Social Work, DSW

CBU’s Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree is a professional doctorate that equips candidates with advanced training and practice skills in social work, which are essential for leadership in community and faith-based organizations; social policy advocacy; and practice mastery.

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Program Intro

The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) is a great degree for master's level practitioner-professionals who are looking to transition into higher education, promote into higher leadership and management roles, and/or advance research and innovative practice paradigms that lead to community wellness and social change. The CBU DSW program focuses on three areas: (1) community engagement and social innovation, (2) Christ-centered justice, and (3) global leadership.

The DSW offers a flexible online modality. (Students attend two on-campus residencies per year.)

48 Units

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2 Years
$988 +fees Cost Per Unit

*Based on current academic year. Subject to change.

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Why Earn Your Doctor of Social Work at CBU?

A schedule made for working professionals

CBU's DSW program is designed with the working professional in mind, thereby employing a distance-learning model, aiding students who are balancing a busy career, family, and personal life, while pursuing an advanced professional degree. The course schedule is attractive for those who are currently or aspire to be executive directors, administrators, faculty, researchers and social innovators.

Interact with peers and mentors throughout the year

CBU’s DSW students will participate in face-to-face residential intensives and focus group participation to enhance the educational experience. All doctoral students will attend two, four-day residency intensives each year, participate in a faculty-led, mentorship-based focus group in their final year, and complete a comprehensive project addressing a local or global social issue.

Study social work from a biblical perspective

The church played an important role in the birth of the social work profession and is still important and relevant today in addressing the myriad of social issues facing local and global communities. The DSW program will provide purposeful and directed instruction, training, and skills for candidates to build the capacity of faith-based organizations to advance community change in their respective locales.

Learn in a cohort

Students will be placed in cohorts of 12 to 18 students in order to keep the learning community small enough for students and faculty to maximize engagement and enhance the doctoral learning experience. Smaller cohorts will enable faculty to ensure all students are developing the necessary skills to become doctorate-level educated social work practitioners.

What You'll Learn

Students in CBU's Doctor of Social Work program will learn to:

Program Details

SWK 701: Direct Practice with Cultural Humility

The focus of this course is on development of knowledge and skills related to direct social work practice with diverse populations.

SWK 705: Community Engagement and Social Innovation

Students will examine key theories and research that underlie contemporary thinking about community engagement and explore the practice of community engagement as the vehicle for creating new and more effective strategies to address complex social problems.

SWK 715: Community-Based Participatory Research Methods

This course explores Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) as a model for addressing social problems impacting diverse and marginalized populations.

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The DSW is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) does not currently have an accreditation process for DSW programs. However, the CBU DSW program intends to pursue CSWE accreditation when applications become available.

Jacqueline Gustafson, Ed.D.

Professor of Psychology
Dean of College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Office Phone: 951-552-8372
Office Location: W.E. James Building, Room 115

Krystal Hays, PhD

Associate Professor of Social Work
Program Director, Doctor of Social Work

Office Phone: 951-552-8145
Office Location: James 132

Antonio Mejico Jr., Ed.D.

Assistant Professor of Social Work
Associate Dean for Academic Services, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Director of The Center for Community Engagement and Social Innovation

Office Phone: 951-552-8949
Office Location: James 114

As you make decisions about graduate school, keep in mind the full social, spiritual and educational experience awaiting you at CBU. Here, you will be supported by professors, staff and fellow students who will help you discover your strengths and challenge you to do more than you ever thought you could. Let us equip you with the education, training and opportunities you'll need to start making a unique difference doing what you love.

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Career Possibilities

Upon completing CBU’s Doctor of Social Work program, students will be well prepared for various leadership roles in the social work field.

  • Director of Social Services
  • Social Work Manager
  • Executive Director
  • University Professor

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Next Steps

Join our community. At CBU, you’ll be challenged to become an individual whose skills, integrity, and sense of purpose glorify God and distinguish you in the world.