Published on July 7, 2016 by Katie Stripling  
Beeson classroom

Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School and Department of Social Work have joined forces to offer two unique joint-degree programs for students called to preach the gospel and engage in practical ministry.

The Master of Divinity (M.Div.)/Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) will equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for mercy ministries in local churches and in cultures vastly different from their own. “Students who complete this degree will be able to preach the Bible with theological depth and wisdom while giving very practical aid to individuals and families in need,” said Grant Taylor, Beeson Divinity School’s associate dean.

Students in the Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S)/M.S.W. program will be equipped with the theological knowledge required to integrate social work with the gospel. “This program provides an exciting option for individuals who have discerned a vocational call that requires a nuanced understanding of Christian theology, as well as the practical skills necessary to assist those in our world who are most in need of assistance,” said Ken Stoltzfus, chair of the Department of Social Work.

Students in both programs will choose a concentration in either clinical social work or global community development for the social work portion of their studies. Graduates from the clinical social work option may find themselves working in pastoral counseling, hospice, adoption and foster care, addiction and recovery or prison ministries. Graduates from the global community development option may seek employment with urban ministries, domestic and international missions, or within faith-based nongovernmental organizations addressing issues such as human trafficking, poverty and access to medical services.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.