Master of Social Work

The Master of Social Work program at Northwest Nazarene University offers the working professional an opportunity to complete a master's degree through an extended program of study. This program is ideal for those with work or family responsibilities. Students admitted at the generalist level may complete their course work in seven semesters (including summer) while students admitted with advanced standing status may complete their course work in four semesters (including summer).  The program utilizes a cohort model for core courses that supports an interactive learning environment, as well as collegiality throughout the student's course work. The primary goal of the program is to prepare students for specialized social work practice in rural and small town settings, both domestic and international.
Students will be able to choose from two concentrations:
  • Clinical Mental Health
  • Integrated Clinical and Community Practice (ICCP)
The MSW program offers courses leading to certification in School Social Work. An explanation of the certification process is available through the Department of Social Work.
Northwest Nazarene University's social work program is nationally accredited at the undergraduate and graduate level by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Program Characteristics

  • Class sizes vary based on the type of course, but are typically no more than 20 per class in the Generalist courses. Specialized courses are typically limited to no more than 15 students.
  • Students are enrolled using the cohort model and remain together as a cohort (in core courses) for the duration of their program of study.
  • Normally, students are enrolled in 10-12 credits each semester, including courses in practice, human behavior, policy, applied research, field instruction, and electives.
  • Methodology is based upon the assumption that the faculty and student are equally responsible for learning. Students are expected to be self-directed, goal-oriented, and interested in applied learning.
  • The key to applied learning is application; all students, therefore, are expected to integrate theory and academic content with knowledge from research projects, work and practicum experiences. Evaluation of progress is based not only on evidence of grasping content but also upon evidence of application of content in the workplace and practicum setting.
Faculty: Lawanna Lancaster (Department Chair and Director of the MSW program),  Mary Curran, LeAnn Stensgaard (Director of the B.A. program), Scott Slater (MSW Field Administrator), Kimberly Lowe, and Janet Stellway.