2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Aug 13, 2022  
2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Social Work

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Lloyd P. Gestoso, M.S.W., Chair

Associate Professor

Juliet J. Campbell-Farrell, M.S.S., M.L.S.P.
Lloyd P. Gestoso, M.S.W.
Janet T. Tyler, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., L.S.W., Director of Field Instruction

Assistant Professor 

Elizabeth E. Wilson, M.S.W.

Administrative Faculty

Lynn H. Wallace, Ed.D.

Social work is defined as “the applied science of helping people achieve an effective level of bio-psycho-social-spiritual functioning and effecting societal changes to enhance the well being of all people”.  (Barker, Robert L. The Social Work Dictionary. Washington: NASW Press. 1999.)

The Department of Social Work at Philadelphia Biblical University exists to prepare students for entry into generalist social work practice by equipping them with professional knowledge, values, and skills within the context of a biblical world view. The ultimate goal of the department is to enable students to minister to those in need with empathy, expertise and integrity, and to advance social change within the Christian church and society in general.

Generalist social work practice is a holistic approach to helping that operates through human relationships within systems. It enables the practitioner to understand and operate within three dimensions of practice: micro (individuals), mezzo (groups) and macro (organizations and communities). This comprehensive approach empowers the worker to address an issue within the dimension it was found, yet consider action within the other two dimensions.

Social work students at PBU take their God-given gifts and passions within the areas of biblical compassion, mercy, and justice, and understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination, and the strategies of change that advance social and economic justice. They demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the positive value of diversity. They learn to flow among the dimensions of individual, group, organization and community, using their generalist practice skills. They learn to evaluate and implement policy, and to utilize research skills to analyze existing research and complete their own. They study varied general education courses to develop critical thinking skills and to gain the knowledge of a well-educated person. Finally, they complete more than 500 hours of field placement, where they integrate faith, theory and practice.

Graduates from the Department of Social Work are trained to work in entry-level positions within human service organizations, both sectarian (faith-based) and non-sectarian. With their generalist practice training they can work effectively with issues and individuals related to the unborn, individuals affected by death and dying, and all people in between. Graduates serve in all professional areas addressing human relationships.

The Programs

The Department offers two programs. The first is the Bachelor of Social Work Program. This program combines the Bachelor of Social Work and the Bachelor of Science in Bible degrees. This program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and requires an extensive field placement experience.

The second program is Social Service Interdisciplinary, in which the student earns a Bachelor of Science in Bible degree. This program is not accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Students apply for admission to one of these programs after the spring semester of their sophomore year.

Field Placement

Field placement is an integral part of the social work program. It gives students an opportunity to function in a professional setting under the supervision of a social work professional. The department offers field placement for B.S.W. students in a variety of areas including: children’s services, family services, services in gerontology, services in educational settings, services for the developmentally disabled, corrections, community services, mental health services, medical social work, and church-based social work.

Field placement decisions are a collaborative effort between faculty and students. There are two field placement requirements. The first is for two semesters with a minimum of eight hours per week. In this situation students have an opportunity to begin integrating theory in a practice setting where they can observe and understand organizational process. The second is for one semester with a minimum of 32 hours per week. In this situation students can begin to focus intensively on the daily professional social work experience. Both placement opportunities are concurrent with social work classes.


The Department of Social Work at Philadelphia Biblical University was founded on a vision of social responsibility integrated with biblical education. The goal was to produce graduates qualified to make social and spiritual change within churches and society. The program started in 1965 and was accredited in 1974 (when accreditation was first available) by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the national accrediting agency for both graduate and undergraduate social work programs.

Advanced Standing

A number of accredited graduate schools of social work offer advanced standing of up to one year in a traditionally two-year Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree program. This privilege is available to graduates of baccalaureate social work programs that are accredited by CSWE.

Requirements for the B.S.W. Program

Requirements for admission to and continuance in the Bachelor of Social Work Program are described in detail in the Department of Social Work Student Handbook. Briefly, these include:

Admission & Continuance

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.5 in social work courses
  3. Completion of application form
  4. A series of recommendations from the following sources:
    • The Student Development Department
    • University faculty and staff 
    • Social work faculty
    • External professionals
  5. Agreed compliance with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics
  6. Demonstration of personal qualities essential for working with people, such as:
    • self-awareness 
    • demonstrated responsibility 
    • sensitivity to the needs of people
    • commitment to service 
    • understanding of biblical compassion, mercy and justice
    • value orientation consistent with the social work profession

These qualities will be assessed by the social work faculty and field instructors. Graduates of this program receive the Bachelor of Science in Bible and the Bachelor of Social Work degrees.

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