Abell, Dr. Melissa L.
Director, M.S.W. Program
This four-year professional degree program is offered by Virginia Commonwealth University in cooperation with Richmond Theological Consortium schools that include Union-Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. The purpose of the dual degree program is to prepare students for service in occupations where social work and the church’s ministries intersect; to enable social workers to perform and evaluate social work practices as they relate to biblical, theological, ethical, educational and pastoral perspectives; and equip graduates for various forms of ministry in which clinical and administrative skills in social work are critical.
This program requires four continuous years of study and leads to a Master of Social Work degree conferred by VCU and a Master of Divinity degree conferred by Union-PSCE, BTSR or STVU. Permission for part-time study must be given by the dual degree adviser at VCU and the appropriate theological school dean of faculty. All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of matriculation. Students can apply simultaneously to both programs and begin study at either institution following the approved curriculum plan; or, a student may begin at either VCU or the seminary and then apply for admission to the other school during the first year of study in accordance with application deadline dates.
The M.S.W. requires 60 credits that include the required integrating seminar and one course transferred from the seminary to satisfy a three-credit M.S.W. elective requirement. The integrative seminar is taken in the final year of study and is co-taught by a member of the VCU School of Social Work faculty and a member of a faculty of an RTC school. The seminar enables the student to integrate theoretical, social justice, empirical, ethical and practical dimensions of social work with the biblical, theological, educational and pastoral perspectives.
Prospective students apply to the VCU School of Social Work and one of the participating theological schools, must meet both sets of admission standards, and be accepted into both programs. For the M.S.W. program, refer to the “Admission to the master’s degree program” section. For information about admission to an RTC master of divinity program, contact one of the following schools:
Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
3400 Brook Road
Richmond, VA 23286-3446
Telephone: (804) 345-BTSR (2877)
Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology
1500 N. Lombardy St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone: (804) 257-5715
Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education
3401 Brook Road
Richmond, VA 23227
Telephone: (804) 278-4230
Toll free: (800) 229-2990
For information about the M.S.W/M.Div. program or advising questions related to the sequences of study, contact Joseph Walsh at (804) 828-8208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.