35 Best Value Christian Colleges with CSWE-accredited Programs 2015

Social Work Degree Guide - Top Christian CollegesSWDG Staff
August 2015

In this updated version of the best Christian colleges for social work ranking, we revised our approach in order to better encapsulate the most reputable schools for religious students. The previous article fell short in two ways: First, it did not select from a comprehensive list of Christian schools, and so some highly eligible institutions were not even considered in the ranking. Second, it emphasized accreditation but did not limit the ranking exclusively to CSWE-accredited colleges. In retrospect, we considered that this might issue a disservice to social work students who need to attend an accredited school.

In determining any “best value” ranking, it is incredibly difficult to ascertain a set of factors that will elucidate the very best educational options for every student. For example, some factors – such as tuition and student-to-faculty ratio – are external to social work programs but are nonetheless important for many applicants. By the same token, people inherently differ in their priorities and so it is unlikely that a universal list of “top schools” even exists. As such, we encourage our readers to keep in mind the possibility that there are other excellent colleges out there that did not make it onto this list, and that students should consult their own personal objectives when making a decision about their education.

For the purposes of this ranking, we limited our pool to only CSWE-accredited programs. All of the colleges have at least one accredited degree option (BSW or MSW) and many have both. We also double-checked schools’ religious roots individually, using the “Affiliation” attribute on the universities’ Wikipedia pages as a guide. From a list of more than 150 schools, we determined the final ranking using these indicators:

Tuition (Weighted 10%): As an “external” indicator, we emphasized this category less than others, but wanted to take into account the importance of cost to many of our readers. The lower the tuition rate, the more points a school could receive. Although many of the colleges offer both BSW and MSW degree options, we used undergraduate tuition rates as reported on College Navigator in our ranking in order to be consistent. The one exception is Brigham Young University, which only has an MSW program.

Pay Scale Return on Investment (Weighted 15%): Given the importance of career preparation and success in any degree program, we used this data to help distinguish schools that produce highly accomplished graduates. This data is available on Pay Scale’s website and ranks the top 1,223 universities based on their 20-year ROI.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio (Weighted 20%): We used this indicator (with data gathered from U.S. News) to pull out the schools that foster intimacy and a sense of community on campus, as well as promote accessibility in academic circles through small class sizes. These features often characterize religious institutions and can be important to spiritual students who desire a secure, supportive environment.

CSWE Accreditation (Weighted 25%): Although we limited the entire list to schools accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, we expanded the significance of this factor by giving schools points based on the number of accredited degree programs they offer. In other words, the ranking favors colleges with both BSW and MSW accredited programs.

Accreditation Date (Weighted 30%): We further examined the importance of accreditation by looking at the year in which each institution received accreditation. The longer a school has been accredited (1974 is the earliest possible year) the more points it received. If at any point a school lapsed in its accreditation status, we used the later date – i.e. the year it earned accreditation back. For schools with multiple accredited programs, we used the BSW accreditation date in order to be consistent.

Lastly, we modified the article by eliminating the category in which we considered social work courses that incorporate religious teachings. This is because CSWE-accredited institutions adhere to a fairly similar set of classes, and so it made little difference to consider slight variations in coursework across institutions. Furthermore, to include this in the ranking may have favored colleges that focus more on Biblical Studies than Social Work, and we wanted to make sure that the quality of the BSW and MSW programs were our top concern.

Ultimately, we tallied up the scores in each weighted category and gave each college a total number of points out of 200. The scores for the schools listed below range from about 117 to 170, and they all more than meet the criteria for “best value” Christian college social work departments.


Briar Cliff University Christian College Social Work Degrees

35. Briar Cliff University

Sioux City, Iowa

Catholic

Website
While Briar Cliff University does not offer a Christian college MSW, its comprehensive undergraduate program will more than satisfy students who seek a bachelor’s degree. You can earn a BSW on campus or online, and you even have the option to tack on a minor in Gerontology. As a Catholic institution, BCU also highly encourages its students to embark on mission trips, which could take them to Guatemala, Honduras, or Jerusalem Farm in Kansas City. On campus, organizations like Students for Openness, Understanding, Respect, Compassion, and Equality (S.O.U.R.C.E.), which promotes the ideals of Catholic acceptance regarding students’ sexual orientations; BCUnited, which encourages awareness of students’ cultural backgrounds; the Red Cross Club; and the Social Work Club are sure to keep you busy all year long!

