M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

"God will give a crown of beauty for ashes, A joyous blessing instead of mourning, Festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory." Isaiah 61:3


About the M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

In the fall of 2012, the Wheaton College Psychology Department initiated an M.A. program in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT).  Historically, the psychology department had offered a Masters in Clinical psychology with an MFT concentration since its inception in 1977. 

However with new licensure (LMFT) in all 50 states and the increasing demand for couple and family therapy globally underscores the need for specialized training in family systems theory and techniques. In fact CNN (2012) and U.S. News and World Report (2010) identified Marital and Family Therapist as one of the 50 best jobs in America. There is a great need for competently trained, systemically oriented clinicians who can serve the Church and the wider world, especially those on the margins.

Wheaton College's Marriage and Family Therapy program trains students to be...

Competent Clinicians

MFT Student in Malaysia We seek to develop competency in providing assessment and treatment from a systemic perspective for the mental health care of individuals, couples, groups and families.  The program seeks to train students from an ethical and best-practices standard in working with client and greater systems.  Students will be able to critically assess, apply and integrate their Christian beliefs and practice with the best of contemporary scholarship and professional standards in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Distinctively Christian 

David Van DykeIn joining people in therapy, our personhood is the clinician’s greatest tool.  How we understand and live out our faith, how our faith influences our practices, and what happens when faith and practice collide are all questions we tussle with together in class and outside of class.  We discuss openly various views on the nature of God, personhood, brokenness, and healing so that we can understand how our faith and learning shapes our clinical practice.

Relationship and Community Focused

Photo of family putting puzzle togetherThe MFT program focuses on relational dynamics.  We hold that being created in the Image of God is, in part, a reflection of our relational triune God.  Living our relationships from a biblical, systemic, and personal perspective is vital in developing as an MFT.  There is an emphasis on experiencing relationships as well as studying them.  Faculty, students, and alumni seek recursive involvement through educational investment, living out our mission, and commitment to each other, our churches, and our greater communities.

Service Oriented

MFT Student Presenting PsychoEd of Adolescent Development at Church's Youth Leadership MeetingEven with the rigor of academia, we implement ways we can be of service to those around us.  Whether that is in our local church, family, the academic program and cohort, or in the community.  First year Master’s Students have the opportunity to observe therapy at local clinics.  Second year Master’s Students are placed at various clinical practicum sites throughout the Chicagoland area providing counseling to communities who may otherwise not be able to receive such services.

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