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Marriage and Family Therapy, M.A.

Biblical Seminary

When you're called to heal,
the possibilities are endless.

The practice of marriage and family therapy requires knowledge, skill, and insight.

At Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, you’ll be prepared with the content required for the California Marriage and Family Therapy licensure exams and you’ll engage in personal formation to become a truly skillful clinician.

Courses – ranging from clinical assessment and human development to cross-cultural counseling and discipleship – integrate theology, theory, personal formation and professional practice. Learn from published faculty with decades of experience in clinical practice and supervision.

Through the study of psychology, you’ll be equipped to aid in the healing process of those who have experienced hurt, pain and hardship in life.

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Program Highlights

  • Gain new perspectives as MFT and ministry students study together in foundational courses
  • Consider studying in Israel during summer or attend Hispanic Summer Program
  • Engage in diverse practicum opportunities
  • Online courses available
  • Fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Gain preparation for California’s Licensed Clinical Exam and Law & Ethics exam – FPU Biblical Seminary MFT students passed at a rate of 71% and 100%, respectively.

Catalog

Program Director: Cynthia McGrady, Ph.D.

Overview

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program prepares theologically minded counselors with the knowledge, skill, and insight to practice counseling in clinical venues, faith-based treatment centers, and church settings. The curriculum facilitates the integration of Christian theology, psychological theory, character formation, and professional practice. Students are expected to engage in their own counseling to enhance personal growth, self-awareness and understanding of the therapeutic process in preparation for work in this field. The program is approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences and covers the content areas required for licensure in the state of California.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning objectives shape the curriculum across all degree programs and represent four domains: character formation, confessional commitments, cultural competencies, and relevant skills or capacities. PSLOs 1, 2, and 3 are shared across all Seminary degree programs while PSLOs 4-9 are specific to the MFT program.

  1. Demonstrate commitment to live as a disciple of Jesus in Christian community.
  2. Articulate commitment to a biblical theological Christian perspective.
  3. Interpret diverse cultural contexts of ministry using theological perspectives integrated with social scientific approaches.
  4. Practice marriage and family therapy consistent with applicable laws and ethics.
  5. Articulate and apply multiple, theoretically-consistent counseling skills.
  6. Accurately attend and attune to self, other, and system.
  7. Synthesize and interpret relevant clinical, contextual, and scientific data to make accurate professional judgements.
  8. Synthesize integrative views of humanity, theology, and counseling to explain human phenomena and promote shalom.
  9. Demonstrate effective clinical documentation skills and produce quality academic products.

Credit-Bearing Grades

MFT students taking required COUN courses and courses required for counseling licensure must earn a B- or better.

Locations Offered

Fresno Main Campus

Required Courses (65 Units)

Biblical/Theological Studies

  • BIB 709 - Bible Knowledge Requirement Seminar Credits 0
  • BIB 720 - The Church and God’s Mission in the World Credits 3 *
  • BIB 725 - Understanding, Interpreting and Teaching Scripture Credits 2 - 3
  •    Must be taken as a 2 unit course

  • BIB 760 - Theology for Integration Credits 3 *
  • THEO 712 - The Story of the Church and Its Theology Credits 2 - 3
  • Must be taken as a 2 unit course

Practical Studies

  • COUN 710 - Introduction to Counseling Credits 1
  • COUN 721 - Professional Ethics in Counseling Credits 3
  •      Must be taken as a 3 unit course

  • COUN 726 - Human Development Credits 3
  • COUN 728 - Family Violence Credits 1.5
  • COUN 730 - Clinical Assessment Credits 3
  • COUN 732 - Aging and Long-Term Care Credits 1
  • COUN 734 - Counseling Families Credits 3
  • COUN 736 - Counseling Children Credits 2
  • COUN 736L - Counseling Children Lab Credits 1
  • COUN 740 - Psychopathology Credits 3
  • COUN 744 - Research, Testing and Family Assessment Credits 2 - 3
  •   At least 2 units required

  • COUN 747 - Counseling Individuals and Couples: Modern Theories Credits 2
  • COUN 747L - Counseling Individuals and Couples: Modern Theories Lab Credits 1
  • COUN 748 - Counseling Individuals and Couples: Postmodern Theories Credits 1
  • COUN 752 - Human Sexuality Credits 1 - 3
  • COUN 754 - Group Counseling Credits 1 - 3
  •   At least 1 unit required

  • COUN 755 - Contemporary Issues in Counseling Credits 1
  • COUN 756 - Grief Counseling Credits 1
  • COUN 759 - Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology Credits: 0.5
  • COUN 760 - Substance Abuse Credits 1
  • COUN 764 - Trainee/Practicum Assessment Credits 0

Personal/Social Formation

  • COUN 724 - Interpersonal Communication Credits 2 - 3
  •    Must be taken as a 3 unit course

  • COUN 738 - Person, Family, and Culture Credits 2
  • COUN 750A - Cross-Cultural Counseling: Los Angeles Credits 1.5 * or
  • COUN 750D - Cross-Cultural Counseling: San Francisco Credits 1.5
  • COUN 750B - Cross Cultural Counseling: Fresno Credits 1.5 * or
  • COUN 750C - Cross-Cultural Counseling: International Credits 1.5 *
  • THEO 730 - Discipleship and Ethics Credits 2 - 3 *
  •    Must be taken as a 2 unit course

  • COUN 704 - Discerning Vocation and Calling Credits 1

Capstone

  • COUN 792 - Summer Practicum Credits 1 - Optional Course, depending on Practicum placement.
  • COUN 793A - Practicum I Credits 3
  • COUN 793B - Practicum II Credits 3
  • COUN 790 - Advanced Family Studies Credits 3 * or
  • COUN 799 - Thesis Credits 3 - 6 *
  • COUN 770 - Ministry Discernment Credits 0

Note:

*Must be an FPU Biblical Seminary course.

