The combined Master of Social Work and Master of Divinity program is a four-year professional degree program offered by Virginia Commonwealth University in cooperation with Richmond Theological Consortium schools that include Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. The purpose of the dual-degree program is to prepare students for service in occupations where social work and the church’s ministries intersect; to enable social workers to perform and evaluate social work practices as they relate to biblical, theological, ethical, educational and pastoral perspectives; and to equip graduates for various forms of ministry in which clinical and administrative skills in social work are critical.

This program requires four continuous years of study and leads to a Master of Social Work degree conferred by VCU and a Master of Divinity degree conferred by the chosen RTC school. Permission for part-time study must be given by the dual-degree adviser at VCU and the appropriate theological school dean of faculty. All degree requirements must be completed within seven years of matriculation. Students need to apply and be accepted both programs and may begin study at either institution following the approved curriculum plan. Or, a student may begin at either VCU or the seminary and then apply for admission to the other school during the first year of study in accordance with application deadline dates.

The M.S.W. requires 60 credit hours that do not include the required integrative seminar and one course transferred from the seminary to satisfy a three-credit hour M.S.W. elective requirement. The integrative seminar is taken in the final year of study and is co-taught by a member of the VCU School of Social Work faculty and a member of a faculty of an RTC school. The seminar enables the student to integrate theoretical, social justice, empirical, ethical and practical dimensions of social work with biblical, theological, educational and pastoral perspectives.

See the individual program pages for specific admission requirements, application deadlines, program goals, student learning outcomes, degree requirements and graduation requirements for the M.S.W. degree program.

Apply online at graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Application process

Prospective students apply to the VCU School of Social Work and one of the participating theological schools, must meet both sets of admission standards and must be accepted into both programs. For the M.S.W. program, refer to the “Admission to the master’s degree program” section. For information about admission to an RTC Master of Divinity program, contact one of the following schools:

Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
3400 Brook Road
Richmond, VA 23286-3446
Phone: (804) 345-2877

Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology
1500 N. Lombardy St.
Richmond, VA 23220
Phone: (804) 257-5715

M.S.W. program applications can be obtained from the VCU Graduate Admissions website at www.graduate.admissions.vcu.edu.

Graduate program director
Melissa L. Abell, Ph.D.
M.S.W. program director
Email: mlabell@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-2007

Additional contact
Joseph Walsh, Ph.D.
Professor, VCU School of Social Work
Email: jwalsh@vcu.edu
Phone: (804) 828-0408

Program website: socialwork.vcu.edu