Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice


  • Jill Johnson Ph.D., LMSW-IPR, Chair
  • April Carrasco, LMSW-IPR
  • Dana Cooley, J.D.
  • Jeana Culbert, Ph.D., LMSW-IPR
  • Jennifer Dabbs, Ph.D.
  • Tony Parnell, LCSW, ACSW, LCPAA
  • Perry Sims, J.D.


To earn a degree, students must complete the curriculum and meet other requirements for a degree listed in the academic policy section of this catalog.

Criminal Justice

The purpose of a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice is to prepare students to deal with the challenges of law enforcement in a changing society. The criminal justice program will instill a comprehensive knowledge of the criminal justice system while educating students to be critical thinkers who can communicate their thoughts effectively in oral and written form. The curriculum will familiarize students with facts and concepts, but will also teach students to use ethical behavior in applying this knowledge to related problems and changing situations. Graduates from this program will be members of professional organizations dedicated to selfless public service and will be vital in maintaining peace and curtailing lawlessness in our society. Criminal justice graduates find gainful employment in law enforcement, security, the courts, and correctional facilities. Graduates with a degree in criminal justice may find employment in juvenile and adult probation, municipal and county law enforcement, private security, hospital security, investigations, and warrant offices. Minimum employment requirements in law enforcement generally include the following:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have no convictions for Class A misdemeanor or felony offense
  • Have no convictions for Class B misdemeanor offense in the past 10 years
  • Possess good mental and physical health
  • Meet varying eyesight standards
  • Have good moral character
  • Possess a valid Texas driver’s license with minimum violations

The criminal justice degree is designed to meet the standards established by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). ACJS encourages baccalaureate programs to reflect a balanced presentation of a broad scope of criminal justice studies. The criminal justice degree focuses specifically on the five core areas identified by ACJS:

  • Criminal justice and juvenile justice processes–law, crime, and administration of justice
  • Criminology–causes of crime, typologies, offenders, and victims
  • Law enforcement–police organization, discretion, subculture, and legal constraints
  • Law adjudication–criminal law, prosecution, defense, and court procedures and decision-making
  • Corrections—incarceration, community-based corrections, and treatment of offenders

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice

A.  University Core (45 hours)

  • BIB1310  Introduction to the Old Testament
  • BIB1320  Introduction to the New Testament
  • BIB3305  Christian Heritage
  • BIB3310  Christian Life
  • COM2340  Communication for the Professional
  • ENG1301  Composition Studies
  • ENG1302  Composition and Literature
  • PSY1300  General Psychology
  • HIS2301  History of the United States I
  • HIS2302  History of the United States II
  • ESS1200  Personal Fitness and Wellness
  • MAT1311  College Algebra
  • 3 hours from BIO, CHE, NRC, or PHY
  • ENG3308  Technical Writing
  • UNI1170  University Seminar
  • 3 hours from
    • GOV     2301  National Government
    • GOV     2302  Texas State and Local Government
  • UNI2000  University Skills

B.  Major (37 hours)

  • CRJ     2301  Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRJ     2302  Fundamentals of Texas Criminal Law
  • CRJ     2303  Criminal Investigation
  • CRJ     2304  Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement
  • CRJ     2305  Courts and Criminal Procedure
  • CRJ     3301  Criminology
  • CRJ     3302  Juvenile Delinquency
  • CRJ     3312  Violent Offenders
  • CRJ     3322  Social Deviance
  • CRJ     3324  Corrections, Probation and Parole
  • CRJ     4140  Senior Assessment Seminar
  • CRJ     4326  Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • CRJ     4333  Professionalism and Ethics in Criminal Justice

C.  Supporting Courses (21 hours)

  • SOC      1300 General Sociology
  • 18 hours from
    • CRJ3311  White Collar Crime
    • CRJ3321  Understanding Sexual Offending
    • CRJ4324  Crime Analysis and Crime Mapping
    • CRJ4325  Forensic Computer Examination
    • CRJ4327  Cyber Crimes
    • CRJ4328  Death Penalty
    • CRJ4329  Gangs
    • GOV4305  Constitutional Law
    • PSY3326  Crisis Intervention
    • PSY4321  Forensic Psychology
    • PSY4322  Drugs, Alcohol, and Society
    • SWK3310  Statistics
    • SWK3314  Family and Community Violence
    • SWK3320  Social Research Methods