Possibilities Await
With and FPU Education

Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary is rooted in the evangelical, Anabaptist tradition, and like you, we are passionate about making a tangible difference in the Central Valley and around the world. You’ll learn this through spirited inquiry, thoughtful reflection and hands-on experience. If you want a place to explore and pursue your calling in a practical way – join us!

First Steps to Admission

  • Review the admission requirements for your chosen program.
  • Submit an application for admission online
    * There is a $90 application fee.
  • Request official transcripts from previously attended colleges, universities and high schools and send electronically to trans.evaluator@fresno.edu
    • If you graduated from FPU, you do not need to request transcripts.
  • Submit remaining admission requirements via fax, email or postal mail.
    • Mail: Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary Admission, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Box 14, Fresno, CA 93702
    • Email: Seminary@fresno.edu

Apply now

Requirements*

  • Commitment to and desire for Christian ministry and Service
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university (minimum 2.5 GPA; 3.0 for MFT program*)
  • Application form and fee
  • Personal profile questions
  • Three references from a pastor or other ministry leader, a current or former employer, and a friend or family member using the Seminary Reference Form
    • Please do not use a family member as the pastoral or employer reference
  • Writing sample from your undergraduate education
    • This can be any paper submitted for a letter grade regardless of subject
  • Check your specific program's requirements

*Under special circumstances these requirements may be waived.

Program Requirements

Special Circumstances

FPU Undergraduate Alumni Admission

Undergraduate alumni (traditional and degree completion) pursuing a graduate program at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary may have courses waived towards their seminary program. Students must complete the qualifying undergraduate course with a grade of B or higher to receive seminary course credit. Once students have been admitted to a seminary program, they must complete the Advanced Standing form in Sunbird Central to officially request advanced standing at the seminary.

Admission with a GPA below 2.5 or below 3.0 for the MFT program

In some circumstances, we are willing to waive the GPA requirement if the student demonstrates high maturity and/or life experience that demonstrates they can perform well in the program. We take into account their ministry experience for BIB/MIN programs, their GRE score, volunteer counseling hours experience and psych pre-requisites for the MFT degree. We encourage people with a low GPA to still apply so we can look over their materials.

Admission without a Bachelor's Degree

Students will be considered for admission to Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary into the M.Div., M.A.CM, M.A. CLT, or M.A. MLC degrees or one of our certificate programs without the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree if they have:

  • 60 semester units or two years of post-secondary education minimum
  • Significant ministry experience
  • Evidence of life experience which has prepared them for graduate theological education

In compliance with the Association of Theological Schools such students may only pursue the degree or program to which they have applied.

Additional Bible Knowledge Requirement

The Bible Knowledge Requirement (BKR) is a one-day, no credit class with an examination at the end of the day. The BKR is required to be met during the first month of your first term.

Non-Matriculated Students

Students may enroll in up to 6 units of courses for credit/audit at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary without being admitted into a degree or certificate program. This is considered a non-matriculated status.

Cost & Financial Aid

The below listed prices reflect the current and upcoming Fall and Spring semesters and do not include any financial aid. Paying for college can be an overwhelming step in education your journey. We can help you find all the possible opportunities to reduce your out of pocket costs.

Tuition & Financial Aid

2022-23
Tuition per Unit Amount
Theology / Bib / Religion $495
MFT / Counseling $550
Other Costs Amount
Student Body Fee $115
Seminary Technology $50
2021-22
Tuition per Unit Amount
Theology / Bib / Religion $485
MFT / Counseling $540
Other Costs Amount
Student Body Fee $115
Seminary Technology $50

* This is an estimate. Costs subject to change. Cost of attendance figures are used for budgeting purposes only and represent an estimate of projected tuition and fees for the coming academic year. Actual tuition rates are approved by the Board of Trustees and may vary.

Types of aid

Financial aid can refer to scholarships, grants and loans, which are available to you from the government, the university or outside sources. Aid types vary depending on the type of student you are.

View FPBS Private Scholarships

Career Opportunities

Graduating with an MFT degree from the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary prepares you for California licensure* as a therapist. FPU Biblical Seminary graduates work as therapists in private counseling centers, their own private practices, county mental health facilities among other places.

After graduation, you will continue the 3,000 hour internship requirement for CA state licensing; once the hours are completed you may then apply through the Board of Behavioral Science to take the Licensed Marriage & Family Therapy exam.

Career Development Happens Here

The staff in our Career Development and Experiential Learning Center are here to help you prepare to enter the working world. Whether your a freshman or an FPU alum, there are a number of resources and trainings offered to help you find the internship and job you’re looking for.

  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center