upon completion of the foundation courses. They must demonstrate good standing within the College and have demonstrated readiness for practice level coursework. Students who are unable to meet the GPA requirement of 2.5 or greater may be able to minor in Human Services within the Counseling and Social Work Department or be admitted provisionally to the Social Work Program. Students must complete the required clearances to enter practice coursework (child abuse, criminal, and FBI). Students will be evaluated their Junior Year for admission to Field Education.
Beginning in the Junior year and continuing throughout the Senior year, students will engage in field placements that are relevant to Social Work, and will complete 480 hours of service. During the Junior Block Placement, the student will complete two semesters of 30 hours of shadowing in the field. These hours will be in line with the Practice I and Practice II courses as part of the course responsibilities. These hours will not count toward the total 420 hours required for graduation. Field placements must be approved by the student’s academic advisor.
Social Work Club
All students at LBC are eligible to join the Social Work Club. The Social Work Club provides an opportunity for students to organize on their behalf, be involved in social service outreach on the LBC Campus and within the community. The Club has leadership opportunities for social work majors. Social Work students who meet certain academic and social service requirements are also eligible to be inducted into the Phi Alpha honor society.
Social Work Faculty
Social work faculty hold graduate degrees in Social Work and have practice experience in a variety of settings. There are 2 full time social work faculty and several adjunct professors. Each full-time social work faculty member is an academic advisor for social work students.
Careers and Placement Rates
Social Work is a growing and thriving profession that offers a wide variety and availability of occupational careers. It is a profession that allows our students to fulfill the biblical mandates of Matthew 24 to “care for the poor, the sick, the homeless and the least of these”. According to the most recent publication by the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will be due to an increase in demand for health care and social services but will vary by specialty“(March 2012). The Social Work Program has an excellent job placement rate. Many students obtain entry-level positions in their field of interest. In addition, students are able to enter into graduate studies in Social Work where specialization can occur.
In Spring, 2014, the Social Work Program developed a 10-member advisory board which consists of community members who have an interest in the educational experiences of LBC students. They will provide oversight to some of the developments within the Program as well as become a vital part in the CSWE commissioner visits for accreditation which occurs every Fall during the Candidacy status.