Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy
The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program is to educate persons with theological or spiritual commitments to become marriage and family therapists competent to practice in a diverse, multicultural, and interfaith world. We accomplish this by balancing classroom and intensive supervised experience in an on-campus counseling center and a broad range of off-campus sites.
At Louisville Seminary, Marriage and Family Therapy is framed as a professional expression of pastoral care and counseling. Individuals trained in the MFT Program gain theoretical and practical tools to work as comprehensive mental health providers in a broad range of treatment contexts with careful attention to human, family and cultural diversity. To this end, the MFT Program is built on COAMFTE’s Foundational Curriculum in Marriage and Family Therapy and core theological courses that help students relate learning across theoretical, theological and spiritual disciplines.
Through academic study and clinical experience students form a professional identity as a marriage and family therapist critically informed by religious and theological values and commitments. Most students expect to become theologically and spiritually informed MFTs practicing in community settings. Others expect to express their ordained ministry through specialized skills as a professional marriage and family therapist and will earn a M.Div. while at Louisville Seminary. The Marriage and Family Therapy Program encourages students to explore and integrate both theological and systemic traditions that mutually inform their work with people and enrich their professional identity as marriage and family therapists, minister and pastoral counselor. Students receive individual supervision and group supervision based on direct observation of their clinical work.
Educational Requirements of the MFT Program
MAMFT Degree Portability
Applicants to the MAMFT Program are advised to compare and identify similarities and differences between Kentucky licensure qualifications and license regulations in the state or province in which they intend to be licensed. Licensure regulations for all states can be accessed at https://www.aamft.org/Directories/MFT_Licensing_Boards.aspx. Prior to admission, applicants will be required to acknowledge with signature their understanding that there may be potential differences in licensing regulations across states and provinces. Individuals accepted for admission to the MAMFT Program will work closely with an academic advisor to review license regulations and plan a course of study to account for regulatory differences between Kentucky and another state or province in which the student plans to be licensed.
Progressing Through the Program
Students begin the MFT program by taking foundational courses central to forming a beginning theoretical platform to begin clinical training. First year courses ordinarily include: Theoretical Foundations of Family Therapy (PC 3043), Human Growth and Transformation (PC 4083), Psychopathology (PC 3223), Introduction to Scripture for MFT Students (BI 1103), and Ethics and Professional Issues in MFT (PC 3053). Students begin the application component in the first semester, concurrent with didactic courses. This strategy emphasizes the Program’s dedication to integrating skills, theory and spirituality/theology. First semester students begin the application component by taking Practicum 1: Beginning MFT Practice (PC 4413) and Introduction to Teletherapy (PC 4401) in preparation for a more intensive clinical experience in Practicum 2. Most students will begin work with actual clients late in the Fall semester of the first year, contingent on demonstrating readiness for supervised practice in Practicum 1 and Teletherapy. Second year students will continue in Practicum 2 and complete 300 hours of clinical work under supervision, MFT Research (PC 2813), Integrational Studies and other theory or practice courses. By the end of Practicum 2, students will demonstrate foundational proficiency in all Developmental Competency Components. Some students may opt to take Practicum 3 to meet license regulations in another state, to enhance specific competencies, or explore new models or modes of therapy. The final semester in the program consists of preparation for the Senior Integrative Experience and Exit Examination, along with completing all clinical and administrative details necessary for graduation.
Some Practicum Specifics:
Students prepare for clinical work in Practicum 1. As each student demonstrates readiness to begin practice, they may be assigned clients at Louisville Seminary Counseling Center. Students are assessed for readiness to see clients by the LSCC Clinical Director. Assessment will be based on successful completion of Practicum 1 course requirements (role plays, papers, observations, ethics exam, etc.).
Practicum 2 provides a formative context for students to translate classroom learning into clinical practice, cultivate specific therapeutic skills, and engage the process of personal development expected of entry-level professional clinicians. In this practicum, students will gain 300 hours of supervised experience at the Louisville Seminary Counseling Center and in external sites selected to provide diversity in training.
MFT Practicum 3/Internship is an advanced elective. Enrolment requires that a student has passed all foundational Student Learning Outcomes and Developmental Competencies as demonstrated by the Practicum 2 final evaluation. As outlined in the Practicum 3/Internship syllabus, students will establish a learning contract with their supervisor that includes relational/systemic supervision with specific goals related to Student Learning Outcomes and Developmental Competency Components.
The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree requires 70 hours of academic study. With guidance from their academic advisor and careful course management, some students may complete the program in 2.5 years. The maximum length of time in the program is 6 years.
Of the 70 hours of academic study, 15 hours will be in Integrational Studies which will include courses in Bible, Theology, and reflection/integration experiences designed to provide a foundation for integrational discourse and tools for exploring one’s own spiritual and theological tradition. The remaining hours are distributed over areas of study required to meet Program Goals, Student Learning Outcomes and COAMFTE Foundational Curriculum requirements. To graduate, students must complete all academic courses with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average, and pass the Exit Examination and Senior Integration Experience.
