Major in Family and Human Services

Become a social worker or counselor • Advocate for others • Prepare for a career or graduate school

Learn how to serve your community.

The family and human services major prepares you for careers in the many areas of social services: state organizations, schools, churches, non-profit organizations, foster care and adoption agencies. You'll explore real issues and challenges that arise in human relationships and learn to advocate with and for the clients you serve. This major is ideal for students who want to go into counseling or social work.

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Experience career variety

Graduates are hired to be caseworkers, family and child advocates, program directors, community liaisons, foster care and adoptions specialists and a variety of other positions in various social service organizations.

Integrate faith and learning

Students will be taught by passionate professors throughout their courses on how to integrate their faith into their helping professions.

Thrive under dedicated faculty

The family and human services courses focus on students' own personal, emotional and spiritual growth. They are cared for by their faculty and are encouraged to grow and become more authentic and empathic.

Make a career of helping others at JBU.

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The most valuable lessons I have learned are how to truly connect with someone in a professional and personal context, and how to be empathetic in these connections. I have grown tremendously in my people skills and my professional knowledge on family systems!

Josh Williams

Family & Human Services, Junior


Choose your emphasis

At JBU, family and human services students can specialize in counseling, social work and more.

Child & adolescent studies

Students learn the basics of ministering to and aiding children and adolescents.


Through JBU's Accelerated Master's Program, students can finish a graduate degree in counseling from JBU in five years versus the traditional six. 


Students that are interested more in serving people in relation to the law and forensically will benefit greatly from taking this emphasis. 

Leadership & management

In this emphasis, students will take courses like Leadership Competencies and Principles of Management to better their leadership skills. 


If students aren't certain they want to pursue a career in counseling but are curious to test the waters, an emphasis in pre-counseling is perfect to give them a taste of what counseling will be like.


Many students commonly pair psychology and family and human services together to specialize their studies to better understand the people they will be serving. 

Social justice

Many who go into family and human services are passionate about helping people struggling when it comes to large-scale issues, and this emphasis gives students the tools to better advocate for their clients and a biblically-based understanding of these issues.

Wilderness counseling

Some students find that they want to work with their desired populations and demographics in the outdoors whether through camping or adventure programming. This emphasis is perfect if that's the case.

I have gained a deeper love for the Lord through exploring how he has created human beings to function as emotional and relational beings. I have also gained a deeper confidence in my abilities to pursue my future professional goals. I have grown in my reliance on the Lord, but I also have developed important vocational skills that make me feel more excited and secure as I look to step into the workforce.

Courtney Cleverdon

Family & Human Services, Sophomore


What to expect as a family and human services student at JBU


Get real experience

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


Create a family life education course

For their capstone course, students conduct extensive research and create a publishable family life education course based upon a major-specific topic of their choice.


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.

4+2 = your master's degree

Go farther, faster! At JBU, our Accelerated Master's Program lets you finish your undergraduate family & human services degree and an M.S. in counseling in just six years — saving you money and setting you up for even more success.

What can you do with a family and human services degree?

JBU family and human services faculty are dedicated to helping students find the industry that fits their vocational calling. 

Earn a graduate degree

Pursue a graduate degree in social work, marriage and family therapy, counseling, child life specialist, business, law school and more. 

Research and evaluation

Work for community centers, hospitals, adoption agencies, rehabilitation centers or camp programs doing important research work.

Writing and editing

Serve within organizations focused on children and family (book publishers, radio/TV stations, nonprofit organizations, newspapers, magazines or manufacturers).

Program advocate

Work for child and family advocacy programs, childhood enrichment and development centers, health and wellness agencies or women's protective agencies.

Department of Human Services

In many states, DHS looks for graduates who have specialized in a degree for social work with children and families.

Teaching and administration

Lead in religious organizations, daycare centers (private or public), extended school programs, private homes and family daycare.

Case management

Serve within both profit and nonprofit organizations, children's advocacy centers, foster care and adoptions agencies, anti-poverty organizations, half-way homes, youth/adult/senior citizen's programs or group homes.

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The future you starts here.

Equip yourself for a successful career and a life of purpose.