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Social work students having a lively discussion

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

About the Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Get involved. Make a difference. Care for People. Light up the darkness. Change your world.

If these passions are your own, you are the type of student who will excel in the Cedarville University Department of Social Work! Our distinctly Christian, accredited social work degree will equip you to help others while displaying the love and humility of Christ, from vulnerable children and adopting families to the elderly and mentally impaired. Whatever the area you choose to focus, you will be equipped to integrate your faith in your professional life and influence the culture for Christ.

Why Study Social Work at Cedarville?

Social Work Program Highlights


Our approach to social work is unique. We begin with a biblical, Christian foundation. You will be equipped to meet human needs through the lens of a biblical worldview. Principles from God’s Word guide discussions about public service, meeting human needs, and social justice. Theology is integrated in very practical ways with the social and cultural issues we confront every day. This careful integration is essential to developing Christian social workers who are caring, committed, and competent.


Cedarville’s social work program provides the balanced education prized by employers and graduate schools: a strong core of required courses, electives that allow you to specialize and explore further, and two separate field experiences that bring together all elements of your academic achievements.


The Social Work program at Cedarville University received initial accreditation from The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in June of 1998. CSWE reaffirmed the program in June 2002, again in 2010, and most recently in June 2017. Graduating from an accredited program positions our students to complete graduate school in one year instead of two.

What Can You Do With a Bachelors in Social Work?

Your degree will prepare you for a variety of social work careers as well as graduate programs.

Our graduates have been accepted to prestigious Master of Social Work programs such as:

  • University of Michigan
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Georgetown University
  • Boston College
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • University of Pennsylvania

Due to our accreditation, our graduates receive advanced standing, allowing them to complete the M.S.W. program in about one year. Some have gone on to complete a law degree and have become legal advocates for the poor and disenfranchised.

Our graduates are employed in hospitals, domestic violence prevention centers, foster care/adoptive agencies, congregational social work in larger churches, assisted living facilities, rehab facilities, youth minister, pastorate, missionary, mental health facilities, counseling centers, higher education as social work professors, hospice services, inner-city youth programs, and refugee resettlement programs.

Our graduates are prepared for the state Licensed Social Worker (LSW) exam; last year 93 percent of our students passed the exam on the first attempt (state average is 70 percent).

We also have graduates who have served on the state of Ohio task forces dealing with sex trafficking, as well as the Ohio Attorney General’s Task Force on Criminal Justice and Mental Illness.

  • Agape for Youth – foster/adoptive services
  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Buckeye Ranch – providing individual and family behavioral health counseling to children ages 6–17
  • Catholic Social Services
  • Choices – adoption services
  • Church congregational social work and community outreach Rock City Church, Columbus, OH
  • Council on Rural Services – Head Start programs
  • Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Davita Dialysis Center – medical social work
  • Dayton Children's Hospital
  • Dayton Veterans Administration
  • Family Violence Prevention Center
  • Forensic Interviewer, Mental Health Advocate, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus
  • Lebanon Correctional Facility
  • Miami Valley Hospital Social Services Department
  • Missionaries – Germany, So. Africa, Brazil, Philippines, inner-city Chicago ministry
  • Ohio Living – assisted living facility in Wilmington, OH
  • Open Door Ministries, Denver
  • Salvation Army sex-trafficking initiative
  • The Glen at St. Joseph’s, a residential program for low-income single mothers and their children
  • World Relief – programs for refugee resettlement and assimilation
  • Youth Pastor, Florida

Opportunities to Learn Outside the Classroom

You will complete a two-tiered internship: 150 hours during your junior year and 450 hours during your senior year. Field Experience allows the student to put into practice with real-life clients what they’ve learned in the classroom.

You can choose an international field experience for your internship. Choose from Romania, Uganda, and India.

You’ll experience social work practice courses that provide experiential opportunities:

  • Poverty simulation experience
  • Team-building exercises
  • Serving the needy

You will have the opportunity to attend area conferences for professional social workers.

You can participate in two social work student organizations to enrich your academic and professional experience.

Placement Success

We’re proud of our successful graduates! 100% of recent graduates from the Department of Social Work were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. Check out Cedarville’s other placement rates.


View thumbnail for 2021 Social Work Majors Academic Recognitions and Senior Celebration

2021 Social Work Majors Academic Recognitions and Senior Celebration

Watch as new members were inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society, academic achievements of students at all levels were recognized, and graduating seniors were celebrated. This event took place on April 15, 2021.

A social work student meets with a client

100% of 2020 Social Work Graduates Pass Licensure Exam

Cedarville's pass rate compares extremely well with the national pass rate of 62.1% on the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) comprehensive licensure exam.
Hannah Abel

Legally Blind Social Work Major Seeks to Serve

Social work majors seek to bear others’ emotional burdens, but for sophomore Hannah Abel, she has an added difficulty to navigate: her sight.
Total Essentials Pantry drive

Social Work Class Meeting Essential Community Needs

Senior social work students from Cedarville University are working to create a connection between the university and surrounding communities through project in conjunction with Cedarville United Presbyterian Church.
Steve Norris '01 donating coronavirus convalescent plasma

Stepping Up

This COVID-19 season has uncovered heroes from the Cedarville family in the unlikeliest places. And all it took was letting God use them right where they were for such a time as this.

Program Faculty

Photo of Michael Sherr

Michael Sherr

Chair, Professor of Social Work

  • Location APP 122
  • Phone 937-766-7677
  • Email Email
Photo of Pamela Bailey

Pamela Bailey

Adjunct Professor of Social Work

  • Email Email
Photo of Melissa Brown

Melissa Brown, M.S.W.

Assistant Professor of Social Work

  • Location APP 121
  • Phone 937-766-7624
  • Email Email
Photo of George Huff

George Huff, M.S.S.A.

Senior Professor of Social Work

  • Location APP 123
  • Phone 937-766-7748
  • Email Email

Social Work Program Curriculum

Building on your general education and Bible minor courses, you will take core foundational social work courses, leading to practice courses that help you develop strategies for working with individuals, families, groups, and communities.

This major is offered with either a  three-year or four-year completion plan.

Sample courses:
  • Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations
  • Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
View Curriculum Plan and Catalog