Psychology & Social Work


The mission of the Pacific Union College Department of Psychology & Social Work is to be a Christian community of liberal learning that explores the insights into human nature and activity distinctive to psychology, social work and related disciplines. Faithful pursuit of truth in these disciplines has taught us to affirm the core values of free inquiry, diversity, responsible citizenship, and service to God and humanity.

Courses in our department are designed to develop in students the commitment both to critical thinking and the culture of science characteristic of psychology and to social justice and community service characteristic of social work.

Our psychology majors are prepared to enter into a wide range of careers that involve working with people. Graduates are also prepared to study at the most distinguished and popular graduate programs in the field of psychology.

Our social work majors are prepared for immediate employment as professional social workers and for accelerated graduate study at the most distinguished Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) programs in the country.

Department Goals

  • To encourage purposeful living in the service of God and humanity by helping students understand and apply principles of human behavior in personal and professional relationships.
  • To provide a general background for a wide range of careers that involve working with people, such as law, medicine, nursing, education, business, and the ministry.
  • To prepare students at the baccalaureate level in the generalist framework for employment in the profession of social work.
  • To prepare students for successful graduate study in psychology and social work.

Fast Facts (Psychology)

  • During the 2013-2014 year, 65 students participated in 20 student/faculty research collaborations. Six of these were accepted for presentation at the Western Psychological Association convention in Portland, Oregon.
  • More than 30 Pacific Union College psychology students and faculty attended the 94th Western Psychological Association (WPA) convention in Portland, Oregon, April 24-27, to present undergraduate research projects. Three of our six presentations won a regional award in the Psi Chi poster session, and each earned a $300 check.
  • During each of the past 7 years, the department scored at the 90th percentile or higher among all college and university psychology departments administering the MFT exam.
  • Eight students completed field placements during the 2013-2014 academic year. Placement locations included a psychiatric hospital, an afterschool recreation center, an elementary school, and a boys and girls club.
  • PUC psychology majors are successful at gaining acceptance into graduate school. Our students have been accepted into the most prestigious university-based programs (like Yale, UCLA, and Purdue), the most popular professional programs (like Palo Alto University and the California School of Professional Psychology) and the leading religiously affiliated programs (like Loma Linda University and Fuller Theological Seminary).

Fast Facts (Social Work)

  • Social work students served 2,366 adults, 1,251 children, and distributed 31,412 food items through their Angwin Food Pantry in 2012.
  • 4 students presented research posters at the 2012 annual meeting of the Association of Baccalaureate Program Directors—two students receiving “High Honors”—second best poster in the nation.
  • 9 students are completing year-long internships at a children’s emergency center (1), a support agency for individuals suffering from HIV infection (1), a nursing and rehabilitation center (2), the YWCA (1), a family justice center (1), a hospital (1), the California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (1), and a Mexican Consulate (1) during the 2012-2013 academic year.
  • Our social work graduates regularly get accepted into the most prestigious Master of Social Work programs in the country (e.g., Columbia University and University of Michigan).
  • Employment opportunities are expected to grow faster than the average of other occupations through 2018 according to the Department of Labor.
  • Average pay for BSW-level social workers in the County of Napa of California, is $57,968.

Psychology & Social Work

Pacific Union College
One Angwin Avenue
Angwin, CA 94508

Phone: (707) 965-6537
Fax: (707) 965-6538

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  • Service-Learning Program Grows An important element of Pacific Union College’s mission is preparing students for productive lives of useful human service, and during the 2013-2014 school year the college further committed to this calling by establishing a formal service-learning program and hiring a service-learning coordinator.
  • PUC Student Research Wins Top Honors at Western Psychological Association Convention Over 30 Pacific Union College psychology students and faculty attended the 93rd Western Psychological Association (WPA) convention in Reno, Nev., April 25-28, to present undergraduate research projects.
  • PUC Students and Faculty Present at Western Psychological Association Convention Twenty-one students and four professors from PUC’s department of psychology presented the conclusions from six research projects at the 92nd annual convention of the Western Psychological Association (WPA) in San Francisco, April 26-29.
  • A Celebration of Social Justice The Pacific Union College department of psychology and social work celebrated social justice on Thursday, November 4, in a dedication of the new Social Justice Room, Davidian Hall 106, to Gordon Madgwick and Evaline West. 
  • Scholarships and Support for Veterans More attention has been given recently to the post-war lives of American soldiers, ranging from hit movies to efforts to educate troops and the general public about post traumatic stress.