History of the School
Social work education at Saint Louis University began in 1930 in the wake of the nation's stock market crash. It emerged as one of the first social work program in the region and the first within the Catholic tradition.
Joseph C. Husslein, SJ, the school's founder, was considered by his contemporaries as a pioneer in American Catholic social thought. He popularized Catholic social teaching and produced the largest body of American Catholic social writings in his time. Vigorously attacking the abuses of capitalism, he used scripture to confront social injustice. To support his cause, he authored English translations of the social encyclicals of Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI. Fr. Husslein established the School with two goals in mind: to promote Catholic social teaching and to train professional social workers.
The social work program received accreditation in 1933 and has been contiuously accredited ever since. The department offered late afternoon and early evening classes not available in other schools. As a result, the program drew men and women from throughout the nation to pursue social work degrees.
Today the school continues to offer several course formats providing a curricular structure that integrates practice, theory and research in a part-time or full-time schedule.