Marriage & Family Therapy and Counseling Program
Christian Counseling is a highly specialized calling that requires careful training. Hurting people can heal. In the Marriage & Family Therapy and Counseling (MFTC) program at Reformed Theological Seminary, we prepare Christians to work with God's Word and God's world as they apply God's truth to the fabric of people's lives. Under the authority of Scripture and with the foundation of a biblical worldview, our students learn to see the people they help both as individuals living before the face of God and as active members of family relationships.
The MFTC program at RTS is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Courses offered satisfy educational requirements for Marriage and Family Therapy licensure and Professional Counselor licensure in most states. Graduates of the program are received by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as Associate Members. Upon completion of required supervised postgraduate clinical experience, they may become full clinical fellows of the national organization.
Solid Biblical Foundation
Faithful and vigorous biblical studies shape our understanding of God's character, God's world, and his work in our lives. We teach biblical studies courses that cover every book in the Bible as well as courses devoted to theology and the relationship of theology and therapy. Biblical teaching is a critical part of therapy and of the therapist's approach to issues. Each student takes twelve hours of coursework in biblical and theological studies. Three hours of the Marriage and Family curriculum are devoted to the relationship of theology and therapy.
Integrated with Strong Academic Psychological Studies
We are committed to Scripture as God's Word and our norm for faith and practice. Each Marriage & Family Therapy and Counseling course is taught from a biblical perspective and interacts with current theory and the best available texts in the field. Students will learn to evaluate psychology in light of Scripture and to put what they have learned into practice.
In our clinic, therapy is generally from a family systems perspective. Students will discover how to understand people's lives in the context of their personal development, family relationships, and social interaction. In addition to learning how to help people reshape their lives and relationships in constructive, godly ways, students will help them clarify and live out what they believe as they draw around God's truth together.
Extensive Clinical Experience
Students will find strong emphasis on practical experience at RTS Jackson. Your 71-hour program will include the following:
- At least 500 hours of face-to-face client contact, 200 of which must be relational
- A minimum of 100 hours of direct supervision with practicing professional therapists
- Between 1000 and 1500 hours of total clinical experience
Students are gradually eased into their clinic experience. At the beginning of their first year, students start by spending one hour every week at the reception desk in the clinic as their first exposure to clients. In the spring of their first year, students shadow a senior student therapist. In the summer of their first year, they participate as co-therapists with senior student therapists, and after 100 hours they may begin seeing clients on their own.