Department Profile

By learning about the needs of diverse communities, broadening perspectives about social justice, and staying rooted in the belief that all people are image bearers of God, the Dordt College social work program aims to equip students for professional practice and for lives of service in the contexts to which they are called.

Program Strengths

Students identify the following as strengths of the Dordt College social work program:

  • Opportunities to practice what is learned in class through a semester-long internship with an agency, volunteer opportunities in the community, and hands-on assignments and projects in class. The social work program offers one of the most substantial internships requiring that students spend 440 hours working in an agency.
  • Gifted professors who use a variety of teaching techniques, are helpful, and establish a close working relationship with students. Professors in the program are good teachers, consistently receiving positive ratings from students.
  • Christian perspective: The biblical call to justice and to care for the widow, orphan, oppressed, and poor is clear. Students and professors spend a considerable amount of time exploring what it means to be a Christian social worker in a broken world.

The Dordt College social work program has a strong reputation for preparing students well for work as professional social workers. Field supervisors identify the following as strengths of Dordt College social work students:

  • Students act professionally, understanding how to use supervisors for guidance in their work.
  • Students think critically and analyze interventions to determine effectiveness.
  • Students are self-aware, able to work well with people with different values and from diverse groups.
  • Students recognize and manage personal and professional values to guide their practice.
  • Students are skilled in working with clients to develop goals for improvement.

Learning Objectives

The bachelor of social work major at Dordt College will be prepare you to:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct yourself accordingly.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  10. Develop practice skills in engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation.
  11. Articulate and understand a Reformed Christian response to social work and social welfare.