Tuition: $27,202/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12
Score: 117.64

Xavier University Christian College Social Work Degree

34. Xavier University

Cincinnati, Ohio

Catholic

Website
The Christian college social work department at Xavier University refers to the “Xavier Advantage” for BSW students. These benefits includes supervised practicums in your senior year of study, expert faculty with professional experience, and numerous extracurricular opportunities – including the Phi Alpha National Honors Society for qualified students. Uniquely, Xavier can also help undergraduates prepare for the Licensed Social Work exam (although they will only be eligible for licensed employment within Ohio). Xavier is also one of the oldest accredited programs in the nation, having earned full curriculum approval just six years after the CSWE started issuing accreditations.

Tuition: $33,960/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 834
Accreditation Date: 1980
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12
Score: 118.48

La Salle University Christian College Social Work Degree

33. La Salle University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Catholic

Website
At first glance, La Salle’s high tuition rates might seem like enough to dismiss the school from consideration. But the statistics do plenty to shed light on why La Salle University is one of the top Christian colleges for social work. The university’s BSW program has held CSWE accreditation for more than 30 years, and Pay Scale reports a 20-year return on investment that is in the top 300 of all colleges nationwide. Small class sizes and interesting professors make learning fun and engaging, and you’ll have no problem making the most of your tuition money through courses in Relationships and Sexuality, Social Welfare Policy, Preparation for Professional Practice, and Professional Considerations in Social Work.

Tuition: $39,800/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 267
Accreditation Date: 1982
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13
Score: 119.66

Barry University Christian College Social Work Degree

32. Barry University

Miami, Florida

Catholic

Website
Barry University is one of the more comprehensive universities on this list, with accredited bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees available within its Christian college social work department. The BSW features field experiences and service learning opportunities, as well as classes in Trauma and Resiliency, Human Development, and Social Work Practice, among others. The MSW tackles advanced topics in Psychopathology, Clinical Practice, Leadership, and Advocacy, and provides additional avenues for field experiences. Barry’s student-to-faculty ratio is just 13:1, and both its baccalaureate and graduate programs have received CSWE accreditation. Pay Scale also includes BU on its list of top ROI colleges, noting a 20-year return on investment of more than $230,000.

Tuition: $28,160/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 610
Accreditation Date: 2002
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13
Score: 119.74

Bethel University Christian College Social Work Degree

31. Bethel University

St. Paul, Minnesota

Evangelical Christian

Website
The Christian college Social Work Department at Bethel University is one of the best, providing unique experiences and engaging classes that make the price of tuition well worth it. During their time as a BSW program member at Bethel, students complete 600 hours of community based service; work in field practicums that expose them to poverty, stress, illness, and abuse in the surrounding area; and apply for leadership opportunities on campus. Students can also practice their social work skills abroad in countries such as India, Uganda, or Mexico. Graduates tend to be open-minded and deep thinkers, more than 95% of whom report engaging diversity and applying human behavior knowledge in their practices after graduation.

Tuition: $32,990/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 731
Accreditation Date: 1981
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12
Score: 120.12

Cairn University Christian College Social Work Degree

30. Cairn University

Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Christian

Website
The School of Social Work at Cairn University takes a direct approach to religious education, integrating faith-based values throughout the curriculum. The university attracts students who don’t want to just help others, but are also motivated “by the love and justice of Jesus Christ” to dedicate themselves to a helping profession. Class work covers everything from policy development to community development and advocacy, psychology and economics to research and group dynamics. While Cairn doesn’t offer an MSW program, its Christian college social work degree (BSW) is rigorous enough to prepare graduates for this next step. Many students choose to add a second major in Bible Studies, and there are plenty of related minors available as well – such as Psychology, Social Work, Youth and Family Ministry, and Intercultural Studies.

Tuition: $23,245/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13
Score: 120.84

Union University Christian College Social Work Degree

29. Union University

Jackson, Tennessee

Evangelical Christian

Website
Combining a liberal arts education with traditional religious values, Union University represents a Christian college social work program that will appeal to many students of faith. UU offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field, both of which have full approval from the Council on Social Work Education. The student-to-faculty ratio is just 11:1, so learners benefit from individualized attention and support that extends beyond the classroom. Potential classes include Faith-based Social Services, Families Across Cultures, Counseling Theories, and Populations at Risk. Many students at both the BSW and MSW levels also choose to take courses in research and complete engaging field practicums.

