Master of Science in Counseling Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy

School of Adult & Graduate Studies

Become a Marriage and Family Therapist

Montreat College’s Master of Counseling Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy is designed for students with a desire to become licensed as a Marriage and family therapist, caring for individuals, marriages, and families in a systemic and theologically informed capacity.

Counseling Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy Degree Highlights

  • Learn how to integrate Christian faith with the best practices of mental health, family care, psychological science, and counseling ethics.
  • Address how interpersonal dynamics influence individual behaviors and the relationships among families.
  • Develop critical thinking skill to prepare you for a career in the field of marriage and family therapy.
  • Enjoy the benefits of online learning. Study when it is convenient in the comfort of your personal environment, while learning from supportive professors who care about your success.
  • Become equipped with the clinical skills and professional preparation for Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure.

For over 25 years, Montreat College’s School of Adult and Graduate Studies has been helping adult students acquire essential skills, complete their degrees, and take their career to the next level. Montreat offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in a classroom or online.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When are the start dates for the MSCP: MFT degree program?

There are three start dates for new students every year, in January, May, and August. Please see the following for specific enrollment and start dates.

How long does it take to complete the MSCP: MFT degree program?

Full-load is considered two courses (six credit hours) per term, which equates to four courses (12 credit hours) per semester. Semesters in the MSCP: MFT program are Spring, Summer and Fall. If students take a full-time load each term, they should complete this program within two years.

How much does the MSCP: MFT degree program cost?

The cost is $540 per credit hour plus a $50 technology fee per semester. In addition, there are multiple college and government financial aid programs available to help mitigate the cost of your education. You can learn more about your financial aid options.

What are the length of online courses?

The courses for this graduate program are eight-week sessions. There are 2 sessions in a semester. To be considered a full-time graduate student, a student must take 6 credit hours per semester. The student must take 1 course (3 credit hours) the first eight-week session and 1 course (3 credit hours) the second eight-week session. Semesters in this program are Spring, Summer, and Fall.

What jobs can you pursue with a MSCP: MFT degree?

This degree prepares students to become Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. Marriage and Family Therapists work in a variety of fields such as:

  • Marriage and Family Counseling
  • Human Services
  • Youth Development and Counseling
  • Trauma Care and Recovery
  • Church and Family Ministry
  • Career Counseling
  • Mental Health
What is the job market like for people with MSCP: MFT degree?

The regional outlook is strong with 16.5% job growth expected over the next 10 years, and 21.7% job growth nationally within the last year.

How much money do MSCP: MFT professionals typically make?

The average regional salary of graduates with a MSCP:MFT degree is $54,551 regionally and $51,500 nationally.

What are the admissions requirements?

Applicants to the MSCP: MFT must submit a Montreat College Application for Admission and meet the requirements of program entry as outlined in the School of Adult and Graduate Studies (AGS) Academic Catalog. Requirements for program admission are as follows:

  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 from the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study*
  • Submit a Professional Goals Essay
  • Submit a current resume that includes both academic and employment history
  • Submit two letters of recommendation for entering the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology Program: Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Submit official transcripts for all colleges attended
  • Complete and pay for a national background check
  • Successfully complete an entrance interview with the Department Chair and other panel members

*If applicant has a GPA below 3.0 in their last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study, a “Low GPA” essay is required. The essay should cover challenges that contributed to the low GPA, as well as specifically what the applicant will do to maintain a 3.0 overall GPA in the MSCP: MFT program.

What are the graduation requirements?

In order to graduate, MSCP: MFT students must meet graduation requirements as outlined in the AGS Academic Catalog. Requirements for program graduation are:

  • Completion of a minimum of 42 credit hours of graduate work at Montreat College (up to 12 credit hours may be transferred from a regionally accredited institution)
  • A cumulative grade point average of 3.0
    • If at any time a student receives a grade below a B- the student must retake that course, as all graduate-level courses must be passed with a minimum grade of B- the student must meet with his/her Department Chair and/or advisor.
  • Completion of graduate course work within five years of the date of admission into the MSCP: MFT program
  • Successfully passing the practice MFT National Examination prior to enrolling in Internship I (COUN6222)
  • Successful completion of counseling internship hours within COUN6222 and COUN6223
  • Payment of all tuition and fees
  • Approval of the faculty

Courses

MSCP5210: Professional Identity and Ethics in Marriage and Family Therapy

This course is an introductory exploration of the history of marriage and family therapy (MFT) as a profession and current trends in the practice of MFT. Students will begin to explore the various settings in which MFT can take place, the specialties within the profession, as well as professional MFT licensure and credentialing. Students will be introduced to the AAMFT Code of Ethics, as well as discuss the additional topics of counselor self-care, consultation, professional counseling organizations, advocacy, ethics, and multicultural competency.

COUN5222: Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment

This course will provide students an overview of clinical diagnoses according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5). Diagnosis criteria will be reviewed and current best practice treatment options will be reviewed. Case studies will be utilized to provide students opportunities to practice diagnostic skills. Treatment planning in counseling will also be discussed.

