Written by Sarah Bolick, dual degree MATS and MSW candidate at LSTC and University of Chicago
Currently, I am in my second year of a three year program that combines a Masters in Theological Studies at LSTC with a Masters in Social Work degree from The University of Chicago. While it can be tricky to navigate the program due to the differing academic calendars of LSTC and U of C, it has been a tremendously enriching experience to engage with both disciplines concurrently. Prior to becoming a student at LSTC, I spent a year volunteering in Baltimore, Maryland with Lutheran Volunteer Corps. In Baltimore, I had the opportunity to work in a 24 hour care facility with people who had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. During my time there, I worked closely with social workers to assess the needs of the residents living in the facility and provide them with love and support. My experience in Baltimore inspired me to pursue a degree in social work because I saw it as a way to engage with the community around me and connect people to resources in a real way. However, I also felt called to pursue my life-long interest in theology, and wanted to explore where this interest might lead me.
At this point, I am unsure how these two disciplines will connect in terms of my career, but my hope is to eventually find a job where I can engage both in some way. Doing the dual degree has helped me understand the ways in which my faith and the experiences I’ve been afforded through the Lutheran Church have influenced and informed my interest in the field of social work. If you are a student interested in both theology and social work, I highly recommend the dual degree program at LSTC!
Want to learn more about the possibility of a dual degree? Find out more here!