Friday, June 18, 2010

New Dual Degree Offered: Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work

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The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the Department of Social Work at Andrews University are now offering a new dual graduate degree, a Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work, beginning in the fall semester of 2010. This four-year degree is being introduced with a 33 percent tuition reduction incentive.

The new dual MDiv/MSW degree will prepare students for service in occupations where social work and the pastoral mission of the church intersect. It is the only collaborative program of its kind within the Seventh-day Adventist Church and only one of 15 throughout the United States.

"The role of today's pastor is different than that of the traditional pastor. In addition to preaching, visitation, weddings, funerals and an annual evangelistic series, pastors must be prepared to deal with a myriad of human challenges both within the congregation and within the community," says David Sedlacek, professor of social work and co-coordinator of the dual degree program.

The program is designed to give students an integrated approach to both theology and social work. It's structured to prepare students for types of ministry where clinical and administrative skills in both social work and theology are needed. Students can choose to complete a dual degree or an emphasis in either social work or Christian ministry.

"Effective evangelism today requires a familiarity with the real problems that people face and the knowledge of how to effectively address them with sound professional and biblical solutions," says J. Michael Harris, director of the MDiv program. "Studies show that pastors are often the first and most trusted contact for congregants who are experiencing life problems. They therefore need to be well prepared to help with these problems."

Applicants for the MDiv/MSW dual degree program are required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the United States, or an equivalent educational credential from another country. Applicants must apply separately, and be accepted, by both the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the Department of Social Work.

To learn more about the dual MDiv/MSW, e-mail mdiv-msw@andrews.edu or contact the Program Coordinator at 269-471-6249.

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