Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Faculty & Staff Profiles

Michael Kelly, PhD, MSW

Title/s:  Lucian and Carol Welch Matusak Endowed Professor


External Personal Sites


  • PhD  University of Illinois-Chicago
  • MSW University of Illinois-Chicago
  • BA University of Michigan

Program Areas

Courses Currently Teaching/Teaching Areas:
  • School Social Work
  • Brief Treatment
  • PhD Course in Clinical Practice and Evidence-Based Practice
  • BSW Course in Positive Youth Development

Research Interests

Current Research Projects:
Professional Interests:
  • School social work, Evidence-based Practice, Solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), Impact of religion and spirituality on social work practice, Cultural competence (humility change this).

Professional & Community Affiliations

Community and Professional Service:
  • Area Editor, Encyclopedia of Social Work 21st Edition
  • Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of School Social Work
  • Associate Editor, School Mental Health Journal
  • Associate Editor, Social Work & Christianity (2008-2019)
  • Founder and Director, Loyola School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program (SMHAPP)
  • Standards and Practices Board Chair, School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA)
  • School-age Policies and Practices Co-chair, Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership (ICMHP)
  • Member, Mental Health Education Integration Consortium (MHEDIC)
  • Consultant, Hanover Township Youth Services (2003-2019)
International Experience:
  • Fellow, Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling
  • Ontario SSW Project
  • Visiting Professor, Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka, Japan February 2012
  • Visiting Professor, Universidad Andres Bello, Chile, November 2010
  • Participant in Teaching Evidence-based Medicine (and Mental Health), Oxford Center for Evidence-based Mental Health, September 2009
  • Presenter at 2006 Campbell Colloquium Conference, London
  • Presenter at 2007 International Consortium on Social Development Conference, Hong Kong

Selected Publications

Recent Faculty Scholarship:
  • Brake, A., & Kelly, M. S. (2019). Camaraderie, Collaboration, and Capacity Building: A Qualitative Examination of School Social Workers in a Year Long Professional Learning Community. The Qualitative Report, 24(4), 667-692. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol24/iss4/3
  • Maynard, B. R., Farina, A. S. J., Dell, N. A., & Kelly, M. S. (In Press). Effects of trauma-informed approaches in schools: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews.
  • Thompson, A. M., Frey, A. J., & Kelly, M. S. (2019). Factors influencing school social work practice: A latent profile analysis. School Mental Health, 11(1), 129-140.
  • Pryce, J., Kelly, M. S., Lawinger, M., & Wildman, A. (2018). Conversation Club: A Promising Practice in Youth Mentoring of Migrants and Refugees. Advances in Social Work, 18(3), 767-787.
  • Kelly, M., Freed, H., Kubert, P., & Greibler, S. (2018). Depression education as primary prevention. Advances in social work, 18(4), 1206-1217.
  • Pryce, J. M., Kelly, M. S., & Lawinger, M. (2018). Conversation Club: A Group Mentoring Model for Immigrant Youth. Youth & Society, 1, 21.
  • Kelly, M.S., Key, W., Brake, A., Cortes, M. & Wardzala, S. (2017). Title registration for a systematic review:  Educator professional learning communities (PLCs) for improving academic, social, and behavioral outcomes in K-12 schools. Retrieved from https://www.campbellcollaboration.org/library/educator-professional-learning-communities-in-k-12-schools.html
  • Phillippo, K. L., Kelly, M. S., Shayman, E., & Frey, A. (2017). School social worker practice decisions: The impact of professional models, training, and school context. Families in Society, 98(4), 275-283. 
  • Kelly, M.S., Frey, A., Thompson, A, Klemp, H., Alvarez, M. & Berzin, S.C. (2016).  Assessing the National School Social Work Practice Model: Findings from the 2nd National SSW Survey. Social Work
  • Kelly, M.S., Thompson, A., Frey, A., Klemp, H., Alvarez, M. & Berzin, S.C. (2015).  The state of school social work:  Revisited. School Mental Health. DOI 10.1007/s12310-015-9149-9
  • Lucio, R., Campbell, M., & Kelly, M.S. (2020). The use of data in decision making for school-based social work. International Journal of School Social Work, 5 (1), 5-32.
  • Maynard, B. R., Farina, A., Dell, N. A., & Kelly, M. S. (2019). Effects of trauma‐informed approaches in schools: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 15(1-2).
  • Kelly, M.S. & Whitmore, S. (2019) It’s about time: Initial findings from a feasibility study of a time-study tool for school social workers in Michigan. International Journal of School Social Work: 4 (1), 57-71.
  • Kelly, M. S., Singer, J., Shin, A., Iverson, M., Williams, D. (2019). How much social work research is in social work’s Grand Challenges?: A critical review of the evidence for the 12 challenges. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 16(5), 511--523.
  • Patak-Pietrafesa, M; Bowen, N.K; Stewart, A. E & Kelly, M.S. (2019) Too hard to find with too little time:  What school social workers want in online resources for Evidence-Based Practice, International Journal of School Social Work, 4 (1), 14-37.
Recent Grants:
  • Illinois Child Mental Health Partnership (ICMHP) “Survey of School-Based Mental Health Professionals”.
  • Polk Bros. Foundation “Family and Schools Partnership Program: Solution-focused Brief Therapy Interventions,” Co-Principal Investigator with Ruth Fuerst of Loyola's Family and Schools Partnership Program.
  • Loyola Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage “Does Social Work Education „Prefer the Poor? A Content Analysis of Foundation Course Syllabi Within Catholic MSW Programs,” Co-Principal Investigator with Julia Pryce of Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.