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CMU’s social work program receives pre-accreditation from Canadian governing body of social work

CMU’s social work program receives pre-accreditation from Canadian governing body of social work

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is pleased to announce that its social work program will be pre-accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) effective July 1, 2024. This significant recognition ensures that students who earn a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) at CMU will be fully entitled and prepared to practice in the field of social work anywhere in Canada.

CASWE, the national accrediting body for BSW and Master of Social Work programs in Canada, oversees the accreditation process through its Commission on Accreditation. Comprised of social work educators from all parts of Canada, the commission is guided by CASWE's Educational Policies and Standards for Accreditation as a peer review process. These rigorous policies and standards consider continuous quality improvement that address form, function, and curricular content.

CMU's BSW program adheres to the core learning objectives of CASWE and also maintains CMU's distinctive commitments to an inclusive and supportive learning environment that combines theory, research, and practice through practical, hands-on learning experiences that encourage continuous self-reflection.

In response to pre-accreditation, Alex Sawatsky, Professor and Chair of Social Work at CMU, says, "It is incredibly validating to have official recognition of the quality and rigour of our program by our peers in the social work field. Our students will benefit from our BSW, which we believe is an innovative and important contribution to the growing field of social work, and know that our status with CASWE ensures that their degree will create future possibilities—be they in practice or further education with other CASWE-accredited programs and beyond."

CMU's BSW program will be the third CASWE-accredited BSW program available in Manitoba alongside offerings by the University of Manitoba and Université de Saint-Boniface. In addition to the CASWE accreditation process, CMU has also connected with the Manitoba College of Social Workers, the regulatory body that maintains the standards for qualification of social workers throughout the province.

CMU's BSW program deeply aligns with the university's mission and commitments to reconciliation in church and society, as well as the Mennonite/Anabaptist traditions of service and community development. It is the first CASWE-recognized BSW offered by a Christian university in Canada.

The program is designed as a one plus three-year program where students enter the program in their second year of studies after completing specific "pre-social work" courses. This structure allows for a comprehensive and immersive educational experience rooted in a broad range of interdisciplinary options that will ground future social work studies.

Buetta Warkentin, Associate Professor of Social Work & Field Education Coordinator says, "Here at CMU we teach social work from an interdisciplinary perspective rooted in psychology and sociology that recognizes the role of religion, spirituality, and faith in wellbeing and grounding social justice. Walking a path of reconciliation through engagement with the Indigenous community about the harms inflicted by the Christian church and the social work profession, the program also draws upon CMU's strengths in other program areas like peace and conflict transformation in the pursuit of bringing justice to all in our world. The intersection of climate change and the environment on people's ability to care for themselves and their families is another unique facet of CMU's social work program curriculum."

Interested students can apply now for the BSW program with classes starting in September 2024. For more information about CMU's social work program, please visit

About Canadian Mennonite University
Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CMU is a Christian institution offering undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, social sciences, and social work, as well as graduate degrees in Business Administration, Theology and Ministry, and Peacebuilding and Development. CMU is a proud member of Universities Canada.

For information about CMU, visit

Kevin Kilbrei, Director of Communications & Marketing; 204.487.3300 ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2

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