Social Work and Family Studies

The Department of Social Work and Family Studies offers a major in social work and a concentration in family studies. Family studies and social work are fields of study that build upon students’ liberal arts education to prepare them to identify the changing needs of families, develop the means to satisfy those needs, and explore policies and programs that address social problems and enhance human strengths.

The mission of Social Work and Family Studies is to:

  • identify as a collaborative department concerned with the well-being of diverse individuals, families, and communities
  • create an intellectual community for faculty working in family studies, social work, and related areas
  • support the college emphases on cross-cultural and experiential learning

We welcome applications to our Tenure Track Position to begin Fall 2015

Please apply at

Department of Social Work and Family Studies
Appointment Type: Full time, tenure-track, at assistant or associate level
Qualifications:Required: MSW from a CSWE accredited institution, a minimum of 2 years post-master’s practice experience,and a doctorate in social work, family social science, or related field; advanced ABD will be considered. The successful candidate must be prepared to teach undergraduate generalist courses in social work and family studies (e.g. macro practice, human sexuality, research methods, family relationships) and be eligible for a Minnesota social work license.

Preferred: A candidate with teaching, practice, and/or research experience with diverse populations, particularly families. We value someone with knowledge of the liberal arts tradition. These attributes will enable us to broaden our department capacity to better prepare students for the cross-cultural and global environment in which they live and work.

Responsibilities: We welcome faculty with varied scholarly and professional interests. The college and the department offer significant opportunities and support for faculty to engage in scholarly activity, including research with undergraduates and interdisciplinary teaching.A full-time teaching load is six courses per academic year; faculty members also carry formal advising and committee responsibilities after the first year. We expect all faculty at some point to provide leadership for our department and its programs.

Application: Candidates must submit application materials online at A complete application includes a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, statement of scholarly interests, graduate transcripts, and the names/contact information for three references (letters will be required at the semi-finalist stage).We plan to interview at CSWE’s APM in Tampa in October.

Review: Begins September 30, 2014 and will continue until an outstanding candidate has been hired. 

Contact: Mary S. Carlsen, Search Committee Chair,

Other Information:The Department of Social Work and Family Studies offers both a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work and a concentration in family studies; the social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education through 2015. We seek an outstanding teacher, scholar, and practitioner to complement our close-knit faculty and embrace our mission to prepare liberally educated students to serve diverse populations and promote a just global community. Our students are diverse, are academically talented, and demonstrate a deep ethic of service, both locally and globally. The department benefits by its proximity to Minneapolis/St. Paul, a vibrant and culturally rich metropolitan area. Faculty have strong and deep connections in the regional practice, education, and policy communities, e.g. NASW-Minnesota Chapter, The Minnesota Council on Family Relations, Social Work in a Latin American Context (a consortium program), and the Minnesota Conference on Social Work Education. We also have strong alliances on campus, including TRIO, the Piper Center for Vocation and Career, Race and Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Multicultural Affairs.

St. Olaf is an academically rigorous, nationally ranked liberal arts college related to the Lutheran church (ELCA). It is located in Northfield, MN, 35 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul. It is home to 3,000 students and 800 faculty and staff employees. St. Olaf College is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and actively seeks diversity in its students, faculty and staff. The college is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our community through their teaching, research, and/or service. For more information about the college and the department, please visit:


2014 Career Night Speakers

Career Night 2014 2

Erin Lawrence, Social Work ’13
Jessica Neibeling, Family Studies, ’06
Allie Busching, Social Work ’12
Trenton Lawson, Social Work ’95