Message from the Dean

You belong at Baylor School of Social Work if you have a passion for social justice and if you desire to provide effective care and counseling in response to human suffering. Whether you have a commitment to serve abused or neglected children, or vulnerable elderly adults, or persons with mental illness, or communities mired in poverty, or families in crisis. . . . the School of Social Work can educate you to pursue that commitment with the knowledge and skills you need to make a real difference in people’s lives.

The best social workers have chosen their profession because they are motivated by a deep sense of calling to serve others. That calling expresses their deepest understanding of the meaning and purpose of their lives, sometimes expressed in the language of their faith. We will honor and help you explore your sense of calling and equip you to step into that call on your life through the professional practice of social work. Our curriculum is rigorous because we want to prepare you for the rigors of professional practice wherever your calling will take you. The passion of your life deserves nothing less.

Baylor School of Social Work offers an educational experience we are proud to compare to any public or private university. We prepare students for the broad and exciting fields of social work practice in both public and private settings. In addition, the School leads the nation in the field of church social work and in research that informs professional knowledge and skills for addressing religion and spirituality in all social work practice fields. The Baylor School of Social Work is unique in its commitment to prepare leaders for the church—to work on congregational staffs as community ministers, family ministers, and Christian educators; to serve in church and denominational agencies; and to work in international contexts. Baylor School of Social Work alumni are all over the nation and world, serving directly and leading others to care for the most vulnerable and broken, as well as to change social structures that will lead to greater justice and opportunity. Here are what some of our most recent graduates are doing:

  • Working in Child Protective Services for the state, to learn about the child welfare system as it has an impact on neglected and abused children, so as to lead a denominational child and family services agency most effectively.
  • Serving as a school social worker in one of the poorest of communities, to help connect parents to the school and to develop programs that will help children succeed and beat the odds stacked against them.
  • Helping children waiting for adoptive homes and families willing to provide those homes to find one another, attach to one another, and become family for one another.
  • Working in community development in Africa to create safer living conditions for children and families in the name of the church.
  • Working in a congregation to provide family and youth ministries.
  • Pursuing and completing doctoral studies in order to teach in a university.
  • Providing professional counseling in the homes of families who are at risk of having their children removed and placed in foster care, and connecting these vulnerable families with congregations who can provide loving community and support in whatever ways that will help them.
  • Providing hospice services to persons and their families facing death, so that they can live fully every day of life remaining.
  • Training the staff members of nursing homes to provide respectful, supportive services that call out the strengths and life fulfillment of patients in their care.
  • Evaluating social policies such as school reform or child and maternal health, advocating for justice with government legislators, and providing church leaders with an understanding of the issues at stake for the church and for those with whom they minister.
  • Working with agencies in Cambodia to develop more effective care for victims of human trafficking.
  • Training foster parents and providing counseling to children who, for whatever reason, cannot live with their biological parents, to encourage their resilience and ability to succeed.

We would like to add another story of what our graduates are doing — your story. If you want to be a confident social worker, a social worker effective at building strong communities and families, a social worker those in need will trust with their lives and futures, a social worker equipped to succeed no matter where your calling takes you — you belong at Baylor.

With joy at the hope of working with you,

Diana Garland, Dean