Social workers help people find ways of living more satisfying and productive lives through counseling, group work, community organizing, advocacy, and social action. An ever-expanding spectrum of human service agencies and organizations rely on the unique skills of professionally-trained social workers. Wartburg social work graduates are employed in such varied areas as child protective services, programs for older adults, substance abuse treatment, hospitals, mental health, juvenile and adult corrections, community programs serving people with disabilities, and social service program administration. Wartburg’s social work program has been fully accredited by the National Council on Social Work Education since 1976 and offers both a major in social work and a minor in social welfare.
A Pre-professional Training Program
The curriculum is designed to help students acquire essential professional social work skills through on-campus courses and agency-based field instruction.
All faculty are experienced social workers with professional backgrounds and credentials.
Much of the curriculum is project-based, enabling students to learn by doing, with a strong emphasis on community service.
Program Mission & Goals
The Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education to grant the baccalaureate-level social work degree. Grounded in the institutional mission of preparing students for lives of service and leadership as a spirited expression of their faith and learning, the Wartburg College Social Work Program develops graduates who are prepared for beginning generalist social work practice or graduate school entry at the advanced level. The program and its curriculum are based on the conviction that every person is worthy of respect and dignity and that this ideal cannot be achieved without a deep and active commitment to social justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the qualities of life for all persons, locally and globally. Ultimately, we strive to develop competent, proficient practitioners who reflect the ideals of a liberal arts education and the knowledge, values, and skills of the social work profession.
Instill in students an appreciation for the community as an essential context for professional practice.
Develop graduates with the vision, skills, and appreciation for advocacy to assume positions of professional and community leadership.
Equip students with an appreciation for professional ethics and the skills needed to apply ethical principles consistently in everyday practice.
Enable students to seek and skillfully use resources and research methods that enhance quality professional practice and service delivery.
Develop students who do not merely tolerate human differences, but view diversity as a strength and vital element of social life.
Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the social work program have had.
ER Social Worker, University of IA Hospitals & Clinics, IA City
Case Management Program Director, Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Waterloo
Domestic Violence Counselor, Friends of the Family, Waverly
Youth Health Educator, Allen Hospital Together for Youth, Waterloo
Substance Abuse Counselor, Pathways Behavioral Services, Waterloo
Juvenile Court Services Officer, Denver, Colorado
Executive Director, Kentucky NASW, Lexington, Kentucky
Social Worker, Black Hawk-Grundy Community Mental Health, Waterloo
Family Therapist (private practice), Aurora, Colorado
Disabilities Program Manager, State of Alaska, Anchorage
Social Work Professor, Clarke University, Dubuque
Social Worker, Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids
Social Worker, Cedar Valley Hospice, Waterloo
Child Protective Services Social Worker, IA Dept. of Human Services, Des Moines
16 course credits:
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
SO 101 Introduction to Sociology
SW 101 Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare
SW 181 Beginning Field Experience
SW 201 Human Behavior and the Social Environment
SW 202 Group and Organizational Behavior
SW 300 Social Policy
SW 301 Practice I: Interviewing & Assessing
SW 302 Practice II: Diversity and Interventions
SW 303 Practice III: Organizations and Communities
SW 321 Social Work Research
SW 400 Senior Integrative Seminar
SW 401 Supervised Field Instruction
SW 402 Supervised Field Instruction
SW 403 Supervised Field Instruction
One course credit from
BI 130 Drugs and Personal Health
BI 131 Biology of Ordinary Things
NSC 135 Biology of the Mind
Four of the 17 course credits are earned in field courses. Electives are recommended in statistics, sign language, English, psychology, religion, social work, and sociology.
By completing the social work major, students have met the requirements for OCAC/ILAC.