Marriage and Family Counselling

Master of Arts

Students are equipped for a vocation in the mental health sector and in specialized counselling ministries in church and parachurch organizations.

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counselling (MAMFC) degree provides a biblically and professionally integrated course of study that equips students for a vocation in the mental health sector and in specialized counselling ministries in church and parachurch organizations. The program is designed to help students meet the academic requirements for gaining professional recognition as an Associate Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the Registry of Marriage and Family Therapy in Canada (RMFT). Briercrest Seminary is an associate member of the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA), which enables graduates of the MA Marriage and Family Counselling program to obtain membership with the CPCA.

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) has deemed graduates of the MAMFC eligible for membership and certification. In addition, the program is designed to meet the membership requirements of the Professional Association of Canadian Christian Counsellors (PACCC).It should be noted that AAMFT,  RMFT, CCPA, and PACCC recognition is independent of Briercrest's program and that it is the responsibility of the student to individually pursue membership upon completion of the degree.


Anticipated Program Outcomes

  1. Articulate an evangelical theology that demonstrably arises out of Scripture and finds expression in all areas of life and ministry.
  2. Be equipped for serving in the local church and its global mission.
  3. Be recognized as a mature disciple of Jesus Christ.

MAMFC graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate that they are equipped with the necessary skills and personal attributes to enter into a ministry of counselling.
  2. Demonstrate that their practice of counselling meets the highest Christian and professional ethical standards.
  3. Have met the basic academic qualifications for associate membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and Professional Association of Canadian Christian Counsellors.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete the 63 credit hour program of studies as outlined
  • Achieve a minimum of a 2.50 cumulative grade point average on a 4.00 scale
  • Complete at least 30 hours of this program through Briercrest
  • Successfully complete a Portfolio and Interview
  • Receive the recommendation of the seminary faculty
  • Complete all program requirements within 10 years of beginning studies
  • Meet all financial obligations to the seminary
  • Fulfill all academic and financial requirements

Degree Requirements (63 credit hours)

Core (12 credit hours)

In consultation with the Program Coordinator, students choose one course from each of the following four areas of study:

Course Credit Hours
Christian Ministry Formation* 3
New Testament 3
Old Testament 3
Theology OR History 3

*May include CM 600 Spiritual Formation for Ministry, CM 601 Philosophy and Foundation for Ministry; LE 605 Personal and Service Development

Marriage and Family Counselling (33 credit hours)

CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Counselling 3
CO 606 Marriage and Family Counselling 3
CO 613 Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy 3
CO 703 Counselling Problems and Procedures 3
CO 705 Counselling Ethics 3
CO 707 Procedures in Marriage and Family Counselling 3
CO 714 Counselling Systems and Approach 3
PSY 607 Child Development 3
PSY 608 Adolescent Development 3
PSY 611 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and Psychopharmacology 3
PSY 706 Adult Development 3

Research and Practicums (12-18 credit hours)

PSY 701 Psychological Research Methods 3
RD 809 Specialty  Research Project (3 c.h.)
RD 808 Thesis (9 c.h.) *
CO 604 Counselling Practicum I 3
CO 605 Counselling Practicum II 3
CO 800 Counselling Internship (300 clinical hours) Non-credit

Electives (6 credit hours)

Open Electives 6

Non-credit Requirements

Portfolio and Interview Non-credit

* Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50 and have the approval of the program coordinator in order to qualify to write a thesis.

Program Coordinator:

Neil Soggie, PhD