M.A. PROGRAM

VALUES - FOCUSED SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE

About us

Mission and Objectives
Taking as its point of departure the conviction that spiritual values - whether those of the clients or the providers - can profoundly influence the practice of social assistance the course has as its objectives:

Training professionals to be capable of providing social and spiritual assistance in an integrative way.

Developing professional competences in the field of Theology and Social Work

Studying the spiritual needs and sensitivities of the beneficiaries of social services.
Teaching Staff
Permanent and Visiting Professors from Romania and abroad:
Dr. Alexandru Neagoe, Senior Lecturer
(M.A. Program Coordinator), West University Timisoara, President of the Areopagus Centre, pastor of the "Bethel" Baptist Church in Timisoara.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, President of Martin Bucer Institute, Bonn, Germany.
Curriculum

Social and spiritual counseling

Social Work in the Religious Space: Historical and Contemporary Models

Social Conceptions of Some Major Religious Texts

Social Work for the Family

Religious and Professional Values

Social and Spiritual Assistance

Social Theology

Protection of Children’s Rights in Romania

Social Work for the Elderly

Methods in Social Work

Systematic Theology

Social Reconciliation

Social Policies in Romania

History of Christianity

Social and Spiritual Assistance for People with Special Needs

Social Marginalization

Sociology of Religion
Professional Competences and Employment Opportunities

Evaluating the way the social workers’ personal values influence their professional practice.

Analyzing the way our beneficiaries’ personal values and religious beliefs influence their reporting to social services.

Integrating social and spiritual services into the social assistance of various categories of beneficiaries (children, elderly, families, people with special needs, minority groups, addicted people, etc.).

Understanding how professionals from various social and humanitarian fields (priests, pastors, psychologists, doctors, teachers, etc.) may demonstrate sensitivity towards the social needs of those who they work with, or even develop social services to meet those needs.

Managing institutions or departments that seek to combine social services with spiritual support services (NGOs, religious institutions, etc.).

Properly understanding the ethical dilemmas of a social worker in his/her professional practice.

Evaluating the relationship between the social and spiritual necessities of beneficiaries of social assistance services.

Providing counseling and social assistance with both a social and a spiritual component.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the M.A. Program, alumni will possess competences especially in the areas of Social Work and in that of Theology, but also in areas located at the borderline between these and further Humanities disciplines (Sociology, Psychology, etc.). Therefore, alumni will have an extremely wide spectrum of employment opportunities. Some of the institutions directly interested in such specialists are:

Religious institutions concerned with social assistance (churches, orphanages, etc.)

Centers for the protection of children, the elderly, people with special needs

State institutions: city halls, schools, prisons

NGOs providing social and / or spiritual services
Partner Organisations

The Areopagus Center (www.areopagus.ro) offers its students all its facilities and a specialized library of about 35,000 volumes.

The network of collaborating organizations with the Social Work Department of West University Timisoara.

Institutions and NGOs related to different religious denominations in Timisoara.
Student Feedback
Three months upon completing the PASOS program I have realized that I comprehend a lot about counseling, both from a social and a spiritual perspective and about the importance of spiritual values in our lives and professions. Although I do not work in the field of Social Work, I continue to do voluntary social work in my spare time. I think that serving our fellow human beings through our work, our talent and our will is essential, and during these two years I have studied that in depth. It is an area that helps you get closer to yourself and others and it helps you to look at yourself and to others as valuable human beings (Anda)
Ever since I’ve started the PASOS program, I can say that my life has changed beyond my imagination. I’ve had many opportunities to help people and I even got a job in this field. I understood that, in order to be able to help other people you need a dedicated heart and professionalism and I have been offered both these elements within the PASOS program. (Beni)
I think I made a good choice when I joined PASOS. In this program I had the opportunity to meet people of character who taught me a lot of things. During the first year, I gained knowledge that helped me in completing better professional work much, on a social, spiritual and, last but not the least, on a personal level. It also opened new horizons for me and I look with new eyes at the world around me. (Lavinia)
As a PASOS student, God blessed me as only He can. I always wanted to help those in need, but I always felt somehow helpless because I did not know exactly how to help and be helpful. Helping someone is one thing but doing it efficiently and professionally, that is something else. I learned to be more sensitive towards the needs of others, to listen rather than talk, and yes, I’ve met many people with big hearts. (Emanuela)
I chose PASOS Master’s Program without knowing what it will be like and what I will gain from it. As I immersed deeper and deeper into the study and into the practical work I realized that everything I learned was very useful in my pastoral work. Moreover, I found that by combining the spiritual and social work I can be more effective in my ministry. (Sorin)
Before completing the first year of PASOS Master’s Program I realized what social and spiritual counselling meant... in my job as a social worker. I believe that this Master’s Program changed the way I understand the word ”help” (Maria)
Dr. Corneliu Constantineanu, Senior Lecturer, President of the Pentecostal Theological Institute of Bucharest.
Dr. Emil Bartoş, Senior Lecturer
University of Bucharest
Dr. Eugen Jurcă, Senior Lecturer
West University Timisoara
Dr. Carmen Bărbat, Lecturer
West University Timişoara, Dipl. Caritaswiss.
Dr. Patricia Runcan, Assistant Lecturer
West University Timişoara
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