Welcome to the Department of Social and Religious Studies (SRS). The department is one of the four Departments in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Divine Word University (DWU). We offer two new programs:
- Bachelor of Arts (Social Work)
- Bachelor of Arts (Religious Studies)
For the first two years the students will take the same units as the basis for both degrees and from the year three they separate following their respective fields of specialisation of choice; whether BA in Social Work or BA in Religious Studies.
There will be an exit point after two years for those who wish to finish with a Diploma in Social and Religious Studies.
Duration of programs
- 4 years of full-time study for the BA (SW)
- 4 years of full-time study for the BA (RS)
- 2 years full-time Exit – Diploma of Arts (SRS)
Total credit points required to complete the 4-year full time programs
- 480 credit points BA (SW)
- 480 credit points BA (RS)
- 240 credit points Diploma of Arts in Social and Religious Studies (SRS).
The programs have been created in response to the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG and SI who see that there is a real need for such programs to respond to peoples’ situation and the challenges they face nowadays within their own context.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW AND AIMS
The aim of the program is to create professionals in social work who are qualified to exert a transforming influence in the society through academic teaching, research, community engagement, and social action. This is in line with the University’s triple mission of learning and teaching, research and community engagement.
A Social Worker is one who:
- Counsels and advises members of a community who are struggling with issues associated with poverty, addiction, disability, personal and family crises;
- Assists and accompanies the vulnerable facing court as plaintiffs or defendants;
- Assists and accompanies people who need to gain access to various government offices but do not know how; and
- Advocates for the poor and disadvantaged
The units in the program, Bachelor of Arts (Social Work), are specifically offered in six areas, namely, counseling and pastoral care, public policy and analysis (PNG and international), issues of marginalization and social justice, including the social teachings of the church, advocacy and community welfare, community development and adult literacy and empowerment, and gender, peace and conflict studies. Units such as general psychology, counseling, welfare issues, care of the sick and terminally ill, marriage and family issues and youth issues are geared towards welfare. Training in computer skills and Christian ethics serve the students to suit themselves to the contemporary workplace contexts with optimum responsibility. The curriculum is intended to provide broad (informative and performative) and in-depth education in the liberal arts, humanities, and the social sciences in view of a wide range of employment opportunities that social workers would find themselves in.
The Bachelor of Arts (Religious Studies) program is designed to provide students with academic and lifelong skills to deal with ever emerging social and religious issues in the contemporary society. PNG societies are transforming rapidly eclipsed by the widening challenges of the global community in its social co-existence most especially with regard to family structure, values and influences from the industrialized world and their complexities. The Bachelor of Arts (Religious Studies) supports achievement of the vision of DWU to be a national university open to all, serving society through quality learning and teaching, research and community engagement in a Christian environment. It is aligned to the seven strategic objectives of the DWU Second Decade Strategic Plan (2006-2016) and the third decade plan (2016-2026) which are: to enhance the student experience, to promote the quality of distinctive academic programs, to support high quality research and knowledge exchange, to capitalize on opportunities for partnerships, to optimize contributions of staff, to maximize operational effectiveness (structures and systems) and to make the most of our assets. It incorporates in as much as possible, PNG Vision 2050, PNG Strategic Development Plan 2010-2030.
Entry requirements (for both programs: Social and Religious Studies [SRS] and Social Work [SW])
Entry to the program requires successful completion of Grade 12 national examinations with an overall "B" average, in English (language and Literature), social sciences, mathematics, religious studies and personal development. Consideration is given to Matriculation graduates and Non-school leavers and those who have been working successfully in the related fields of the program for at least five years. Evidence of such work should accompany the application form with recommendations from community leaders, pastors or priests accompanying the application for entry into the program.
In general, the Department is ready to recognize formal training in religious congregations to be a genuine professional equivalent in the field of academic social welfare. Such programs should have included reflection on and genuine learning in scriptural, theological and pastoral subjects with a focus on the social justice teaching of the Church and with a view to rendering service within the PNG Churches. Such training needs to be at least to the standard of a successful completion of matriculation, with evidence of further study and work experience and attendance of professional workshops. Special consideration is given to students who have had advanced diplomas/diploma from recognized institutions as prior learning and which allow for further development. We look forward to your application!