Bethel College


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Jennifer Chappell Deckert

Associate professor of social work / Program director

WAC 311

B.A., Peace Studies & International Development, Bethel College
M.S.W., Interpersonal Practice & Community Organization, School Social Work Specialization, University of Michigan
Ph.D., University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Certificate in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Dr. Jennifer Chappell Deckert is associate professor of social work and field coordinator at Bethel College. Jennifer has 20 years of social work practice experience in the areas of international social work, school social work, mediation and human rights. She earned a B.A. in peace studies and international development from Bethel and an MSW from the University of Michigan, where she studied community organization and interpersonal practice.

Jennifer currently teaches social work intervention, research methods, field seminars and social welfare policy analysis. Additionally, she is a faculty adviser for the student-run feminist club, Femcore, and the Social Work Student Organization and serves on the advisory board of Bethel’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board. She is active in the community as a high-conflict mediator, a parent, and a volunteer/advocate for various initiatives to support migrant populations.

Jennifer earned her doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, where she studied migration and social inclusion. She has also completed a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her research interests include global social work, mental health, migration, social work theory, anti-oppressive practice and human rights.

  • Chappell Deckert, J., Warren, S., & Britton, H. (2018). “Midwestern Service Provider Narratives of Migrant Experiences: Legibility, Vulnerability, and Exploitation in Human Trafficking.” Advances in Social Work, 18(3), 887-910.
  • Barrett-Fox, R., Chappell Deckert, J. C., Greenfield, J. C., Kucharczyk, S., & Thomas, J. M. (2018). “400 Words at a Time: Transforming Our Writing in Academia.” In Writing as a Way of Staying Human in a Time that Isn’t, Nate Mickelson, ed. Wilmington, Del.: Vernon Press, 81.
  • Chappell Deckert, J., & Koenig, T. L. (2017). “Social work perplexity: Dissonance, uncertainty, and growth in Kazakhstan.” Qualitative Social Work, doi: 1473325017710086.
  • Chappell Deckert, J., & Statz-Hill, M. (2016). “Job satisfaction of peer providers employed in mental health centers: A systematic review.” Social Work in Mental Health, 14(5), 564-582.
  • Chappell Deckert, J. C., & Canda, E. (2016). “The Influence of Faith Background on Mennonite Students’ Choice of Social Work As a Profession: An Exploratory Study.” Social Work and Christianity, 43(2), 213.
  • Chappell Deckert, J. (2016). “Social Work, Human Rights, and the Migration of Central American Children.” Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 25(1), 20-35. Awarded best article for the Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work in 2016
  • Chappell Deckert, J. (2013). “From Persecution to Hope: Mennonite Mothering in the Context of Violence.” In Mothering Mennonite, Kerry Fast and Rachel Epp Buller, eds. Toronto: Demeter Press, 293-307.