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Mary Christensen, Ph.D., LICSW

MSW Program Director and Associate Professor

Dr. Christensen is an Associate Professor and Director of the MSW Program at WVU. She graduated with her PhD from Simmons College School of Social Work in 2016 and received her MSW from Smith College in 2000. She has 15 years of post-master’s clinical experience working in a range of settings, including outpatient and community mental health, child and adolescent acute residential care, adult partial hospitalization, and crisis work. Dr. Christensen’s current research focuses on the implementation of routine suicide risk screening and assessment in rural settings, such as primary care and outpatient mental health as well as suicide-related training initiatives for providers. Her research has been funded by grants from the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Center, the Eberly College Interdisciplinary Research College, the WVU Research and Scholarship Advancement Program, and by a Young Investigator Grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Her current research projects involve the implementation and validation of the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) Toolkit in rural outpatient settings.


  • Ph.D., Simmons College School of Social Work
  • M.S.W., Smith College


  • Routine suicide risk screening and assessment in outpatient settings and primary care
  • Development and evaluation of training and pedagogical initiatives related to suicide
  • Evaluation of current suicide risk screening practices in primary care and other outpatient settings


  • Evidence-based social work practice
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Substance use disorders


  • Academic Administrative Team
  • Curriculum Committee
  • MSW Committee
  • PhD Committee
  • Faculty Evaluation Committee
  • Faculty Search Committee-Assistant Professor


  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Council for Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Society for Social Work and Research (SWRR)