Marriage and Family Counseling – PACO 615

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

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.

Course Assignment

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.

Quizzes (2)

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.