Tuition: $28,150/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1998
Student-Faculty Ratio: 11.4
Score: 120.88

Indiana Wesleyan University Christian College Social Work Degree

28. Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, Indiana

Evangelical Christian

Website
If you’re concerned about commuting or scheduling conflicts but still want to attend a Christian college social work program, Indiana Wesleyan offers the perfect solution. Its entire BSW program is available online, utilizing a “cohort” structure and rigorous curriculum, just like on-campus courses. Students who do well can earn Advanced Standing in an accredited MSW program, although Indiana Wesleyan University does not offer a graduate degree in the field. Small class sizes help students make the most of coursework in Minority Group Relations, Social Policy, Social Research, and numerous field placement and seminar options. The school’s 20-year ROI north of $210,000 is further proof that the curriculum positions students to achieve both personal satisfaction and financial success in their careers.

Tuition: $24,102/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 690
Accreditation Date: 1982
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14
Score: 123.36

Walla Walla University Christian College Social Work Degree

27. Walla Walla University

College Place, Washington

Seventh Day Adventist

Website
Walla Walla University goes above and beyond in its selection of social science degrees, making it one of the top Christian colleges for social work. In addition to accredited BSW and MSW options, WWU also offers a B.A. in Sociology (not CSWE-accredited). Small classes help students feel comfortable with their peers and encourage frank discussion between classmates of diverse backgrounds. Field practicums are a part of both levels of study, and the university publishes a “Field Focus” review every year that highlights students’ internships and gives new students ideas for their own off-campus work. The MSW, by contrast, is a two-year program that focuses on both general social work competencies as well as more advanced, real-world skills that people can use in their own practice.

Tuition: $25,866/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1979
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13
Score: 123.64

anderson social work

26. Anderson University

Anderson, Indiana

Church of God

The great minds behind Anderson University’s growth understand that to be a top Christian college for social work, they need to craft a program that appeals to applicants’ faith, personal values, and natural desire to help others. The school’s BSW holds CSWE accreditation and prepares graduates for entry-level positions in the counseling and psychology fields. Students have the freedom to work with adults or children, in family services or mental health facilities, and for secular or religious organizations once they earn their degree. Many AU students secure internships while still in undergrad, and some gain experience at the nearby Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture.

Tuition: $26,850/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 1143
Accreditation Date: 1979
Student-Faculty Ratio: 10.8
Score: 123.94

Spring Arbor University Christian College Social Work Degree

25. Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor, Michigan

Methodist

Website
In addition to offering an accredited undergraduate degree in Social Work, Spring Arbor University also includes a Christian college MSW (also accredited) that allows students to tackle advanced topics in the field. Graduate students can take classes at multiple sites throughout the state and even have the option to choose a “micro-concentration” in Clinical Orientation. In addition to traditional psychology classes and field practicums, SAU students also take an online course in “Ethics and Christianity’ that can help them determine the best way to combine their profession with their spiritual beliefs. SAU also has one of the least expensive tuition rates of any Christian college and has a top 200 ROI score, according to Pay Scale.

Tuition: $24,350/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 159
Accreditation Date: 1992
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15
Score: 124.38

Mount Mary University Christian College Social Work Degree

24. Mount Mary University

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Catholic

Website
As a Catholic institution, Mount Mary University has some different features than other Christian college social work programs. Many students enjoy MMU’s opportunities outside the classroom, which include three student organizations and honors societies specific to BSW majors, as well as an informative Social Work News newsletter. Undergraduates can also apply for special scholarships to offset the higher-than-average tuition costs. In terms of curriculum, this CSWE-accredited program includes traditional classes in Social Welfare Policies and Services, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and Developmental Psychology. Students also complete 500 hours of required fieldwork prior to graduation and complete “social action” and capstone projects that ready graduates for state certification.