COUN5216: Assessment in Counseling

This course will provide an overview of assessment methods and tools used in counseling, including intakes as well as standardized assessments. Ethical standards for the use of assessments in counseling will be reviewed. Students will experience taking an assessment, writing an assessment report, and providing a critical review of assessment.

COUN5214: Counseling Across the Lifespan

This course will provide an overview of human development across the lifespan, from birth until death and explore critical considerations for counseling individuals across these stages of development. Special consideration is given to how development across the lifespan impacts family systems and structures.

COUN5281: Marriage and Family Counseling

This course will examine various Marriage and Family Therapy presenting issues and techniques, as well as address the various roles and responsibilities of the professional counselor working within a marriage and family setting. Presenting issues include, but are not limited to: sex, addiction, co-dependency, enmeshment, disengagement, intimacy, mental illness in the family, triangulation, parenting, family hierarchy, and spiritual development within the family. Therapeutic techniques to be examined include those found within Bowenian Family Systems, Madanes’ Strategic Family Therapy, Minuchin’s Structural Family Therapy, and Gottman’s Sound Marital House. Ethical standards, specifically in relation to confidentiality, within marriage and family therapy will be discussed.

COUN5215: Multicultural Counseling

This course will provide students an opportunity to begin to develop skills for multicultural competency when providing counseling services to clients of diverse backgrounds. Multicultural competencies will be reviewed and students will explore their own identity as a cultural being.

COUN5217: Research Methods in Counseling

This course will provide an overview of qualitative and quantitative research methodology and techniques and discuss the role of research in counseling. Ethical standards for conducting research will be discussed. Students will develop the ability to read and critically evaluate counseling literature as well as develop a research prospectus.

COUN5223: Group Counseling

This course will provide an overview of theory and principles of effective group work, provide students an opportunity to develop skills in using group techniques, and plan activities for groups. Students will participate in a group experience during this course. Ethical standards for group counseling will be reviewed.

COUN5231: Spirituality and Religion in Counseling

This course will examine the role of spirituality and religious beliefs in the counseling relationship and process. Students will explore how different religious traditions that clients may participate in could influence the counseling process, as well as examine their own religious and spiritual foundations for their counseling theory and practice. Students will explore the concept of toxic faith and how toxic beliefs can manifest and present within the therapeutic setting. Ethical standards will be discussed.

COUN5251: Crisis Intervention and Crisis Counseling

This course will provide students with an overview of counseling skills for working in crisis and trauma situations as well as crisis intervention theory. Students will review case studies and create a crisis resource for a client population or counseling setting of interest.

MSCP5290: Advanced Family Counseling

This course is designed to build upon the introductory overview of couple and family therapy theories (in COUN5281) with a focus on using counseling interventions with couples and families. Within this course an exploration of selected major treatment approaches utilized in martial and family counseling. Development of practical skills, interventions, and techniques constitute the primary focus. A pre-requisite for this course is COUN5281.

MSCP6100: Family Systems Theories

In this course students examine the theoretical and practical foundations of the family systems approach to marriage and family therapy. The major theorists, theories, various models and practices are examined. The primary focus is upon the theories, principles, and language, which support the numerous marriage and family therapy models.

MSCP6150: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Individuals, Marriages, and Families

The purpose of this course is to develop students’ knowledge and skill in the cognitive-behavioral approach to individual, marital, and family therapy within a systemic perspective. Students will examine theoretical foundations, research findings, basic principles, assessment techniques, and the intervention strategies of cognitive-behavioral therapy. These examinations are applied to a wide variety of problems in marriage, family, and social relationships and are framed within a Christian theological context.

MSCP6221 Counseling Practicum

This is an experiential course and requires students to complete a minimum of 100 hours of marriage and family therapy practice, under supervision, at an approved site. Students will provide therapy services as well as continue to learn skills in intake, assessment, counseling, and consultation. Students will participate in weekly individual as well as group supervision. Prerequisite: All Core Curriculum Courses and Consent of Department Chair.

MSCP6222 Internship I

This is an experiential course and requires students to complete a minimum of 200 hours of clinical counseling experience (face-to-face) in the practice of marriage and family therapy, under supervision of an LMFT, at an approved site. Students will provide counseling services as well as continue to learn skills in intake, assessment, counseling, and consultation. Students will also begin to complete paperwork required for licensure as an LMFT-A (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – Associate) in NC. Students will participate in weekly individual supervision as well as group supervision. Prerequisites: MSCP 6221 and consent of Department Chair.

MSPC6223 Internship II

This is an experiential course and requires students to complete a minimum of 200 hours of clinical counseling experience (face-to-face) in the practice of marriage and family therapy, under supervision of an LMFT, at an approved site. Students will provide counseling services as well as continue to learn skills in intake, assessment, counseling, and consultation. Students will also begin to complete paperwork required for licensure as an LMFT-A (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – Associate) in NC. Students will participate in weekly individual supervision as well as group supervision. Prerequisites: MSCP 6222 and consent of Department Chair.