The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy clinical requirements include the following:
- Successful completion of Practicum courses by demonstrating that competencies required by syllabi are met.
- Successful completion of a minimum of 300 direct client contact hours, of which 100 are relational hours, and a minimum of 100 hours of MFT relational/systemic supervision.
MAMFT Program Admission Requirements
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required for admission. Personal experience, maturity, sense of ministry and aptitude, as demonstrated during an interview process, also are considered for admission. Advanced standing may be given for previous graduate degrees in selected fields.
Transfer of Credit Policy for the MFT Program
Entering students may transfer credit hours from previous graduate work under the following conditions:
- Credit was completed no longer than 5 years prior to application.
- Grade earned was B or better.
- No more than six (6) hours of MFT related credit earned from another COAMFTE accredited program may be applied toward required courses in the MFT Program. Transfer of these credits requires MFT faculty review and approval.
- No more than six (6) hours of MFT related credit earned from a non-COAMFTE accredited program may be applied as electives in the MFT Program with approval of the MFT Program Director.
- Students entering with graduate theological credits (no theological degree) may transfer up to 15 hours of credit toward core theological requirements if classes are determined to be commensurate with MFT Program required courses as determined by the Registrar in consultation with the MFT Program Director.
- Students entering with a completed M.Div. or other theological degree may transfer fifteen (15) credit hours toward the MAMFT degree requirements.
Graduation Competency Assessments
Two capstone experiences are required for the completion of the MAMFT: (1) The Senior Integration Experience - Students must complete a clinical project which includes a case write-up and oral presentation before a committee; (2) the MFT Exit Exam – a web-based exam designed to test graduating students’ theoretical and therapeutic knowledge and to be used in preparation for Marriage and Family Therapy licensure examinations.
Program Diversity Statement
In creating community, the Marriage and Family Therapy Program strives for a diverse student body, faculty and staff that mirrors the society out of which it arises while challenging the prevailing hegemonic paradigm. We acknowledge the failings of this program and institution, and the academy in general. As expressed by the Seminary’s Quality Enhancement Project, titled Forming Students for the Work of Anti-Racism, we strive for justice and equality in the educational milieu and continuously reaffirm our commitment to be agents of change. To this end we welcome persons from all communities and strive as a collective to uncover, name and resist institutional and individual acts, processes, and structures that discourage inclusion and undermine equity in shared life. We believe that we are made stronger through the inclusion of unheard voices and stories while at the same time, inviting the privileged to listen for the voices of those who have been and continue to be disenfranchised.
Therefore, we join with COAMFTE and acknowledge the importance of inclusive hiring and admissions practices, construction of program policies, and procedures throughout the program that recognize human dignity and define diversity as being inclusive of race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, relationship status, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, health status, religious or spiritual belief, religious or spiritual affiliation and national origin. It is the policy of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary to:
- Strive for a diverse student body and faculty including instructors, supervisors, other relevant educators, and professional staff.
- Embody antiracism commitments, policies and practices.
- Document our diversity and inclusion policies.
- Publish material regarding the diversity composition of our students, faculty, and supervisors, unless doing so would be prohibited by law.
- Reject discrimination on the basis of race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, relationship status, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, health status, religious or spiritual belief, religious or spiritual affiliation or national origin in any of our activities or policies relating to students, faculty, including instructors, supervisors, other relevant educators and professional staff.
- Comply with applicable state and federal nondiscrimination laws and regulations.
|Type/Academic Year||Total #||Gender||Age|
|Program Clinical Supervisors|
|Type/Academic Year||Total #||Ethnicity|
The MFT Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Graduates of the MFT Program meet all academic requirements for a Marriage and Family Therapy license in Kentucky and most other states. Entering students are required to work with the Clinical Director or academic advisor to determine requirements for licenses in states other than Kentucky.
| Graduate Achievement Data for Louisville Presbyterian Seminary MFT Program |
Accredited: July 1, 1993
Advertised Program Length*: Full-Time – 3 years
|Cohort Year Students Entered Program||# of Students in Program||Graduation Rate in Advertised Time (%)*||Job Placement Rate (%)**||Licensure Rate (%)***|
FT = Full-time
IP = In Process: Students from the cohort listed have yet to graduate from the cohort year listed.
Programs are only required to provide data on the past 7 years/cohort or since the program was initially accredited, whichever is shorter.
* Graduation Rate is the program’s Advertised Length of Completion which is how long the program is designed to complete as written.
** Job Placement Rate is the percentage of graduates from the cohort year that are employed utilizing skills learned in the COAMFTE accredited program.
