Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences

How do you see the world? What are the factors that shape a person's views, values, passions, expectations, and relationships? As we deepen our understanding of social structures and the dynamic roles they play in the world around us, we become empowered with the tools to positively shape our society.

PLNU’s Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences exists to nurture servant scholars who critically evaluate social systems, cultural patterns, and basic human needs to constructively engage as agents of hope with individuals, families, and communities. We provide a vibrant learning environment for you to expand your understanding of and empathy for human society, and acquire skills that go beyond the classroom and directly reach into the lives of people with a diversity of needs. Our dedicated faculty and application-based curriculum will provide you with excellent preparation to live out your calling and move forward into graduate programs or career opportunities.

A teacher reads a picture book out loud to a group of small children
PLNU Students Pause to Watch a Sunset from the Cross at PLNU
Headshot of Sammi Montag
Todd Vance stands on the lawn of the Greek Amphitheater and talks with professor Jim Johnson
The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences is proud to have our Nutrition and Food, B.A. recognized as a top-25 nutrition program in the U.S. 

Opportunities for Engagement

Developing into a world citizen doesn't only happen inside the walls of the classroom — it happens by coming face-to-face with new opportunities, people, places, and ideas. From working with children at the on-campus Early Childhood Learning Center, to U.S.-Mexico border pilgrimages and other events hosted by the Center for Justice & Reconciliation, the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences offers many opportunities for meaningful engagement.


Our faculty serve as both teachers and mentors, committed to guiding you toward a full and purposeful education. By helping you explore thought-provoking and influential ideas and engage complex and difficult questions, you'll have access to an environment devoted to the pursuit of truth. An education at PLNU is both transformative and meaningful.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences or any of our majors and minors, please reach out to us!

Elizabeth Schmelzenbach
Department Assistant
(619) 849-2390

PLNU is committed to continuous and transparent alignment of our curriculum with the highest national standards. Learn about assessment.

The assessment wheel promotes a culture of transparency, integrity, and accountability at PLNU.