Seminary Courses



CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling (3)

This course is a survey of ideas and praxis essential for marriage and family counselling. The content will include theological, psychosocial, systems, and constructivist perspectives.

CO 604 Counselling Practicum I (3)

This course provides an introduction to actual counselling in a peer group setting. Practicum groups of no more than six students function as the accountability units in which problems and responses are conceptualized according to the model taught in MC 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling. This course provides an introduction to the practices of counselling and an opportunity to discover the strengths and gifts each student brings to the practice of counselling.

Prerequisite(s): CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling

CO 605 Counselling Practicum II (3)

This practicum builds on and continues the experiential focus of CO 604 Counselling Practicum I, but with a shift in emphasis from the “person” of the counsellor to the “skills” of the counsellor.

Prerequisite(s): CO 604 Counselling Practicum I

CO 606 Marriage and Family Counselling (3)

The course will provide a comprehensive survey and substantive understanding of the major models of couple, marriage, and family therapy.

Prerequisite(s): CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling

CO 613 An Emotionally Focused Approach to Couples Therapy (3)

Emotion Focused Therapy is a short-term approach to the treatment of distressed couples based on a clear conceptualization of relationship distress and adult attachment. The course presents both theory and practice through lecture, video viewing, and practical exercises. It helps students understand relationship distress in an attachment context, the assessment process and specific interventions, how to create change events in therapy, and how to deal with common impasses and difficult issues.

CO 703 Counselling Problems and Procedures (3)

A study of counselling interventions from several therapeutic perspectives. This course will cover essential skills in family therapy, the counselling process from intake to termination, and emergency procedures in mental health practice.

Prerequisite(s): CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling

CO 705 Counselling Ethics (3)

A survey of ethical, legal, and professional issues within the counselling profession. The course will explore issues of boundaries, informed consent, confidentiality, and legal demands.

CO 707 Procedures in Marriage and Family Counselling (3)

This course takes the marriage and family model of understanding people and relationships and applies it to specific behavioural and relational issues, with a concentration on those issues related to working with families. The focus is on counselling practices, especially the use of questions in the context of family meetings that can help families and individual family members experience change toward health.

Prerequisite(s): CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling

CO 710 Crisis and Grief Counselling (3)

This study of the dynamics, techniques, and guidelines for grief and crisis counselling emphasizes crisis and grief as a process (i.e. loss of spouse) and looks at the dynamics of suicidal or domestic crisis.

CO 711 Addictions Counselling (3)

This course is designed to give students an introduction to the various conceptualizations of addiction theory. Understanding addictive behaviour and the impact and effect of addictions on the family system are considered. Basic assessment, intervention, and treatment techniques in working with individuals and families are explored.

CO 712 Dynamics of Abuse (3)

This course unpacks the interpersonal dynamics that make up the context in which abusive relationships occur. Contemporary issues like family violence, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, and professional misconduct involving sexual abuse set the backdrop for the class discourse.

Prerequisite(s): CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling or permission of the professor.

CO 714 Counselling Systems and Approaches (3)

This survey course looks at a variety of current approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. It includes an extensive survey of systemic approaches, including the influence of postmodern ideas on this work. The course is intended to provide a broad background in systemic approaches for students of counselling and for others interested in the theological, philosophical, and technical bases of systems theory.

CO 715 Premarital Counselling (3)

This course offers a study of the dynamics of the premarital relationship and of the tools available for premarital counselling and post-marital follow-up. This includes gender issues, human sexuality, communication, conflict resolution, treatment of the wedding ceremony, the pastor’s role, and special circumstance marriages.

CO 717 Group Counselling Strategies (3)

This course provides a look at group-focused counselling ministries from a number of perspectives. It incorporates a “reflecting team” approach to working within groups. The principles studied in this course are applicable to establishing support groups, therapy groups, or simply leading a better Bible study.

CO 751 Life in the Mess: Theology of Forgiveness and Reconciliation (3)

This course will evaluate contemporary models of forgiveness and reconciliation from both a theological and counseling perspective. A Gospel-centered model of forgiveness and reconciliation will be presented out of which practices of forgiveness and reconciliation can be explored. Issues to be considered may include, but are not be limited to: the semantics of forgiveness and reconciliation; systemic and corporate dynamics of forgiveness and reconciliation; the problem of unrepentance; forgiveness and memory; forgiveness and reconciliation in non-ecclesial/non-Christian contexts; and the role of the local church in fostering forgiveness and reconciliation.

Cross-listed: THEO 751 Life in the Mess: Theology of Forgiveness and Reconciliation

CO 756 Marriage and Human Sexuality in Theological Perspective (3)

In this seminar-style course, students will be introduced to the rich legacy of theological and moral reflection on marriage, celibacy and sexuality. Students will examine influential texts from the breadth of the Christian tradition and give special consideration to how these texts might inform nuanced reflection on contemporary issues in sexual ethics.

Cross-listed: THEO 756 Marriage and Human Sexuality in Theological Perspective

CO 800 Counselling Internship (0)

This course begins the transition from learning to practice for those enrolled in the Marriage and Family Counselling major. The main requirement is to provide 300 hours of direct client contact in a setting in which it is possible to also receive 60 hours of supervision from a qualified supervisor. Students incur an annual charge for coverage under the liability insurance carried by Briercrest College and Seminary. (Students are advised to see the Graduate Internship Guide for specific details.)

Prerequisite(s): CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling, CO 604 Counselling Practicum I, CO 605 Counselling Practicum II, and CO 705 Counselling Ethics

CO 819 Counselling Specialty (3)

This study focuses on a particular emphasis of counselling ministry. The focus of this course varies from year to year.