Tuition: $25,852/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: 10
Score: 125.44

Bethel College Christian College Social Work Degree

23. Bethel College

North Newton, Kansas

Christian

Website
Bethel College defines social work as a career path dedicated to helping people “on the margins of society.” As such, it is important that professionals be well versed in such topics as criminal justice, domestic violence, addiction, policy change, and juvenile delinquency, among others. A strong liberal arts foundation provides the building blocks for this accredited BSW program. You’ll work on your communication skills, analytical thinking capabilities, and writing talent as a way to bolster your performance in career-specific coursework. Students can also earn a certificate in Conflict Resolution, work on an individualized senior thesis project, or travel abroad for adventures in experiential learning.

Tuition: $24,200/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: 10
Score: 136.44

Spalding University Christian College Social Work Degree

22. Spalding University

Louisville, Kentucky

Catholic

Website
Spalding University’s dual accreditation status, relatively affordable tuition, and long-standing position as a top Christian college for social work help earn it a spot on this ranking. Spalding has been accredited since the very beginning (1974) and has grown into a popular program for those who are passionate about promoting justice and peace. Classes consist of much more than stuffy lectures; you can attend workshops on social activism, listen to esteemed guest lecturers, or work with community organizations for credit. Students can also earn a certificate in Child Welfare, significantly increasing their chances of finding specialized work after graduation.

Tuition: $22,950/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: N/A
Score: 128.24

Buena Vista University Christian College Social Work Degree

21. Buena Vista University

Storm Lake, Iowa

Presbyterian

Website
Although Buena Vista University doesn’t offer a Christian college MSW, it does offer a fully accredited, comprehensive BSW. The undergraduate degree has a strong track record of success, and many go on to attend master’s programs at “world class institutions.” But whether you want to pursue higher education or go straight into the job market, you’ll be in good hands at BVU; internship opportunities and field experiences throughout the region help students acquire much-needed professional abilities. The university also emphasizes community service through such activities as the CROP Hunger Walk, victim services training, and trips to surrounding Native American reservations.

Tuition: $30,406/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 1187
Accreditation Date: 1981
Student-Faculty Ratio: 9
Score: 128.92

Harding University Christian College Social Work Degree

20. Harding University

Searcy, Arkansas

Christian

Website
The Christian college social work program at Harding University is as comprehensive as it is useful. The CSWE-accredited undergraduate degree covers every aspect of the social services spectrum, from substance abuse and homelessness to domestic violence, mental illness, physical disability, and everything in between. Harding also supports a range of on-campus organizations to help you build your extracurricular resume; join the National Social Work Honors Society, the National Association of Social Workers, or the North American Christians in Social Work group. In addition, the informal Social Work Club is great for those who want to gain new skills and socialize with like-minded students.

Tuition: $17,040/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 845
Accreditation Date: 1978
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15
Score: 129.5

Regis College Christian College Social Work Degree

19. Regis College

Weston, Massachusetts

Catholic

Website
Enjoy a religious education in one of the country’s busiest cities. Boston is known for its traditions, culture, festive energy, and yes – large Catholic population. Regis understands how to take advantage of its premier location and offers field placements to social work students at Boston Medical Center, the AIDS Action Committee, DARE Family Services, St. Mary’s Women and Infants Center, and myriad other impactful organizations. Students in the accredited BSW program take all the expected Christian college social work courses as well, including Social Policy and Social Change; Research Methods in Social Work; Oppression, Prejudice, and Discrimination; and Communities, Groups, and Organizations.

Tuition: $35,750/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 306
Accreditation Date: 1976
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13
Score: 131.72

Azusa Pacific University Christian College Social Work Degree

18. Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, California

Evangelical Christian

Website
Azusa Pacific University’s BSW and MSW programs both feature dual accreditation from the CSWE and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The school has one of the lowest tuition rates on this list and has also been labeled as a “Yellow Ribbon” university – an indication of its friendliness to military members and veterans. Undergraduate students take classes in Child Welfare, Community Transformation, and Proposal Writing, and can also explore their religious values through a course in Suffering: Theological and Practical Perspectives on Disabilities. Alternatively, graduate students complete coursework in Social Welfare Policy, Research Methods, and Children and Adolescents. Many of the classes include Christian perspectives and prepare students for work in both secular and religious organizations.

