Master of Arts

Marriage and Family Therapy

Prepare for service in the mental health sector and in specialized church or parachurch counselling ministries.

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) helps you meet the academic requirements to gain professional recognition with five accrediting groups, including recognition as a Clinical Fellow of the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT) with the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT), and a member of the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists (PACCP).

Study the theory and practice of marriage and family therapy, receive a biblical and theological foundation, and complete hands-on practicums that will help you counsel with confidence.



Learn together

Learn not only from your professors, but also your peers. Briercrest Seminary attracts students from various marketplace and ministry contexts and walks of life, making for eye-opening class discussion and rich community events.

Qualified and certified

The MAMFT meets the requirements of 5 accrediting groups, including the Canadian and American Associations for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Accessible education

Take advantage of education that works for you. Most courses happen in either a week-long modular format or online, so you can access training that is relevant in your context without leaving it.

Carlie Pagens ('14)

This program taught me hands-on theory and practical skills through the practicum and internship. Briercrest does a beautiful job of training students to counsel from a systems perspective, which has helped me in my work with youth and families.

  • Overview
  • Requirements

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree provides a professional course of study that equips students for a vocation in the mental health sector and in specialized counselling ministries in church and parachurch organizations. The program is designed to help students meet the academic requirements for gaining professional recognition as a Clinical Fellow of the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT) with the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT). The program is also designed to meet the membership requirements of the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists (PACCP). Graduates of the MA Marriage and Family Therapy program are eligible to obtain membership with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA). It should be noted that recognition in each of these associations is independent of Briercrest's program and that it is the student's responsibility to pursue such recognition after graduation. The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree takes a minimum of two years of full-time studies to complete.

Outcomes

  1. Articulate and apply an evangelical theology that demonstrably arises out of Scripture and finds expression in all areas of life and ministry.
  2. Be equipped for serving the local church and its global mission.
  3. Demonstrate growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
  4. Demonstrate the necessary skills and personal attributes to enter into a ministry of counselling.
  5. Demonstrate that their practice of counselling meets the highest Christian and professional ethical standards.
  6. Meet the basic academic qualifications for clinical fellow membership in the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Credit Hours: 63

I. Core (12 credit hours)
In consultation with the program coordinator, students will choose one course from each of the following disciplines:
Personal Formation for Ministry *
New Testament
Old Testament
THEO 601 Christian Theology Overview **

II. Marriage and Family Therapy (30 credit hours)
(Required for MFT professional membership)
Marriage and Family Therapy Theory
CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Therapy
CO 606 Marriage and Family Therapy
CO 714 Counselling Systems and Approaches
Marriage and Family Therapy Practices
CO 703 Counselling Problems and Procedures
CO 707 Procedures in Marriage and Family Therapy
CO 713 Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy
Human Development
PSY 607 Child Development
PSY 608 Adolescent Development
PSY 706 Adult Development
Ethics
CO 705 Counselling Ethics 

III. Research and Practicums (12-18 credit hours)
PSY 701 Psychological Research Methods
RD 809 Specialty Research Project
   OR RD 808 Thesis ***
CO 790 Counselling Practicum I ****
CO 791 Counselling Practicum II ****
CO 800 Counselling Internship (300 clinical hours, non-credit)

IV. Electives (to fulfill 63 credit hours)
Counselling Electives (3-6 credits)

PSY 611 DSM and Psychopharmacology
CO 710 Crisis and Grief Counselling
CO 711 Addictions Counselling
CO 712 Interpersonal Trauma Counselling
CO 819 Counselling Specialty: Motivational Interviewing
Open Electives (3-6 credits)

V. Non-Credit Requirements
PRT 800 Learning Portfolio and Interview

* Must include one of the following: CM 600 Spiritual Formation for Ministry; CM 601 Philosophy and Foundation for Ministry; LE 605 Personal and Service Development.
**With permission of the program coordinator, a student with sufficient background in theology may replace this course with one course in history or theology.
*** Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50 and have the approval of the program coordinator in order to qualify to write a thesis.
**** Please contact Academic Services to register for CO 790 Counselling Practicum I and CO 791 Counselling Practicum II.  Practicum I and II are normally taken in the same school year.

Please note: Course substitutions to the program major are at the discretion of the program coordinator in consultation with the Registrar. Any course substitutions in the major may impact AAMFT certification. For more information, please contact your program coordinator.

Program Sheet(s)

Faculty

Sam Berg
Sam Berg DMin
Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy
Tzu-ching Chiang
Tzu-ching Chiang PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Margaret Clarke
Margaret Clarke PhD (Cand.)
Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy
Ellery Pullman
Ellery Pullman PhD
Professor of Psychology and Educational Leadership
Tony Schnare
Tony Schnare MA
Adjunct Instructor in Counselling Psychology
Tamara Strijack
Tamara Strijack MC
Adjunct Faculty in Psychology
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Anyone who wants to leverage their ministry, and influence for the Kingdom should take the MALM (Master of Arts in Leadership and Management). If you are serious about making a difference in this world, Briercrest's MALM is a great experience.
Andy Gabruch