Social Work

The social work program at Fresno Pacific University offers a rich combination of a liberal arts education and professional training and theoretical knowledge of social work. The program offers an excellent education in a supportive Christian atmosphere that helps students integrate faith and professional ethics in ways that make them highly sought after in the field.

Unique Features

  • Integrated theory and practice
  • Uses the helper-as-servant model
  • Includes a semester-long internship
  • Emphasizes an understanding of diversity, social work values and ethics, and social justice
  • Informed by a Christian/Anabaptist worldview

One unique feature of the social work major is the "hands on" preparation for entry into the profession. Students in their senior spring semester complete a supervised field placement in which they work 32 hours a week under the supervision of a master's level social worker. At the end of the semester they have completed 448 hours or more of training, making them very desirable employees. Many students are hired by their field placement agencies.

Small classes and individualized student program planning help students maximize their success. Students also take Social Science Research (SOC 461) in the fall of their senior year where they plan a research project. In the spring they take Senior Thesis (SW 481) and do their research, collect and analyze data, write a discussion, finish the research paper and present their research to faculty and fellow students. This is excellent preparation for graduate school.

Our Graduates

Graduates are prepared for a variety of careers in the helping professions: social work, counseling, juvenile and adult probation, ministry, non-profit management, family and child welfare and gerontology. Graduates who complete the program are highly sought after for employment and graduate school. With a master's degree in social work graduates go on to work as medical social workers, school social workers/counselors and licensed clinical social workers.

Program Details

Social work students are involved in a variety of internships throughout the Central Valley. Some of the most frequently selected internships are:


  • Children's Hospital Central California
  • Community Regional Medical Center

    Law enforcement--

    • federal probation
    • juvenile probation
    • early intervention
    • victim services

    Children and families--

    • Fresno County Department of Children and Family Services
    • Central Valley Regional Center
    • Valley Teen Ranch


    • California Armenian Home
    • OASIS Adult Day Care
    • Valley Caregiver's Resource Center
    • Alzheimer's Research Center


    • Donna M. Callahan, MSW - program director 
      Teaches: Foundations of Social Work Practice, Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Gerontology, and Senior Seminar/Field Experience
    • Jane Middleton, DSW, MSW - degree completion program director
    • William Dailey, Ed.D.
      Teaches: Becoming a Change Agent and Social Gerontology 
    • Sonia Pranger, MSW
      Teaches: Urban Society and the Welfare State, Introduction to Social Science Research, and Senior Thesis
    • Hubert Alvarez, BSW, MPA 
      Teaches: Chemical Dependency
    • Caine Christensen, MSW, LCSW 
      Teaches: Working with Groups, Helping People, and Introduction to Social Work
    • Eleanor Uribe, LCSW
      Teaches: Studies in Domestic Violence and Senior Research


    General Education Prerequisites

    Select at least four of the following courses:

    • BIOL-101L Principles of Biology (4)
    • ECON-105 Principles of Economics (4)
    • PS-120 American Politics and Society (4)
    • PSY-120 Introduction to Psychology (3)
    • SOC -120 Introduction to Sociology (3)

    Required Courses (14 Courses, 51 Units)

    Foundational Courses

    • SW-100 Perspectives in Social Work (1)
    • SW-120 Helping People: An Introduction (3)

    Advanced Courses

    • PSY-410 Abnormal Psychology (4)
    • SOC -310 Cultural Communities of California (3)
    • or SOC-410 American Ethnicity and Pluralism (3)
    • SOC -461 Introduction to Social Science Research (3)
    • SW-300 Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3)
    • SW-320 Marriage and Family (3)
    • SW-350 Urban Society and the Welfare State (3)
    • SW-360 Social Problems and Public Policy (4)
    • SW-400 Foundations of Social Work Practice (4)
    • SW-410 Working With Groups (3)
    • SW-420 Becoming a Change Agent (3)
    • SW-480 Senior Seminar in Social Work (3)
    • SW-481 Senior Thesis (3)
    • SW-482 Field Instruction in Social Work (8)

    Recommended Elective Courses

    • PS-375 Criminal Justice in America (4)
    • PSY-300 Statistics (4)
    • SOC -482 Intercultural Practicum (1)
    • SW-110 Participation in Volunteer Services (1-3)
    • SW-310 Social Gerontology (3)
    • SW-390 Chemical Dependency Intervention (1)
    • SW-395 Studies in Domestic Violence (2)
    • SW-483 Mediation Practicum (1)

    Why the Central Valley?

    Fresno is uniquely situated to offer a variety of experiences for the serious social work student. The community boasts a wealth of diversity and opportunities to work with a variety of people. It is also a leader in creative programs serving clients of all ages.

    Further Information

    How can I prepare for this major?

    High school students should take biology, sociology, political science and psychology, if available. They should also take opportunities to volunteer in their communities so they have an idea of the needs and strengths of the people.

    Junior college transfers should definitely take sociology, psychology, political science, economics and biology that will meet both prerequisite and general education requirements.

    Program Director