This course looks at the role, function, and value placed on marriage in today's society. Remarriage issues, same-sex marriages, and contractual marriages are examined alongside traditional marriage to address the scope and breadth of relational issues to be understood in preparing to do competent Marriage and Family counseling in today's world.
The traditional and biblical definition of family is being undermined and attacked like never before. Contemporary thought on marriage and family issues leads to what is commonly termed today as a “modern family,” one not defined by biological or marital status, but instead one defined by the culture and/or a subjective feeling of “being in love.” This course offers the student exposure to both sides of philosophical and pragmatic thought on these paradigms so the student can effectively debate and stand for the Judeo-Christian definition of the family, yet provide the research and biblical hermeneutic to back it up. The goal is to provide counselors, pastors, and marriage and family champions both a scientific and theological foundation to God’s design for the family and the personal and societal benefits of a healthy marriage and an involved mother and father within the home. This course is offered in an eight-week format and includes extensive readings, experiential observations, review papers, and interactions with other students via Discussion Board.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify the prevalent and emerging thoughts and paradigms on marriage and family in the 21st century.
- Discuss from a balanced attitude of grace and truth, both sides of the redefinition of marriage.
- Explain a well-researched and biblically-based argument for traditional marriage between a man and woman.
- Identify the various scientific and spiritual benefits of marriage.
- Describe the components a God-centered, Christian home and its benefits on children and society at large.
- Identify 21st century challenges for raising a Godly family.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations notes.
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. The student is required to answer questions with a minimum 250-word thread based on that particular module/week’s audio and video resources. Students will also be required to post a minimum of two (2) replies of 100 words each to other students’ threads. Please see the specific assignment instructions included with the course materials. (MLOs: A,B,C,D,E,F)
Movie Review Assignment
The Movie Review assignment provides an opportunity to focus on a movie with a strong marital theme. Students must interact with the movie’s content in a way that aids understanding of the impact of movies on the counseling process, including a Review, the Therapeutic Implications, and the Personal/Professional Implications of the movie. Please see the specific assignment instructions included with the course materials. (MLOs: A)
Reflection Journal Assignments (4)
The journal assignments provide a forum for the student to reflect on their studies in the course. This is a private reflection between the student and the professor related to their journey through the course. Reflecting on the course material, outside material, personal experience, and Biblical truth can create meaning and facilitate next steps for the student at course end. (MLOs: A,B,C,D,E,F)
4-MAT Book Review Assignments (2)
The 4-MAT Book Review system is a way of responding to readings that requires the learner to interact with new ideas on several levels, including a Summary, Concrete Responses, a Reflection, and personal Application. Please see the specific assignment instructions included with the course materials. (MLOs: A,B,C,D,E,F)