*** Licensure rate is the percentage of graduates from the cohort year that have achieved ANY level of MFT licensure. For Master’s programs only, COAMFTE has established a benchmark of 70% licensure rate for each cohort.
z a 2015–2016 cohort — Of the 8 members of this cohort, 5 have obtained licensure, 2 are employed in religious contexts not seeking licensure, and 1 is pursuing a doctoral degree.
b 2017–2018 cohort — Of the 8 members of this cohort, 4 have obtained licensure, 1 is licensed as an art therapist incorporating MFT skills, 1 is working within a religious organization, and 2 have not reported their licensure status.
Program Goals (PG) and Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
Expected Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes for the MFT Program at Louisville Seminary are as follows:
Program Goals (Standard 12.5)
|PG1||To graduate students prepared with clinical and theoretical and ethical tools to provide individual, couple and family therapy as entry-level professional MFT practitioners.|
|PG2||To graduate students who demonstrate cultural competence and are able to provide individual, couple and family therapy with diverse clients.|
|PG3||To graduate students with an entry-level professional ability to reflect theologically/spiritually on their clinical practice in a multi-faith world.|
|PG4||To graduate students with ethical commitments to service, advocacy, antiracism, and public participation as an MFT.|
Student Learning Outcomes (Standard 12.5)
|SLO1||Graduating students will be able to flexibly conduct evidence-based, systemic therapy with individuals, couples and families that meets entry level professional standards in both face to face and telehealth contexts.|
|SLO2||Graduating students will demonstrate a broad knowledge of systemic theory and MFT treatment models and flexibly apply these in evidence-based practice in face-to-face and telehealth contexts.|
|SLO3||Graduating students will be able to think ethically and make appropriate clinical ethical decisions.|
|SLO4||Graduating students will be able to use a multi-contextual, antiracist approach to Marriage and Family Therapy that attends to religious, cultural, racial, economic, gender, and sexual orientation diversity and intersectional contexts in client, client-therapist, supervisory, and broader social systems.|
|SLO5||Graduating students will be able to use a theologically informed and clinically appropriate framework to integrate religious and spiritual factors into the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy.|
|SLO6||Graduating students will be able to apply an ethical framework, including but not limited to the AAMFT Code of Ethics, to make appropriate decisions in therapy, advocacy, service and public participation.|
COAMFTE Developmental Competencies
COAMFTE Standards Version 12.5 identifies five Developmental Competency Components that refer “…to the primary areas of professional learning and skill-development central to the effective and ethical practice of a future Marriage and Family Therapy professional.” These include:
- knowledge of the profession;
- practice of therapy;
- human diversity and social structures;
- professional identity, ethics, and law; and
- research and evidence-based practice.
This framework is intended to encompass historical, current, and future elements of MFT professional identity and practice, and to organize student learning outcomes expected of a graduate of the COAMFTE Accredited program.”1
MFT Program Outcome Based Education Framework for Student Achievement
LPTS Mission: Led by the Holy Spirit, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary educates people to proclaim the Gospel, to care for all, and to work for justice in communities everywhere.
MFT Program Mission: The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program is to educate persons with theological or spiritual commitments to become marriage and family therapists competent to practice in a diverse, multicultural and interfaith world.
|Program Goals||Student Learning Outcomes||Target and Measure||Developmental Competency Components|
Program Goal 1: To graduate students prepared with clinical, theoretical, and ethical tools to provide systemic individual, couple, and family therapy as entry-level professional MFT practitioners.
SLO 1: Graduating students will be able to flexibly conduct evidence-based, systemic therapy with individuals, couples and families that meets entry level professional standards in both face to face and telehealth contexts.
(Program Goal 1 Continued)
SLO 2: Graduating students will demonstrate a broad knowledge of systemic theory and MFT treatment models and flexibly apply these in evidence-based practice in face to face and telehealth contexts.
Program Goal 1 (Continued)
SLO 3: Graduating students will be able to think ethically and make appropriate clinical ethical decisions.
Program Goal 2: To graduate students who demonstrate cultural competence and can provide individual, couple and family therapy with diverse clients.
SLO 4: Graduating students will be able to use a multi-contextual, antiracist approach to Marriage and Family Therapy that attends to religious, cultural, racial, economic, gender, and sexual orientation diversity and intersectional contexts in client, client-therapist, supervisory, and broader social systems.
Program Goal 3: To graduate students with an entry-level professional ability to reflect theologically and spiritually on their clinical practice in a multi-faith world.
SLO 5: Graduating students will be able to use a theologically informed and clinically appropriate framework to integrate religious and spiritual factors into the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy.
Program Goal 4: To graduate students with ethical commitments to service, advocacy, antiracism, and public participation as an MFT.
SLO 6: Graduating students will be able to apply an ethical framework, including but not limited to the AAMFT Code of Ethics, to make appropriate decisions in therapy, advocacy, service, and public participation.
1 COAMFTE Standards, Version 12.5, p. 36.