King University Offers New Master of Social Work Degree

Mar 30, 2021 | King University

Online program will help reduce regional and national shortage of social workers

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 30, 2021 — King University is expanding its award-winning social work program with the addition of a new Master of Social Work (MSW) degree, available to students enrolling for the 2021-2022 academic year.

A fully online program designed to accommodate working adults, the MSW degree will be offered in two enrollment options. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than social work may be eligible for the foundational option. Alumni of King’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program, along with candidates with an undergraduate social work degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), may be eligible for the advanced-standing option.

The need for social workers is expected to rise over the next several years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“By 2029, employment of social workers in general is projected to increase by 13% over the previous 10 years,” said Mark Overbay, M.D., dean of the School of Health and Professional Sciences. “Communities have long recognized the need for qualified care in this field, particularly during times when there are stressors present in the environment such as societal unrest, economic uncertainty, and widespread health challenges. Thankfully, healthcare providers are also prioritizing the presence of social workers in their service offerings. Our goal is to help supply qualified workers who can help address patients’ challenges from an empathetic viewpoint, as well as a strong educational and experiential foundation.”

The program is led by Clifford Rosenbohm, Ph.D., ACSW, LCSW, professor of Social Work and MSW program coordinator. Rosenbohm is also a commissioner on the executive committee of the CSWE Commission on Accreditation, and serves on the Social Work Professional Accreditation Council of the Council of Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). 

“The MSW program helps train students to identify community resources and service gaps,” Rosenbohm said. “Graduates of this program will be ready to pursue licensure and step into the role of an advanced social worker. Nearly all hospitals and medical agencies want master’s degree-level social workers, which enables them to obtain licensing and equips them for specialization in mental health, medical, hospice, or substance abuse care.

“In addition, because it’s often challenging to attract MSW practitioners to rural communities, King’s MSW program was developed to help train students to serve in rural areas throughout the Appalachian region,” Rosenbohm added. “This can impact our communities greatly, and we’re proud to help equip social work practitioners for far-reaching service and leadership.”

Rosenbohm noted that the MSW curriculum aligns with the strict standards of CSWE accreditation, and because the program expects to achieve CSWE candidacy status during the 2021-2022 academic year, students who are admitted to the program during this time will be recognized upon program completion as having graduated from a CSWE-accredited program.

King plans to enroll the first cohort of foundational students this fall, and advanced-standing students in the summer of 2022.

For more information about the master of social work degree, visit Additional information about King University is available at



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