Advanced Marriage and Family Counseling – PACO 618

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

Course Description

This course is an exploration of selected major treatment approaches utilized in marital and family counseling. Development of practical skills, interventions, and techniques constitute the primary focus.


PACO 500 and PACO 501 and PACO 615


This course covers advanced skills in marriage and family counseling. The purpose of the course is to present more in-depth concepts and philosophies of marriage and family counseling for pastoral counselors. This course will also teach advanced skills and techniques necessary when counseling marriages and families.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Articulate a biblical foundation for marriage and family.
  2. Evaluate a counseling model to help marriages in conflict.
  3. Identify and apply skills, models, and techniques appropriate to address marital and family problems in the context of marriage and family counseling.
  4. Explore marriage and family issues and develop treatment plans and intervention strategies for various problems in marriage and family counseling.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to recognize his or her own limitations as a pastoral counselor when working with marriages and families and how to make appropriate referrals.
  6. Integrate biblical principles and secular theories in a responsible, eclectic manner.

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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words.

4MAT Paper

The student will complete a 4MAT paper that covers the assigned chapters of the Köstenberger and Jones textbook. The paper must conform to the following length requirements for each section: 350 words (summary), 250 words (concrete responses), 250 words (reflection), and 400 words (application).

Marriage Counseling Plan

The student will watch the movie Fireproof and will develop a 3–5-page Marriage Counseling Plan for the married couple in the movie. The plan must incorporate elements learned from both the textbook readings and course presentations and must reflect a solid integration of a Christian worldview.

Book Critique

The student will write a 5-page Book Critique in current APA format that focuses on the counseling approach presented in the Sells and Yarhouse textbook. The paper must include references to the other course textbooks and the Bible as well as at least 3 scholarly references.

Family Counseling Plan

The student will read the case study provided and will develop a 5-page Family Counseling Plan for the family in the case study. The plan must incorporate elements learned from both the textbook readings and course presentations and must reflect a solid integration of a Christian worldview.


The exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. The exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 50 multiple-choice questions, and have a 1-hour and 30-minute time limit.