New Director, MSW Program

Posted by percelene.mclain on Wednesday August 10, 2016

The School of Social Work is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Janet E. Furness as the new Director of our Masters in Social Work (MSW) program.

Dr. Janet E. Furness,  a native of Newark, NJ, states that her motivation for the social work profession derives from Isaiah’s words: “Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (1:17).

Dr. Furness has directed MSW programs at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY, Union University in Jackson, TN, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Carver School of Church Social Work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Currently engaged in several writing pursuits, she sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Social Work & Christianity and is a site visitor for the Council on Social Work Education. She served as adjunct faculty in the first year of Nyack’s MSW program. While teaching at Roberts Wesleyan, she participated in developing curriculum dedicated to educating social workers for practice with congregations and communities. She is currently involved in congregational social work practice in Passaic County, NJ.

Prior to entering higher education fulltime, Dr. Furness directed child placement services at Goodwill Home and Rescue Mission, Newark, and Christian Homes for Children, Hackensack, NJ. Later she was Statewide Director of Volunteer Programs and Children’s Mental Health Advocate at the Mental Health Association in New Jersey. There she facilitated parents whose children languished in the state’s mental health system to develop a parent-driven Statewide Parents Advocacy Network (SPAN).

Dr. Furness received her BS in Bible Social Work from Cairn University (then Philadelphia College of Bible), her MSW from Rutgers University, and her EdD from the University of Rochester, NY. Her doctoral dissertation discusses social work education as innovation in evangelical institutions between 1960 and 1985 using three case studies: Philadelphia College of Bible, Eastern University, and Carver School of Church Social Work.

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