Dordt University professor Erin Olson

Professor Erin Olson says she is looking forward to teaching Dordt University’s new master of social work program from a Christian perspective and encouraging student to consider what it means to be a Christian in social work practice.

SIOUX CENTER—Dordt University’s new master of social work program is accepting applications for the fall 2020 semester.

The program was approved by the Higher Learning Commission in late October.

“There is a real need for well-trained, competent Christian social workers in the social work field,” said Erin Olson, a social work professor at Dordt. “I am excited about teaching the MSW program from a Christian perspective and encouraging student to consider what it means to be a Christian in social work practice.”

“The MSW is a great fit for Dordt because of the university’s popular and well-established undergraduate program in social work, and of course the world view, faith, and service components integrated into every program at Dordt,” said Holtrop, director of graduate studies at Dordt.

Dordt’s program offers a Christ-centered social work education with courses that are all online.

“The MSW program is affordable, and the pacing works well for both full-time and part-time students,” said Leah Zuidema, vice president for online and graduate programs. “A student who is prepared at the BSW level and qualifies for advanced standing can complete Dordt’s online MSW in three semesters.

“Dordt’s program also has a regular standing track; students who do not have a BSW but meet other standards for application are eligible to apply,” she said.

In addition to foundational and advanced courses, the program offers three tracks:

  • The clinical specialization prepares students for a clinical mental health setting and is for students interested in working in direct practice with individuals, families or groups in a counseling or mental health setting.
  • The community practice and administration specialization will prepare students to work in public or nonprofit organizations, communities and faith-based agencies at the administrative or community level.
  • The generalist specialization is for students who are open to a career path in direct or indirect practice.

“When students graduate, they will have a wide range of career paths available to them including clinical counseling, medical or hospital social work, school social work, administration, community development, and advocacy,” Olson said. “They will also be eligible for licensure, which could ultimately allow them to enter clinical mental health private practice.”

Dordt offers a variety of master’s programs.

The university’s master of education program provides eight tracks, including sport leadership and school leadership.

Equipping students with management and leadership skills needed to thrive in public or nonprofit institutions, Dordt’s master of public administration program offers emphases in police administration and nonprofit administration; it will launch in fall 2020.

Dordt also received approval from the Higher Learning Commission for a master of science in applied statistics program.

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt seeks to equip students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.