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Southeastern Launches a Master's in Social Work

Southeastern University offers the first evangelical Master of Social Work in the state of Florida.

Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, launched the first evangelical Master of Social Work degree (MSW) in the state of Florida in August. The cohort began its initial class with an enrollment of 25 students, surpassing the initial projection of 12 students.

“Starting a Master of Social Work (MSW) program was a dream of the Southeastern University social work faculty and undergraduate students for many years,” says Dr. Erica Sirrine, dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. “Our alumni frequently shared their desire to attend a graduate social work program at an evangelical, Christ-centered institution. SEU is grateful to now provide students with this opportunity.”

The program has a clinical specialization where students will gain counseling and psychotherapy skills and includes a course in social work administration to prepare graduates for future leadership positions. The program offers in-person classes two evenings a week in eight-week sessions. Students who have earned an undergraduate degree in social work from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) may apply for the "Advanced-Standing" MSW degree, which can be completed in two semesters (nine months).

“The mission of the Master of Social Work program at Southeastern University,” observes Sirrine, “is to equip students to become competent clinical social work practitioners who will enhance the quality of life in their local communities and beyond by modeling Christ’s example of demonstrating love, grace, compassion, and respect to diverse clients across a variety of practice settings.”

Dr. Johnny Jones, a recent faculty hire, serves as the Director of the MSW program. Jones has more than 25 years of experience as a social worker, social work educator, and social work administrator in both public and private faith-based institutions. Jones has worked as a faculty member at the University of South Carolina and Baylor University. At Baylor, he served as the director of the MSW program.

“Social Work is a noble profession of caring, knowing, and serving with its historical beginnings rooted firmly in the church,” Jones says. “Our primary objective is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities they need to be competent social workers. That is, of course, the objective of all accredited social work programs.”

Master of Social Work practitioners are employed in a variety of settings, including private practices, family and mental health counseling centers, schools, hospitals, military and veteran centers, substance abuse and rehabilitation treatment programs, employee assistance programs, or child welfare agencies.

Graduates of the program can expect to pursue a variety of opportunities including clinical licensure, full-time counseling positions, and leadership roles in social work administration.

For more information on SEU’s MSW program, click here.