Caring for Those Who Hurt
Kuyper’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program provides graduates with a complete, multi-level foundation of professional knowledge, values, skills, concepts, and strategies.
You will use these professional disciplines in various settings and diverse populations. Both nationally and internationally.
Double Major Option
Without adding any additional time to your program, you can use your electives to pursue the career-building option of a second major in Bible and theology. Selecting this option will provide a firm foundation as you prepare for a life of ministry and service.
Because of the strength of Kuyper’s social work program, you may qualify for advanced standing in Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) programs. This can save up to two years of graduate-level coursework and considerable tuition fees. Kuyper’s graduates have pursued graduate study programs at the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, and many other leading institutions offering M.S.W. programs.
Of students participate in internship or practicum experiences
Of faculty are, or have been, social work practitioners
Of students receive financial aid
Lowest debt at graduation among Michigan colleges
The social work program prepares you with the knowledge, values, and skills for practice in social work positions in a variety of fields and settings, both in the U.S and internationally.
Child and Family Welfare
Gerontological Social Work
Substance Use and Addiction
Military Social Work
School Social Work
International Social Work
Build your resume with a practicum personalized to your program. You and your advisor will work together to choose a placement that aligns with your career goals. The list below shows the variety of placement opportunities and service areas available.
Bethany Christian Services
Wedgwood Christian Services
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Child and family welfare/services
Mental Health Services
Students will develop generalist social work practice skills to work in public and private social-service systems and international settings. Upon completion of the four-year social work program, you will be able to accomplish the following competencies:
- Identify as a professional social worker and conduct themselves accordingly
- Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice
- Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate judgments
- Engage diversity and difference in practice
- Advance human rights and social and economic justice
- Engage in research-informed practice
- Apply knowledge of human behavior and social environments
- Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being
- Engage, assess, and intervene with individuals, families, groups, and communities
- Apply a biblical worldview to social work knowledge, values, and skills
“The social work program was more than classroom learning. After graduation, I received a master’s in social work in two years, rather than three.”Melinda Kotecki Clinical Manager, Network 180—Kent County Community Health
Meet the Faculty
Learn from professors with many years of real-world experience!
Jennifer ColinAssistant Professor of Social Work, Social Work Program Director
Kelli HoffmanAssistant Professor of Social Work, Director of Field Practicum
Because your social work program professors are personally invested with your ministry goals, you will receive individualized academic advising to personalize the program to your specific areas of interest. The core curriculum includes courses such as:
Introduction to Social Work
This course is an introduction to the social work profession, the social service delivery system, the generalist perspective and the generalist model. Examination of social work history, values, theory, policy, roles, ethics, career opportunities, and social work’s contribution to social welfare institutions will occur. An overview of the diverse populations served and their services will be explored. Students will be challenged to examine their own values and aspirations with respect to the profession. Students will “job shadow” a social worker in the field and participate in various projects, field trips and simulations. This course is required of all social work majors. Open to all students.
Human Behavior / Social Environment I and II
These two courses address how human behavior is influenced by and influences families, groups, organizations and communities. Behavior will be investigated in light of a generalist ecological perspective and look at the relationship among biological, social, psychological, cultural, and spiritual systems as they affect, and are affected by, human behavior. The individual is seen as being a part of each of these systems simultaneously as they interact with each other. These courses are required of all social work majors but are open to all students. Students must complete SW 227 before taking SW 228. Prerequisites: general education core.
Social Work Research
This course is an orientation to the logic, methods, and practice evaluation of generalist social work scientific research. Basic theory of research design and analysis and an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods are focus areas. Students will understand how research methods can be used to problem-solve and evaluate all levels of generalist social work practice.
Individuals and Families
This course is the first in a sequence of three generalist practice courses in the social work curriculum. Individuals and Families includes the study of the generalist practice model for individuals and families and explores theory and stages involved in working with clients. Students learn generalist interviewing practice skills related to engagement, bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment, professional values and ethics, data collection, developing social histories, problem solving, formulating goals, evaluation, termination, and human diversity sensitivity. Prerequisites: admission into the BSW program.
Social Welfare Policy Analysis
This course is an analysis and evaluation of social welfare policies and programs as responses to defined social problems in their historical, political, and economic contexts. We evaluate policies from a generalist perspective and generalist model and introduce an overview of the history of social welfare. Students will explore the relationship between social work values and the development of social welfare policies and the provision of social work programs. We address themes of poverty, advocacy, civil rights, mental health, homelessness, racism, sexism, child welfare, political justice, and economic justice. Prerequisites: SW 340, SW 364, history elective, and GV 110. This course is open to all students with permission from the Registrar.
International Social Work
This course is an orientation to international social work from a generalist perspective. Students will learn about global social issues such as human rights, international women’s issues, global interdependence, models of development, AIDS, refugees and immigration, poverty, international social welfare policies, ethics, global strategies for change, child welfare, and political, economic, and environmental injustices from a generalist perspective. Students will develop solutions from a generalist model. Prerequisite: SW 419.