For Immediate Release
By Elena Groholske, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.—Campbellsville University’s Carver School of Social Work and Counseling is meeting the call to missions in the United States and internationally.
“The social work students have taken commitment to education and Christian faith seriously,” said Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University. “They represent social work and counseling, but more importantly, they represent Christianity.”
“CU has graduated 242 social workers from the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling including 26 students receiving master of social work degrees in 2010 and 2011, and a total of 37 master of science in counseling alumni,” said John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president.
Dr. Darlene Eastridge, dean of the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling, said, “We have graduates working in faith-based, secular domestic and foreign services. They serve as missionaries and service providers in government, education, Hospice, mental health, Home Health, Probation and Parole, youth services, children’s advocacy, vocational rehabilitation and faith-based services nationwide.”
A few of the Carver School graduates include: Missy Forrest, who received her bachelor of social work in 2004, and David Kingsbury, who received a bachelor in Christian studies in 2006 and his master of science in counseling in 2011, works at Communicare Recovery Center in Elizabethtown, Ky.
Misty Curry is the executive director of the Green River Ministries homeless shelter, and Anne Adcock, who works at Hospice of Lake Cumberland and serves an adjunct instructors for the Carver School, are 2010 master of social work graduates,.
Laura Chowning, who earned her bachelor of social work in 2004, is a community development coordinator with the Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Inc.
Donna Hedgespeth, earned her master of science in counseling in 2008, and works for the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice, and Emmanuel Nwala, who earned his master of science in counseling in 2011, works at Community Counseling Services in South Dakota.
Brian Kester, who received a master of science in counseling 2007, recently passed the Oklahoma examination for his jurist doctorate, and Dr. Michelle Tucker (1998) is teaching as an assistant professor of social work in the Carver School.
Graduates serving as missionaries include: Kasey Graham Murrell, who received her bachelor of social work in 2005, and her husband, Jody, have traveled to Africa to participate in missionary work.
“The Carver School’s bachelor’s degree is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and we are making good progress in achieving accreditation for the master’s in social work as well,” Chowning said.
“Campbellsville University established its first program of social work in 1974,” said Eastridge. “The degree awarded was a Bachelor of Science with social work as a major; however, the original program was not accredited by our professional organization. The program existed in that form until 1989 when it was phased out by the institution.”
In 1994, through student requests, and community and state employment needs, the social work program was brought back to then Campbellsville College. The program entered candidacy for CSWE accreditation in 1998 and was granted initial accreditation in 2001.
Eastridge said, during the candidacy process, Campbellsville began discussions with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville, Ky. about the fate of the Carver School of Church Social Work.
She said SBTS was searching discontinuing their relationship with the program and seeking a new location for the school. The new home was negotiated, and the Carver School of Church Social Work was moved to Campbellsville University in 1997; just two months prior to the BSW program’s entry into candidacy with the CSWE.
Within the first couple of years of settling in, discussion ensued about Carver’s purpose and destiny.
Just as in the past, The Carver School had undergone transition, she said. Beginning as a “women’s” missionary training program in 1913, to a seminary housed women’s missionary opportunity mid-20th century, to a “church” social work focus in the late 1980s to the now Christian servant leadership program, the school has a rich history she said.
“It can proudly claim the development and preparation of thousands in missionary service, Christian ministry and social services, many who have achieved high honors in career and academic preparation,” Eastridge said.
After coming to Campbellsville University, the national honors society for social workers bestowed affiliation with the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling for the first time in history.
“Phi Alpha is the highest honor in the Carver School,” said Candace Dye of Campbellsville, president of CU’s Phi Alpha chapter. “I’m grateful to be a member and to be able to extend that honor to my fellow students.”
This year, CU celebrates 14 years since the union between the Carver School and Campbellsville University, and Eastridge said, “We continue to develop servant leaders to the glory of God.”
“Without God’s hand on this venture, we would never have experienced the growth and acclaim we have achieved!” she said.
“We have been blessed by doing God’s work.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.