Published on July 7, 2016 by Katie Stripling  
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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.