Department Statement of Philosophy

We, the faculty and students of the Andrews University Social Work Department, strive to be a community joined together in excellence, compassion and a desire to serve others. While each student is not required to hold the following beliefs, our department strives to affirm the following philosophy in classroom, field and interpersonal interactions:
We rejoice
   • In a personal, loving God who cares about all persons and gives us 
     freedom of choice;
   • In our capacity to be loving, joyful, spiritual human beings who were 
     made in God's image;
   • In our ability to live in healthy relationships with God and our fellow
     human beings;
   • In the privilege of interacting in communities where we can
     demonstrate God's mercy, love and healing;
   • In the transformational power of the Gospel to renew us in the image 
     of God.
We affirm
   • That God loves all people, regardless of race, ethnicity,
     age, class, gender, sexual orientation, cultural background, religious
     belief, health status, ability, choice or action;
   • The life and example of Jesus, who modeled a life of compassionate
     service to others and sought to end institutional and social oppression
     and improve the lives of others in the here and now;
   • That all people possess strengths and are resilient and capable of
     love, respect and self-determination;
   • The values of self-determination, individual worth and dignity and the 
     importance of life.
We lament
   • The institutional and social pain which humans inflict on one another,
     whether rooted in power, religious intolerance or secular philosophy;
   • The injustice and violence which pervade our communities and our
   • The fear and selfishness expressed in racism, sexism, anti-Semitism,
     and homophobia which separate us from one another;
   • The exploitation of the earth and its poor for economic gain;
   • The ways in which those with power attempt to impose their beliefs and
     will on the powerless, whether because of religious or secular dogma,
     ignorance, ideology or personal gain;
   • The ways we fail to demonstrate consistently God's message of peace,
     hope, impartial justice, holistic healing, and unconditional love for all
     communities and all others.
We urge
   • Faculty to model compassion, Christian servant leadership, excellence
     in teaching, community service and research;
   • Staff to offer service and support in ways that empower students,
     faculty, and stakeholders to achieve the mission of the department;
   • Students to carry forward the department's mission with
     professionalism, compassion, and dedication to preserve and heal all
     God's creation.
   • The entire social work department to demonstrate a commitment to
     excellence in practice, the mediation of understanding, and life-long