Tuition: $33,096/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1982
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14
Score: 132.16

Madonna University Christian College Social Work Degree

17. Madonna University

Livonia, Michigan

Catholic

Website
“A Catholic University in the Franciscan tradition,” Madonna University esteems morality, ethics, and a love of learning as essential aspects of college education. MU has carried an accredited undergraduate social work program amongst its degree options since the early 1980s, and it continues to build the department’s strengths each year. Students can now earn supplementary certificates in Addiction Studies, Psychology, Gerontology, Mental Health, Forensic Psychology, Long-term Care Administration, and Community Leadership. Classes are also available off-site in both Gaylord and Southwest Detroit, using two-way interactive televisions to help students stay engaged.

Tuition: $17,390/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 852
Accreditation Date: 1981
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12
Score: 133.52

Gannon University Christian College Social Work Degree

16. Gannon University

Erie, Pennsylvania

Catholic

Website
As a top Christian college for social work, Gannon University proudly encourages its students to “Believe in the Possibilities.” Following a commitment to the NASW Code of Ethics and the guiding principles of Catholic Social Thought, the Gannon social work program works to produce graduates who will be compassionate, ethical leaders in their field. The fully accredited undergraduate program engages a global perspective that covers topics as diverse as international poverty and economic justice. Potential classes include The Juvenile Justice System, Victimology, Mental Health and the Elderly, and Research Methods. Students can also pursue “special topics” or create an independent study course, and those who graduate with a B average or better have the opportunity to attain “Advanced Standing” in the school’s MSW program (also CSWE-accredited).

Tuition: $28,368/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 222
Accreditation Date: 1977
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13.84
Score: 135.76

Our Lady of the Lake University Christian College Social Work Degree

15. Our Lady of the Lake University

San Antonio, Texas

Catholic

Website
The Worden School of Social Service at OLLU offers a Christian college social work degree that combines the best of its accrkedited bachelor’s and master’s programs. The department is one of the few to feature a 4+1 option that allows students to graduate with an MSW in just five short years. Alternatively, if you attain your undergraduate at another institution you can still accelerate your MSW through OLLU’s “Advanced Standing” program. The university also emphasizes field education and maintains an extensive network of partnerships in the local area to help students secure internships. Our Lady of the Lake University will even provide special assistance to students who wish to work with Spanish-speaking populations.

Tuition: $24,596/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15
Score: 136.24

Brigham Young University Christian College Social Work Degree

14. Brigham Young University

Provo, Utah

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Website
Brigham Young University is distinct in that it is the only school on this list to only offer a Christian college MSW. Although it does not have a social work option for undergraduates, the master’s program boasts a more than thirty-year history of excellence. The program is intentionally small; around 35 students each year choose the school’s clinical emphasis, while a mere 5-7 pick an emphasis in research (these students typically go on to PhD programs). Coursework addresses Crisis Intervention, Social Services for the Aging, Psychopathology, Global Issues of Children at Risk, and Family Policy and Law. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend seminars and apply for internships, both of which can set you up for success in the “real world.” And thanks to BYU’s unbelievably low tuition and sky-high ROI (Pay Scale ranks its 20-year return on investment at more than $600k!), this is also one of the most affordable Christian college social work programs you will find.

Tuition: $6,310/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 42
Accreditation Date: 1981
Student-Faculty Ratio: 19
Score: 138.22

Northwest Nazarene University Christian

13. Northwest Nazarene University

Nampa, Idaho

Christian

Website
Students who want a Christian college MSW degree also have a great choice in Northwest Nazarene University, a top religious school with roots in Wesleyan/Arminian teachings. This affordable graduate program boasts a comfortable 14:1 student-teacher ratio and CSWE accreditations for both its bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Students primarily work together in “cohorts” and can concentrate in one of two areas at the master’s level: Community Mental Health Practice or Medical Social Work Practice with Adults. At the undergraduate level, students can choose social work as either a major or minor and will enjoy classes in Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Child Welfare Services, and Gerontology and Geriatric Social Work, as well as a number of field experiences, practicums, and seminars.

Tuition: $9,920/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: N/A
Accreditation Date: 1977
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14
Score: 141.36

Texas Christian University Christian College Social Work Degree

12. Texas Christian University

Fort Worth, Texas

Christian

Website
Both the BSW and MSW options at Texas Christian University are CSWE-accredited, and for good reason. The Christian college social work degree covers nearly every topic you could want to study, from Social Work and Civil Rights and Addictions to the Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens in the Global World. Students can also take an International Community Service course in Mexico or embark on a hands-on service learning adventure in Seville, Spain. Honors societies and student organizations – such as the Student Association of Social Workers – give people plenty of ways to get involved on campus. The MSW program is newer (it just started admitting students in 2013) but holds plenty of appeal, including Brite Divinity dual degree option and a related certificate in Women and Gender Studies.

