Preparing graduates for proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel

For students called to both preach the gospel and engage in practical ministry, Samford University is pleased to offer joint degree programs with Beeson Divinity School and the School of Public Health's Master of Social Work.

Joint Degrees Include

  • Master of Divinity (M/Div.) / Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
  • Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.T.S.) / Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Graduates from these programs are well-equipped to undertake multifaceted work. For example, individuals who discern a vocational call to international missions may be tasked with both traditional ministry work as well as developing and overseeing programs that address issues such as human trafficking or HIV/AIDs prevention.

Requirements for the Master of Social Work program are constant for both joint degree programs, while requirements differ for the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theological Studies. Both require coursework in biblical studies, historical and theological studies, and spiritual formation. However, the Master of Divinity requires additional courses in biblical languages, including Greek and Hebrew, and in the theory and practice of Christian ministry.

In short, the Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree is designed to provide a basic understanding of core theological disciplines, while the Master of Divinity is designed to prepare God-called persons to serve in pastoral ministry capacities.

Application Process

Students must apply for admission to each program separately. Admission to one program does not guarantee admission to the other.

Step One

For either the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Theological Studies program, you must first apply for admission to Beeson Divinity School.

Apply to Beeson Divinity School

Step Two

You must complete an internal application in order to avoid duplications of fees, etc. 

Internal Application for M.S.W. Program

For questions about this application process, you can contact Sherri Brown with Beeson Divinity School or Karen Eddins with Samford's College of Health Sciences.

Admission Requirements

For admission requirements, please visit the website for the individual programs.

Plans of Study

M.Div. / M.S.W. (Five Years)

For this joint degree program, Beeson Divinity School will grant 12 semester hours of elective credit for social work program courses and the social work program will grant six hours of elective credit for divinity courses. This effectively reduces the total number of hours for the two degrees by 18. 

In addition to the ability to count core courses from one program for elective credit in the other, students in the M.Div./M.S.W. program are also eligible to complete internships for both programs simultaneously in a church or ministry setting. Although this option does not further lower the credit requirement for either program, it does allow students to save time by completing two internship requirements simultaneously. Internship sites must be approved by both programs and internship activities must meet the internal and accreditation requirements of each program.

M.Div./M.S.W. Plan of Study

MA.T.S. / M.S.W (Four Years)

For this program, Beeson Divinity School will grant six semester hours of elective credit for social work program courses, and the social work program will grant six semester hours of elective credits for divinity courses. This effectively reduces the total number of hours for the two degrees by 12. 

M.A.T.S./M.S.W. Plan of Study


Students in either joint degree program will choose one of two concentrations with their Master of Social Work. 

Advanced Clinical Practice

The advanced clinical practice concentration prepares graduates for direct practice with individuals, families and small groups. Its coursework emphasizes the use of evidence-informed interventions, while recognizing the need for practitioner flexibility and client self-determination. Students will develop skills in assessing, diagnosis and intervening with diverse populations. They will learn how to develop client strengths in order to address complex mental, health and behavioral health issues and improve client functioning.

Community Practice and Social Engagement

The community practice and social engagement concentration prepares students for community development social work careers in an increasingly globalized world. This concentration incorporates an assets- and strengths-based focus, emphasizing best practices for both international and domestic community work. Students will be prepared to engage in macro-level social work practice aimed at mobilizing systemic change and engagement to promote stable, healthy and sustainable communities.


Beeson Divinity School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

The Samford MSW Program was awarded full accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in June 2017.