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Carol Hurst

POSITION: Associate Professor of Social Work

School of Social Sciences and Professions
Social Work

LOCATION: Main Campus, Harrisonburg | RLN 202

PHONE: (540) 432-4451

EMAIL: carol.hurst@emu.edu

Dr. Carol Grace Hurst has served as Associate Professor & Social Work Program Director, for the EMU Social Work Program since 2014.  She holds PhD and MSW degrees from the School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the State of Virginia.  Previously, Dr. Hurst was an instructor in both BSW and masters’ programs at VCU.  And, before coming to EMU, she also served as Director of Continuing Education & Evaluation for Providence Service Corporation, a professional training and development division for the company’s more than 8,000 employees in 43 states and Canada providing behavioral health services through diverse programs and contracts. 

Dr. Hurst’s more than twenty years in clinical practice focused on children, youth, and families from a predominantly family systems’ perspective.  She believes in the power of attachment, love, and deep spirituality to anchor resilience in families.  Dr. Hurst’s scholarship endeavors have focused on family caregiving from two stages of the life cycle: early childhood and eldercare.  Her research and writing collaborations have focused on breastfeeding, care giving, and clinical supervision.  She has a special interest in preparing clinicians for respectful practice with families of all forms.  She has extensive experience supervising social workers from the student to licensure candidate levels.   

Dr. Hurst supports students in her teaching and supervision in cultivation of professional self-awareness and practice of self-care disciplines.  As a teacher of practice, she believes that a trauma-informed perspective is necessary for personal, professional, and organizational effectiveness.  Being a professional helper means learning to be present to others’ stories and experiences of trauma, and designing programs and organizational procedures to be trauma responsive.  Yet also to be present to oneself and one’s own inner work.   As key to preventing compassion fatigue, personnel who do people work must care sustainably for their own needs and the needs of their families to root themselves while caring for others.


BA, Eastern Mennonite University (Major: Sociology Minor: English, Journalism)
MSW, Virginia Commonwealth University (Family and Child Welfare, Clinical Methods Focus)
PHD, Virginia Commonwealth University (Social Work)

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