Tuition: $38,600/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 525
Accreditation Date: 1977
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13.2
Score: 141.56

Andrews University Christian College Social Work Degree

11. Andrews University

Berrien Springs, Michigan

Seventh Day Adventist

Website
If you’re looking for a Christian college MSW or BSW that places a premium on job security, Andrews University might be the way to go. It is one of the few schools that can rightfully boast a 100% employment rate; that is, all of AU’s both bachelor’s and master’s students have successfully found jobs in the field after graduating. Not only that, but 100% of students at both levels also pass the state licensure exam – 86% on the first try! Coursework at Andrews covers a spectrum of relevant issues, including Diversity and Differences, Social Welfare Services and Policy, Human Rights, Social Economics Justice, and Human Behavior. Experienced professors also help impart useful research, critical thinking, and contextualization skills, all within the framework of a Christian perspective.

Tuition: $26,256/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 935
Accreditation Date: 1990
Student-Faculty Ratio: 9
Score: 142.5

St. Catherine University and University of Saint Thomas Collaborative

10. St. Catherine University and University of Saint Thomas Collaborative

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Catholic

Website
Students at all levels of study can learn about social work at the St. Catherine University – University of St. Thomas School of Social Work. The school offers accredited degree options at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels through a partnership with another religious university (St. Catherine’s). Although the annual price tag is somewhat steep, the school’s ROI breaks Pay Scale’s top 500 ranking and is valued at nearly $300,000 two decades after graduation. The collaborative associated with this Christian college social work program also has a social work alumni network of nearly 2,000 graduates, ensuring that students have a strong basis of support and connections by the time they are ready to enter the job market.

Tuition: $36,420/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 1029
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12
Score: 143.64

Roberts Wesleyan College Christian College Social Work Degree

9. Roberts Wesleyan College

Rochester, New York

Christian

Website
Students who need an advanced degree in social work should also consider Roberts Wesleyan College, a popular religious school with a top Christian college social work degree (both bachelor’s and master’s options). Program members in this CSWE-accredited program can complete all their courses in two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study, progressing through a “spiritually-enhanced ecological systems model” in the process. Classes include Social & Cultural Diversity, Psychopathology, Family Therapy, and more. Elective courses give students multiple opportunities to branch out, from Death and Bereavement to Managing Conflict. RWC students can also enjoy a graduate program with full accreditation status and which provides concentrations in Mental Health and Child & Family Services.

Tuition: $28,068/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 66
Accreditation Date: 1979
Student-Faculty Ratio: N/A
Score: 144.04

Providence College Christian College Social Work Degree

8. Providence College

Providence, Rhode Island

Catholic

Website
Providence’s Christian college social work degree meets rigorous academic standards and first earned CSWE accreditation in 1976 – an honor that it will continue to hold until at least 2020! The university’s undergraduate degree (it does not offer an MSW option) courses cover diversity and culture, human behavior, children and families, social policy, and community practice. Students benefit from numerous opportunities to engage in research, attend seminars, and participate in off-campus, supervised practicums. At the culmination of their studies, senior BSW majors complete a Capstone course by focusing on a specific problem area in the field, and some also develop independent study projects.

Tuition: $44,323/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 374
Accreditation Date: 1976
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12
Score: 145.02

Augsburg College Christian College Social Work Degree

7. Augsburg College

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Evangelical Lutheran

Website
Augsburg is a college that encourages students to not just make a difference, but be the difference. The school also celebrates what it terms “intentional diversity,” by bringing in other students from all across the world. For example, Norwegian students come to campus each year through a partnership with the Christian college’s social work department. The department also has a strong relationship with colleges in Mexico and offers special Spanish programs for foreign exchange students who are interested in earning a BSW. Augsburg also has a CSWE-accredited master’s program, which includes additional dual degree options (an MSW-MBA and an MSW-MA in Theology).

