This course introduces students to the dynamics of marriage and family relationships. Emphasis is on understanding the structure and function of marriage, the various aspects of the marital relationship, family systems, and ways the counselor may approach marriage and family counseling as a creative, preventative, and healing ministry.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
Marriages in the United States are failing at a minimum rate of at least 50 percent, or one out of every two marriages. This fact is true both within Christianity as well as society as a whole. This course teaches the aspiring pastoral counselor how to meet the needs of hurting couples and to point them toward health and wholeness.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify the basic foundations of marriage and family counseling history, philosophy, trends, ethics, theories, and role of the pastoral counselor.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply counseling models and techniques to appropriate situations related to couple and family counseling.
- Conceptualize issues in marriage, couple, and family counseling and implement treatment, planning, and intervention strategies.
- Demonstrate, through the use of intake information, family history, ethnic sensitivities, family of origin issues, genograms, and family life cycle issues as well as the ability to apply appropriate counseling models and strategies.
- Integrate biblical principles, secular marriage, and family counseling theories in a responsible, eclectic manner.
- Conceptualize ethical and legal standards such as confidentiality, legal responsibilities, and liabilities of pastoral practice.
- Apply relevant research findings to inform the practice of marriage, couple, and family counseling.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Course Overview.
Discussions: Threads and Replies (4)
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a discussion thread in response to the provided discussion prompt for each discussion. Each discussion thread must be 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the discussion thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be 150 words.
Values, Vision, Mission, & Goals Paper Assignment
The student will write a Values, Vision, Mission, & Goals Paper. The student will will develop an original hypothetical case study that depicts a Christian married couple in counseling. The student will describe the hypothetical couple’s values related to marriage, will create a vision statement and a mission statement, and will write two SMART goals in each of the following seven areas: physical, psychological, relational, financial, professional, recreational, and spiritual.
Movie Review Assignments (2)
The student is to complete 2 movie review assignments by watching a movie of his/her choosing that has a strong marital theme. The student must then complete a 3–4-page critique of the movie as it relates to the topic of marriage (the page count does not include the title page and reference page). The student must pay particular attention to how the ideas presented in this movie might be used to counsel couples in a marital setting. These assignments must have a title page with the student’s name, the course number, the instructor’s name, the assignment title, and the date. The reviews must be written in current APA format.
4MAT Book Critique Assignment
The student will complete a 4MAT paper during the course of his/her study. The paper covers one of the three required textbooks in this course. The critique must be written in current APA format.
The two quizzes will cover the Learn material for the assigned modules. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice questions, and have a 2-hour time limit.