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Social Work and Criminal Justice

  • “Your career is an expression of your faith. We are here to help you learn to live a life of Christian service.” — Amber Residori, M.S.W., dean, School of Life and Health Sciences 

  • Be an influence for Christ in your community, state, country and world. Learn and experience how to address issues with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and systems.

    Gain the knowledge you need to serve and succeed in your career. Our program follows the standards set by professional organizations for both social work and criminal justice:

    • Council of Social Work Education (CSWE)
    • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
    • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). 

    Your professors are experienced and licensed professionals in the fields of social work, law enforcement and law.

    Respond to the growing need for Spanish-speaking professionals in these careers. Add Spanish courses to your degree program. Learn from professors who speak it as their first language.

    The distinguishing difference with an education in social work or criminal justice at Olivet is the integration of faith. Both programs will discuss and explore how personal faith influences professional practice. The historical and traditional influence of biblical and religious principles are considered and discussed as they relate to service, establishment and adjudication of law, and with respect to diversity.

    At Olivet you can: 

    • Apply your knowledge and practice your skills. Each year, our students invest more than 20,000 clock hours serving with various agencies in the greater Kankakee community.
    • Prepare and present your research project at national conferences, such as the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW). Write for publication in a journal.
    • Travel on mission trips sponsored by Olivet’s Missions In Action (M.I.A.) and other organizations. On a recent trip, social work majors collected school supplies for children in Romania and then delivered the supplies to them as part of their three-week summer mission trip.
    • Find out what it’s really like to serve in law enforcement. Do ride-alongs with police officers. Visit prisons and jails. Participate in community disaster drills.
    • Travel to Washington, D.C., with a group of students and professors. See how our government and social service agencies function. Attend special events. Meet leaders and alumni who are making a difference for Christ.
    • And much more!

    Additional Opportunities

    Diakonia, Olivet’s social work club, serves the community through planned activities. Go trick or treating to collect necessities for local food pantries and homeless shelters. Entertain foster children and families at a Christmas party. Assist professors in presenting continuing education events for area social workers.

    Participate in Social Work Advocacy Day in Springfield, Ill. Learn about current issues from human services professionals. Contact government officials to make your voice heard regarding law and public policy.

    Olivet’s Roaring Tiger Battalion at nearby Fortin Villa provides leadership and management training through the Army ROTC program. Acquire the self-discipline and confidence you need for a criminal justice career.


    Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) for social work program

    Areas of study: 

    Criminal Justice, B.S.
    Social Work, B.S.W. 

  • Social Work and Criminal Justice Right Image
  • Gain the experience and skills you need to build a successful career.

  • Complete list of faculty