D.  Electives (17 hours)

E.  Total (120 hours)

Social Work

The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at the university. Therefore, graduates are eligible to sit for the social work licensing exam to become Licensed Bachelor Social Workers (LBSW). Types of agencies where BSW graduates often find employment are foster care and adoption, hospitals, schools, military services, child and adult protection, substance abuse, criminal justice, mental health, hospice, home health care, aging, victim services, community outreach, and various other agencies. BSW graduates are experiencing a high rate of admission into Master of Social Work programs and are most often granted advanced standing, shortening the length of the master's program to around 40 hours.

Social Work Program Mission

The mission of the social work program is to prepare competent and skilled social work practitioners, within the context of the Christian liberal arts education, for ethical generalist social work practice.

Social Work Program Goals

  1. To prepare students for research-informed generalist social work practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations.
  2. To develop practitioners that are guided by the values and ethics of the social work profession.
  3. To cultivate professional identity through the development and demonstration of self-awareness and social work practice behaviors.

Social Work Program Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
  2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments.
  4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
  5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
  6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
  7. Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment.
  8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services.
  9. Respond to contexts that shape practice.
  10. Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities.

Admission to the Program

Students interested in the Social Work major must see the Social Work faculty for academic and career advising. Any student may enroll in the pre-professional course, SWK 2300, however, only students admitted to the Social Work program are permitted to enroll in SWK 3301, 3302, 3303, 4610 or 4620. Once SWK 2300 is complete, Social Work majors must apply to be admitted to the program. In order to be admitted, students must have the following.

  • An overall GPA of 2.25
  • Completed ENG 1301 and ENG 1302 earning a grade of C or better in each course
  • Successfully completed SWK 2300
  • Completed a written application for admission
  • Provided a reference from a faculty member (not a member of the LCU Social Work Faculty)
  • Provided a personal reference

When the above requirements are met, the Social Work faculty will consider the application and grant or deny admission to the Social Work Program. Students will be informed of the decision in writing. When applicants are denied admission, justification will be provided. Applicants refused admission may appeal, in writing. Students appealing a faculty decision must appear before the faculty for further consideration. At that time, applicants present additional information to support their application. Students may reapply for admission to the program.

Field Placement

A vital part of the social work program is a 400 hour field placement, which is a required internship completed in the semester prior to graduation. Students complete the internship in a social service agency under the supervision of an experienced social worker. Social work students are required to successfully complete the 400 hours in field in a timely manner, consistent with field practice policy and procedure. It is each social work student's responsibility to plan in advance for the field experience in order to ensure that they will have ample time to complete all field requirements. The vast majority of available and viable field agency sites are capable of accommodating students on a full-time basis during traditional business hours. Options for field sites will generally be limited to these types of agencies. Each student must arrange, in advance, to participate in the field experience on a full-time basis. Failure to do so may prevent a student from advancing in, or completing, the social work program.

Admission to Field

Once admitted to the social work program, students are evaluated once more before admission to SWK 4610 and SWK 4620 (field placement). In the semester before admission to SWK 4610 and SWK 4620, students must demonstrate that the following are accomplished:

  • Completion of the Field Placement application
  • Overall GPA of 2.25
  • 2.5 GPA in all social work major courses
  • 2.5 average in SWK 3301, 3302, 3303
  • Evaluated favorably by the Social Work faculty in professional ethics and values, in agreement with the NASW Code of Ethics
  • Successful completion of UNI2000
  • Oral interview with the Director of Field Education

The 2.5 average in the social work practice courses, SWK 3301, 3302, and 3303, will serve as a measure for determining a student's potential to engage in effective social work practice. The practice courses provide opportunities for students to demonstrate practice skills, and therefore, if students have at least an average of 2.5, it is assumed they have demonstrated the potential to engage in effective social work practice. Within these practice courses, and other social work major courses, social work faculty evaluate student ability to recognize and demonstrate social work ethics and behavior. Ethics assignments required throughout the social work curriculum are used as the primary measure for evaluating student knowledge and demonstration of social work values and ethics. In addition to the outlined criteria, students are required to meet with the Director of Field Education to discuss guidelines for field and to identify field placement sites, prior to enrolling in SWK 4610 or SWK 4620. Students will either be approved or denied admission into SWK 4610 and SWK 4620, based upon the above criteria and procedures. Students will be notified in writing of the faculty decision. Students may appeal the decision using the original application process.

