For the past 29 years, professor of social work and social work program director, Greg Scott, has been, according to his students, one of Kuyper College’s favorite professors. Like many other Kuyper faculty members that “practice what they teach,” his academic degrees—a BSW from Valparaiso University and an MSW from Washington University—were only part of his teaching credentials. Together with his practitioner credentials—licensed as a clinical and macro MSW social worker with the state of Michigan, and experience—seven years at Bethany Christian Services and 13 years at Wedgwood Christian Services as a therapist, supervisor and program administrator are what made his teaching not only different, but extraordinary. Scott started teaching part-time at Kuyper in January of 1991, teaching Marriage and Family, Introduction to Sociology and Group Work in Management. He became a full-time faculty member in 1999, developing social work courses and writing the documentation for Kuyper’s social work program’s initial accreditation. “Various social work colleagues told me that a Bible college (RBC at the time) would never be accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE),” said Scott. “But in 2005, we became only the second Bible college in the United States (Philadelphia Bible College had been accredited in 1974) to receive that honor.”
According to Scott, he taught many social work classes during the years, from Introduction to Social Work to Social Welfare Policy,
Capstone, International Social Work and Introduction to Sociology. Scott says, “My two favorites were Individuals/Families and Social Work with Groups. We had so much fun.” Scott said that he’s been privileged to have had in his classroom many fine young people. “From the very start, 29 years ago, some of them began to teach me how to teach. They helped me build the first bridges. From them, I learned teaching is a unique partnership,” he said. “It only really works when the teacher reaches beyond the student’s outer image, looks into their heart, and understands and respects what they see. The student’s role is to allow themselves to be seen, not just for who they are, or have been, but also for who they could be.” According to Scott, he is very thankful to have worked with many excellent professors at Kuyper College. He explained, “They are not only colleagues, but friends. I also want to especially recognize the very gifted Judi Meerman, who I worked with for 17 years in the social work department, and Kelli Hoffman, who took her place and has been my closest colleague for the past two years.” Over the years, Scott often traveled with his students to the Dominican Republic. “I took students to the Dominican Republic eight times during my time at Kuyper to learn about international social work—culture, diversity, poverty and social justice. These trips were always the highlight of my teaching,” he said. He also traveled to Liberia, West Africa, twice to help set up the first school of social work in that nation at the Mother Pattern College of Health Sciences.
Scott said that as he looks back, he does so with gratitude. “I entered a profession dedicated to assisting young people to achieve their potential, to help them reveal or find their best selves and find a career which honors the Lord. As I leave it, I am taking many of them with me. They will live on in my memories. I’ll always remember the things we achieved together.” To say Scott will be missed is an understatement. As he leaves Kuyper, he is looking forward to moving to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to be closer to family and, as he said, “get back in touch with my Pennsylvania Dutch roots, hike the Pocono Mountains and maybe, teach as an adjunct professor at Lehigh University.”