New Collaborative Venture In Social Work Education To Be Announced April 18

April 15, 2005

by Julie Campbell Carlson

Baylor University's School of Social Work, Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio and Buckner Baptist Benevolences will announce a new collaborative arrangement to train students for international missions and ministry through social work education.

The announcement, scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 18, at the Piper Great Hall at Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary, will feature remarks by Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr., BUA President Albert Reyes and Buckner President Kenneth Hall.

Through the collaboration, BUA will develop a minor in social work with future plans to develop a bachelor's degree in social work with the idea that these students could pursue graduate study at Baylor. Baylor's School of Social Work will make available consultation and a faculty exchange with BUA. Buckner will provide a faculty member - Buckner staff member Patty Villareal, an alumna of the Carver School of Church Social Work - to BUA.

"We are seeking to increase the diversity of our student body and of our faculty, and this is a wonderful partnership to that end," said Dr. Diana Garland, dean of the School of Social Work. "To look at the population of Texas and the United States and, in fact, the world, we need to provide leaders for Hispanic communities and congregations, and this is an outstanding way to accomplish that. For many of these students, English is a second language, and we see the strength in having these bilingual students to provide bilingual leaders to the Spanish-speaking communities."

Dr. Reyes agreed. "Demographers predict Texas' population to grow by 30 million in the next 40 years. And 96 percent of that growth will come from non-Anglo populations - mostly Hispanics. BUA students are prepared to serve in that multicultural future," he said.

According to Garland, many of the students will be dual degree graduate students pursuing degrees in social work and theology or divinity from Baylor's Truett Seminary.

"Many of BUA's students are international students who will return to Central and South America. This is a wonderful way to provide persons with the knowledge and skills for work within their home communities," Garland said.

Buckner President Hall said the partnership is "all about meeting needs. Worldwide issues affecting children and families should be the concern and responsibility of caring Christians. We need to start allocating resources - including the resources of dedicated, committed, highly trained Christian social workers - to help meet those needs."

For more information, contact Garland at (254) 710-6223, Arnie Adkison, vice president of advancement at BUA, at (210) 924-4338 or Russ Dilday, director of communications at Buckner Benevolences, at (214) 758-8063.

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