Catholic University of America
Our commitment to supporting traditional social work values while responding to today’s educational and practice developments continues to make ours a highly regarded program both within the academic world and the practice community.
In the search for undergraduate and graduate programs in social work, the School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America stands out. Its reputation as delivering a top quality education for those seeking to enter this profession speaks for itself.
A degree from CUA is a prestigious credential. Consistently earning top ratings in every category, the BSW and MSW programs, both accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, hold the standard for excellence high. The PhD Program, the third oldest in the nation and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, continues to produce social work scholars who further the development of the profession through research, knowledge-building, and leadership.
History of the National Catholic School of Social Service
The National Catholic School of Social Service was founded in 1918 under the sponsorship of the National Catholic Welfare Conference to train Catholic women for diocesan social service programs and was officially named when it became a two-year graduate school. An autonomous educational institution until 1923, the school then became affiliated with The Catholic University of America. The university established its own school of social work to train priests, religious, and lay men in 1934. In 1947, the men’s and women’s schools merged and have continued as the National Catholic School of Social Service of The Catholic University of America ever since.
Education toward the master’s degree was the primary mission of NCSSS at its inception, but additional degree programs have been subsequently established. The doctoral program, established in 1934, is the third oldest social work doctoral program in the world. An undergraduate degree program was established in 1969 through the university’s School of Arts and Sciences. Since 1996, NCSSS has collaborated with Metropolitan College to encourage the non-traditional undergraduate student to pursue social work.
Today the school trains social workers within a framework of Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The school has more than 6,800 alumni working throughout the world in many fields, including child welfare, gerontology, family preservation, health and mental health, social policy, social justice and social work education.
NCSSS Mission Statement
Derived from the mission of The Catholic University of America and that of the social work profession, the mission of the National Catholic School of Social Service is to educate students from diverse faiths and cultures who in their professional endeavors will embody the values of social justice, service, and scholarship. This mission is grounded in the justice and charity foundation of Catholic social teachings and the tradition of a modern university that welcomes all forms of human inquiry.
To advance knowledge, values, and competencies through the development, application, and dissemination of theory and research relevant to the social work profession.
To serve and empower vulnerable, oppressed, and impoverished people and communities.
To promote social and economic justice and individual and societal well-being in the context of The Catholic University of America, the social work profession, and the needs of the local, national, and global communities.