The Catholic University of America

Social Service

National Catholic School of Social Service
– Since 1918

125 emblem

Historical Highlights

  Shahan Hall
  NCSSS is located in Shahan Hall.

The present school of social work at The Catholic University of America is the fourth in an evolution that began at the time of World War I.

The need for the services of well trained Catholic women for various types of social work prompted the National Catholic War Council to open an emergency school affiliated with The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 25, 1918. Throughout the war, students trained by this program were sent to work in France, Belgium and various other sites around the world.

When the war was over, the question arose as to how the school could continue to meet the needs of the University. In 1921, the National Council of Catholic Women took over the the administration of the school, offering graduate programs in social work. It became the only residential school for training Catholic social workers in the country.

In 1934 the University opened its own School of Social Work for the training of priests, religious and lay men to compliment the all-women’s program already established. In 1947 the two schools merged to become the present National Catholic School of Social Service.

The school is currently under the leadership of Dean James Zabora and has an enrollment of 373 students.

Anniversary Events

The National Catholic School of Social Service honored Catholic University’s 125th anniversary at its annual Daniel Thursz Memorial Lecture on Oct. 17, 2011.

Michael Reisch, Ph.D., the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, delivered a lecture titled “Social Justice for the Elderly and the Intergenerational Compact.”

The lecture and reception afterward celebrated both the 15th anniversary of Catholic University's Center on Global Aging, which was founded by Daniel Thursz, and the 125th anniversary of the University.