Marriage and Family Systems: Foundations, Models and Techniques – DBMF 400

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course provides an overview of marriage and family dynamics, specifically looking at various foundations and models for effective people helping. A wide range of marriage and family issues and definitions are examined. Ethical concerns and multicultural factors are also considered.




There’s never been a more dramatic attack on marriages and the family than we are currently experiencing today. In addition, there has never been a more difficult time to be a parent. The 21st century has brought with it a host of challenges fighting for the heart of the traditional family. Yet, research consistently shows the necessity of a stable family system to bring about healthy children and ultimately, healthy societies. It is important to present effective marriage and family models to help marriages and families lay a solid biblical foundation and navigate the difficult issues. This course is offered in an eight-week format and includes extensive readings, experiential observations, exams, a research paper, and interactions with other students via Discussion Board.

Theme Scripture

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 (NASB)

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify current trends, issues and threats to the family system in the 21st century.
  • Define both “marriage” and “family” from a Judeo-Christian perspective rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures.
  • Describe the Judeo-Christian definition of marriage and family against the current cultural attempts to redefine it.
  • Identify and describe to parents the necessary conditions for raising confident children.
  • Identify issues that families face such as infertility/miscarriage, single parenting, family crises, postpartum depression, homosexuality, stepfamilies, technology and stress.
  • Describe techniques for raising spiritually healthy and vibrant children.

Course Assignment

Textbook Readings and Lecture Presentations.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Each forum will require the student to answer questions with a minimum of 250 words based on that particular module/week’s readings (Dr. Dobson’s works and/or the core text), as well as video/audio content. The student will then be required to post at least two (2) replies of 150 words each to other students’ threads in the same module/week. Instructions for the successful completion of this assignment can be found in Appendix A.

Movie Reviews (2)

The student is to complete 2 movie reviews by watching a movie of his/her choosing that has a strong marital/family theme. The student must then complete a 2-3 page critique of the movie as it relates to the topic of marriage (the page count does not include the title page). The student must pay particular attention to how the ideas presented in this movie might be used to give helpful advice to couples/parents in a marital/family setting. These assignments must have a title page with the student’s name, the course number, the instructor’s name, the assignment number (Movie Review 1), and the date. The reviews must be written in current APA format. Instructions for the successful completion of this assignment can be found in Appendix B.

4MAT Book Critiques (2)

The student will complete two 4MAT papers during the course of his/her study. The reviews will be written using any two of the three assigned texts for this course. The critiques must be written in current APA format. Instructions for the successful completion of this assignment can be found in Appendix C.