The Catholic University of America

July 7, 2015

CUA Ranked Top Catholic Social Work School

  NCSSS hosted an open house and picnic during the fall semester to spread the word about the value of a degree in social work.

Catholic University’s National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS) has been rated the top Catholic institution for social work in the nation. The ranking comes from the Social Work Degree Guide’s “Top 25 Christian Colleges for a Social Work Degree Program 2015.” NCSSS took the number-two spot on the list among all Christian colleges.

The guide based its ranking on five factors: average tuition, return on investment, student-to-faculty ratio, accreditation, and religious coursework. The guide is a respected resource for information about educational and career options in social work.

According to the guide, NCSSS students have “an unparalleled learning experience.” Catholic University’s social work school was highlighted for its student to faculty ratio of 7 – 1. The guide emphasizes small class sizes as one the greatest strengths of social work programs. All of NCSSS’s programs require students to participate in credited field work in their areas of interest. Students are paired with a faculty member who serves as their field work and curriculum advisor.

“We are thrilled and proud to be so highly ranked by the Social Work Degree Guide,” says NCSSS Dean Will Rainford. “Our mission is grounded in the justice and charity foundation of Catholic social teachings and in the tradition of a modern university that welcomes all forms of human inquiry.

  Will Rainford, NCSSS dean, greets a student at the fall open house on the plaza in front of Shahan Hall, home to the social work school.

“In the work being done at NCSSS, whether in the classroom, through scholarship, or in service to the community, our faculty, staff, and students seek to create a better world through social work. Our vital work embodies Pope Francis’s call to serve people in poverty and those who are oppressed in society. It is this work that animates our learning community, making it a most unique school of social work.”

The guide describes social work as one of the most popular degrees at religious institutions because of its emphasis on education, morality, faith, and service.

Rainford notes that NCSSS offers three “academically rigorous and experientially rewarding” degrees: a bachelor’s in social work (B.S.W.), a master’s in social work (M.S.W.), and a Ph.D. program.

The B.S.W. and the M.S.W. are accredited through the Council on Social Work Education. The Ph.D. program, the third oldest in the nation, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Rainford says it “continues to produce social work scholars who further the development of the profession through research, knowledge building, and leadership.”

To learn more about NCSSS, visit




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