Family & Human Services

The family and human services program prepares students for careers in the many areas of social services: state organizations, schools, churches, non-profit organizations, businesses, and private practice. The curriculum explores real issues and challenges that arise in human relationships and teaches students how to facilitate healing in people’s lives.

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Find out what our students and professor have to say about studying family and human services at JBU.

Experience Career Variety

Six Reasons to Study Family & Human Services at JBU

Reason #1

Experience Career Variety

Family and human services graduates are hired to be case workers, research assistants, content managers, program directors, and a variety of other positions in various social service organizations.

Explore Northern Ireland

Six Reasons to Study Family & Human Services at JBU

Reason #2

Explore Northern Ireland

With field trips, lectures, and dinners with the locals, students acquire a unique perspective on family, culture and themselves while earning six credit hours in Northern Ireland.

Get Real Experience

Six Reasons to Study Family & Human Services at JBU

Reason #3

Get Real Experience

Students work as interns at incredible ministries right here in Northwest Arkansas like the Children’s Advocacy Center, New Life Ranch, NWA Women’s Shelter and New Beginnings Pregnancy Center.

Develop Solid Theology

Six Reasons to Study Family & Human Services at JBU

Reason #4

Develop Solid Theology

As part of the curriculum, students take several upper-level theology classes while grappling with the difficult life situations they interact with daily.

Lead a Ministry

Six Reasons to Study Family & Human Services at JBU

Reason #5

Lead a Ministry

Students are encouraged to lead one of the many family and community focused CAUSE ministries at JBU to complement and apply their coursework.

Write a Thesis

Six Reasons to Study Family & Human Services at JBU

Reason #6

Write a Thesis

For their capstone course, students conduct extensive research and write a publishable thesis on a major-specific topic of their choice.

Melissa Hall

Faculty Profile

Melissa Hall

Assistant Professor of Family and Human Services

Hall counts it an honor to shape students dedicated to the helping profession.

Ph.D., University of Arkansas
M.Ed., University of Oklahoma
B.S., Southwest Assemblies of God University

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Derek Gwinn

Faculty Profile

Derek Gwinn

Assistant Professor of Family Studies

Gwinn loves that visible “ah-hah” moment a student has when the class content perfectly intersects with their understanding or experience with a topic.

Ph.D., University of Minnesota
M.A., University of Minnesota
B.A., University of Kentucky
B.S., University of Kentucky

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Martha Morgan

Faculty Profile

Martha Morgan

Associate Professor of Family and Human Services

Morgan believes it is important for students to connect their passions for helping others with their purpose.

Ph.D., Texas Tech University
M.S., Oklahoma State University
M.Ed., University of Central Oklahoma
B.B.A., University of Central Oklahoma

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Alumni Profile

Alumni Photo: Molly Tester '15

Molly Tester '15

The family and human services program at JBU surprised Tester by teaching her about herself just as much as how to help others. “One of the best things about my degree program is that students often come in thinking they’re going to learn about helping other people, when in reality this program often forces us to deal with our own issues and hurts in our lives. I will graduate not just knowing how to help people but also with a foundational knowledge of who I am and how I can use my own experiences to help others learn to accept themselves.” After graduation, Tester plans to get her master’s in social work and work in the foster care system. Eventually, she wants to work with a nonprofit organization to help refugees living in America, particularly teenagers.