History of the Carver School

Campbellsville University established its first program of social work in 1974.  The degree awarded was a Bachelor of Science with social work as a major. The program was accredited by our regional accrediting organizations, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, but at that time it was not accredited by our professional organization.  The program existed in that form until 1989 when it was phased out by the institution.

Student requests, community and state employment needs, and the support of the Administration and Board of Trustees were the catalysts in 1994 for a rebirth of the social work program.  The University was excited, supportive, and ready to build a quality program that was worthy of national accreditation and the standards of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The social work program entered accreditation candidacy with the CSWE in 1998 and proceeded through the development process. Initial accreditation was granted in February 2001. Once initial accreditation was awarded, CSWE granted reciprocity to students who had graduated from the BSW program during the candidacy period (1998-2001) and they too were considered graduates of a CSWE accredited program.

During the development stages of the undergraduate program (1995-1997), just prior to the BSW programs entry into candidacy with the CSWE, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville Kentucky, previous home to the Carver School of Church Social Work, was searching for a new home for the Carver School of Church Social Work. Campbellsville University humbly accepted the opportunity to provide Carver a continuing home in Kentucky and to carry forth the Carver name and Christian mission and, in addition, provide a home for the historic library collection. The acquisition of the Carver School of Church Social Work was finalized between Campbellsville University and the SBTS on December 17, 1997. The name was later changed to the Carver School of Social Work.

Since that time, the BSW program has grown to include several program options including the main campus and extension sites in Louisville, Somerset and plans are in place for a program option at the CU Harrodsburg site. The BSW is also offered fully online. The program will seek reaffirmation from CSWE in 2021.

In 2008, the Carver School began the MSW program by entering candidacy for accreditation. The Council on Social Work Education awarded initial accreditation to CU in 2012, retroactive to 2008. Accreditation was reaffirmed for the MSW in 2016 for another eight years and the program will again seek reaffirmation in 2024. The MSW program is currently a fully online program with students enrolled from across the United States.

Campbellsville University’s Carver School of Social Work has experienced phenomenal growth. The Carver School of Social Work faculty and staff are dedicated professionals who continually strive for excellence while remaining focused on the missions of both the program and the university as a whole. The expansion of Carver programming could not occur without the superior leadership and commitment of our administration, advisory board, faculty, staff, students and community. The financial commitment, dedication, guidance and loyalty of our affiliates is a blessing for which we are thankful. The required courses in the social work curriculum encourage students to use a strengths perspective for assessing clients, the application of respectful practice, advocacy for social and economic justice all while working with diverse client systems of various sizes and populations, particularly influenced by domestic vs international or urban vs rural context (which influences service opportunities and resource availabilities). Students leave the program prepared for professional practice with a Christian servant leadership perspective ready to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, groups, organizations and society.