Criminal Record Implications

Many social service agencies do not allow volunteers and/or employees with criminal backgrounds. Therefore, it may be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to locate an agency where students with criminal backgrounds can complete their field placement. In which case, it becomes the primary responsibility of a student with a criminal background to secure an approved field placement in accordance with the social work degree plan. The State of Texas reserves the right to deny a license to any person entering the field of Social Work with a criminal history. Therefore, upon their graduation students having a criminal background may be denied licensure by the State of Texas for this or any other reason the State deems relevant. Licensure eligibility is the sole decision of the State of Texas.

Weekend and Online Course Offerings

In order to meet the needs of those who are unable to take social work courses face-to-face during the week, the social work program offers social work courses on the weekend or online, in addition to social work courses offered during the week. Weekend courses are taught over four weekends in an every other weekend format with the following schedule: Fridays, 7-10 PM and Saturdays, 8PM-4PM. The curriculum of the social work courses is the same, regardless of how the course is offered.

Bachelor of Social Work

The social work program does not give academic credit for life experience or previous work experience.

A.  University Core (45 hours)

  • BIB1310  Introduction to the Old Testament
  • BIB1320  Introduction to the New Testament
  • BIB3305  Christian Heritage
  • BIB3310  Christian Life
  • COM2340  Communication for the Professional
  • ENG1301  Composition Studies
  • ENG1302  Composition and Literature
  • PSY1300  General Psychology
  • HIS2302  History of the United States II
  • ESS1200  Personal Fitness and Wellness
  • MAT1311  College Algebra
  • BIO1300  Human Biology
  • ENG3308  Technical Writing
  • 3 hours from
    • GOV    2301  National Government
    • GOV    2302  Texas State and Local Government
  • 3 hours upper level ENG
  • UNI     1170  University Seminar
  • UNI     2000  University Skills

B.  Major (42 hours)

  • SWK     2300  Introduction to Social Work
  • SWK     2340  Diversity
  • SWK     3301  Generalist Practice with Individuals and Families
  • SWK     3302  Generalist Practice with Communities and Organizations
  • SWK     3303  Generalist Practice with Groups
  • SWK     3304  Social Welfare Policy
  • SWK     3306  Social Work Ethics and Professional Behavior 
  • SWK     3310  Statistics
  • SWK     3311  Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SWK     3320  Social Research Methods
  • SWK     4610  Field I
  • SWK     4620  Field II

C.  Supporting Courses (18-20 hours)

  • SOC1300  General Sociology
  • SWK     2320  Social Justice
  • SWK     3330  Maladaptive Functioning
  • 3 hours from
    • SWK     3313  Interventions with Older Adults
    • SWK     3314  Family and Community Violence
    • SWK     3315  Social Work in Criminal Justice Settings
    • SWK     3316  International Social Work
    • SWK     4352  Special Topics in Social Work
  • 6-8 hours of foreign language and/or multicultural studies

D.  Electives (13-15 hours)

E.  Total (120 hours)

Minor in Criminal Justice

(18 hours)

  • CRJ2301  Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRJ2305  Courts and Criminal Procedure
  • CRJ3301  Criminology
  • 9 hours from
    • CRJ3302  Juvenile Delinquency
    • CRJ3312  Violent Offenders
    • CRJ3322  Social Deviance
    • CRJ3324  Corrections, Probation, and Parole
    • CRJ4325  Forensic Cyber Evidence Examination
    • CRJ4326  Terrorism and Homeland Security
    • CRJ4333  Professionalism and Ethics in Criminal Justice
    • PSY4321  Forensic Psychology