Tuition: $34,431/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 395
Accreditation Date: 1980
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13
Score: 148.18

Marywood University Christian College Social Work Degree

6. Marywood University

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Catholic

Website
Despite it’s slightly higher price tag, Marywood University brings plenty of selling points to the table. The school’s dual accreditation (for both undergraduate and graduate social work programs) extends back to 1974, and a small student-to-faculty ratio ensures that you’ll get plenty of access to professors both in and out of class. Marywood describes its department as “student-centered,” “People-oriented,” and “nationally-recognized,” building a strong case for its place among the top Christian colleges for social work nationwide. Students can attend conferences off campus, get involved with the Scranton Division of the National Association for Social Workers, or join campus organizations to further their exposure to the field.

Tuition: $31,695/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 1118
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: 11
Score: 148.44

University of St. Francis Christian College Social Work Degree

5. The University of St. Francis

Joliet, Illinois

Catholic

Website
With both BSW and MSW programs that are CSWE accredited, the University of St. Francis presents as a fixture in compassionate social work education. Diversity, service, and community characterize USF – a school where students from diverse backgrounds come to explore their passion for helping others and make some friends along the way. The school earned full accreditation just six years after its founding in 1974, and it has continually made strides to demonstrate its commitment to student success. In fact, USF offers annual scholarships to its Christian college social work students in order to bring a quality education within financial reach.

Tuition: $28,790/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 552
Accreditation Date: 1982
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12
Score: 151.16

St. Leo University Christian College Social Work Degree

4. Saint Leo University

St. Leo, Florida

Catholic

Website
Earn either your BSW or MSW at Saint Leo University, a popular southern university and the oldest Catholic college in Florida. Friendly to both traditional college students and adult learners, SLU is perfect for anyone who is passionate about social change and ready to make a difference. Christian college social work courses at this university include Methods of Social Research, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, and Statistics for the Social Sciences, to name but a few. The rigorous curriculum also requires a field internship with a local social service agency and a coinciding Senior Seminar. The seminar gives students an opportunity to discuss cases, explore problems within their internship, and develop valuable career skills.

Tuition: $20,420/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 523
Accreditation Date: 1983
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14
Score: 151.6

Abilene Christian University Christian College Social Work Degree

3. Abilene Christian University

Abilene, Texas

Churches of Christ

Website
Abilene Christian University, or ACU, is yet another choice that has both BSW and MSW accredited degree options. Both programs are academically rigorous, and the graduate program is one of just 5% of schools that requires a master’s thesis. Coursework is challenging and engaging, and a student-to-faculty ratio of just 14:1 makes it easy for students to access their professors for extra help. Abilene Christian also stands out for its impressive ROI statistics; according to Pay Scale, its 20-year return on investment value exceeds $150,000. The social work curriculum covers everything from Globalization and Social Justice to Spirituality and Social Work Practice, and it also allows students to explore their own interests through practicums and field work.

Tuition: $29,450/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 127
Accreditation Date: 1982
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14
Score: 161.86

Baylor University Christian College Social Work Degree

2. Baylor University

Waco, Texas

Christian

Website
Baylor University offers both BSW and MSW options through its Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Undergraduates in the social work program study theories of individuals and families, learn about social justice and advocacy, and discuss community development and research practices. They are also required to complete a 480-hour internship with a local community agency, which allows them to get a real sense of their career goals and also to practice integrating faith into their work. The MSW offers a unique specialization in Global Mission Leadership as well as a general option in Social Work.

Tuition: $38,120/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 76
Accreditation Date: 1976
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15
Score: 162.62

Catholic University of America Christian College Social Work Degree

1. Catholic University of America

Washington, DC

Catholic

Website
The Catholic University of America, set within the nation’s vibrant capital city, houses multiple social work programs through the National Catholic School of Social Service. These include a bachelor’s and master’s degree (both of which are CSWE accredited) as well as a PhD option. Students can also earn their MSW online or tackle a challenging MSW-JD joint degree program. Furthermore, CUA is a part of the Catholic Social Work National Association and supports multiple areas of research through the Consortium for Catholic Social Teaching. Such research ventures are available through the Center for the Advancement of Children, Youth, and Families; the Center for the Promotion of Health and Mental Health Well-Being; and the Center for International Social Development.

Tuition: $39,726/yr
Pay Scale Ranking: 318
Accreditation Date: 1974
Student-Faculty Ratio: 7
Score: 169.54

 

Further Reading

Sources:
College Navigator
Council on Social Work Education
Pay Scale
U.S. News
Wikipedia

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