M.A./M.S.W. Dual-Degree Program
school of theology and ministry
In 1989 the Dual Degree in Social Work (MSW) and Pastoral Ministry (MA) Program was developed by the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry (IREPM), now part of the School of Theology and Ministry (STM), and the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) for students who are interested in serving both the pastoral and social needs of individuals, families, groups and communities. The program reflects the University’s mission to educate individuals who are committed to the pursuit of social justice. A specific goal is to develop the skills and credentials necessary to plan, administer and/or provide social services within a local church or church-related agency.
Students admitted to the program may expect to receive both the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (MA) and the Master of Social Work (MSW) degrees in approximately 3 years of full-time study (more if approved for part-time study by the GSSW). Students generally begin their studies in the STM, and students are encouraged to stay in close contact with advisors both in the STM and the GSSW.
- To educate practitioners in social work and pastoral ministry who can effectively integrate their theological understanding with the theories and practice of social work.
- To provide the core curriculum of each discipline while enabling students to concentrate in the specific area of knowledge and practice that corresponds to their professional goals.
- To provide applied learning experiences with professional supervision through two field internships. In the second year the student is under LICSW supervision. The opportunity for pastoral supervision is also provided.
- To prepare practitioners who have a commitment to work with the church in bringing about a human condition that is free from violence, oppression, and discrimination, and one that protects and promotes the development of all peoples.
In the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) students must choose an intervention method: Clinical Social Practice or Macro Practice. Clinical students focus on practice directly with individuals, families, and groups in dealing with personal, interpersonal, and social problems. Macro students develop specific knowledge and skills to achieve change in organizational and community settings.
Prior to entering the third year, students will choose a concentration from one of the following areas: Children, Youth, & Families, Health & Mental Health, Older Adults & Families, or Individualized. Dual degree students are not normally eligible to take the Global Practice concentration because of the required full-time spring field placement. However, with sufficient planning and approval, students may be able to adjust their STM and GSSW class schedules to be eligible for applying for the Global Concentration.
The GSSW and the STM assign each student faculty advisors in their respective schools when a student begins his or her program of studies for the dual degree. Students are encouraged to meet with advisors in each school to plan their individual programs.
As with all dual-degree programs, initiative and planning are necessary to navigate two graduate schools. Students are encouraged to plan out their studies as much as possible so all required classes can be completed in the three year timeframe.
The City of Boston provides many educational possibilities. The dual degree requires two field placements during the two years of social work study. Both are under the auspices of the GSSW. The first-year social work placement is designed to be a broadening experience, and can be done in a religious setting or a placement setting that honors the spiritual dimension of the person. The second year of field education affords the student the option of being placed within an agency that is consistent with the student’s pastoral goals. These include hospital-based placements, mental health centers, hospice programs, various programs with Catholic Charities, women’s shelters, etc. There are opportunities for working with children, families, the aging, teens, etc., in clinical, community organizing, and administration settings.
TUITION AND FINANCIAL AID
Tuition is paid to the school in which the dual degree student is currently enrolled. If a full-time student is taking some courses in each of the two schools, they should pay tuition to the school they are enrolled in more than part-time. Financial aid packages are provided by each school independently. Students must apply for financial aid in each school.
PREREQUISITES FOR ADMISSION
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
- You must also apply and be admitted to GSSW.