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Billy Graham Center BGC at Wheaton College
M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy
Student sitting on the window sill in the Billy Graham center
M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

Who We Are – Wheaton College MFT Program Mission

We seek to form Marriage and Family Therapists who are clinically skilled and who integrate their personhood as followers of Christ in their professional and personal lives; who value interpersonal justice and the diversity of clients and client systems; and who work toward the goal of healthy and whole relationships, giving specific attention to those on the margin of society and those who are underserved.

years to complete the program
International Students

All of the faculty bring a unique relational piece to this program. They accept us as we are and they accept us where we are along our trajectory in life. — Billy Cleary, M.A., Marriage and Family Therapy


How We Equip - Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students will demonstrate knowledge of systemic approaches and treatments of clients and client systems (SLO1) 

We aim to form systemic clinicians who participate capably in the interactive process of assessing and treating clients and client systems, incorporate knowledge of individual and family life-cycle developmental stages, and conceptualize and integrate clinical/relational/contextual information. Students are instructed from an ethical, legal, and respectful standard of therapeutic practice in working with clients and greater systems. We seek to equip marriage and family therapists who intervene effectively to promote, restore, sustain, and/or enhance positive functioning in clients.

We strive to integrate theory with practice throughout the program through student involvement in pre-practicum training beginning in their first year and practicum placement in their second year. First year pre-practicum students observe live therapy at local clinics from behind a one-way mirror, while second year practicum students directly provide both individual and relational therapy. Graduates will be capable of working with individuals, couples, families, and groups.

Students will demonstrate self-awareness regarding emotions, communication, and contexts as they impact themselves and others (SLO2)

We hold that relationships from a biblical, systemic, and personal perspective are vital to human development to initiate change in the family system. Our program is built upon a cohort model which includes personal and professional development within small groups that facilitate dynamic enrichment of the whole person within Christian community. As a part of their personal and professional development, students will demonstrate self-awareness and emotional regulation by processing through their experience of family background and cultural context. In doing so, students will learn to communicate effectively about such matters with clients, colleagues, faculty, and supervisors.

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.

Students will demonstrate sensitivity and respect regarding diversity and those on the margins (SLO3)

Even 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 MFT students have the opportunity to observe live therapy, predominately at local community clinics. Second year MFT students obtain clinical practicum sites throughout the Chicagoland area and provide counseling to communities and populations who may otherwise not be able to receive such services. 

Students will integrate biblical and theological knowledge and professional ethics with systemic theory (SLO4)

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.

We seek to foster an environment that supports personal and professional development and that is based in Scripture and orthodox Christianity. Students of the M.A. in MFT program are expected to affirm the Statement of Faith of Wheaton College and to voluntarily conform to the Community Covenant  of Wheaton College, which together provide a framework for our life together as an academic and spiritual community. These commitments are far more than philosophical positions; they represent our firm belief that both unity and diversity add depth and richness to the community being developed at Wheaton and the MFT program.


For more information about the Wheaton MFT Program’s Educational Outcomes, including our Program Outcomes and Faculty Outcomes, see the description of our Educational Outcomes.

Our Accreditation

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Wheaton College is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and received initial COAMFTE accreditation in May 2016.

Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
112 South Alfred Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
(703) 838-9808

Wheaton College’s MFT Program has been designed to meet licensure requirements in the state of Illinois, as outlined by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Our program's COAMFTE accreditation will ensure that you receive a quality education that meets the standards established by the marriage and family therapy profession, and will help prepare you for the national licensure examination and Illinois state licensure. Graduates of our program will have a recognized qualifying degree by virtue of having completed a COAMFTE accredited program, which may help facilitate obtaining a license and securing employment post- graduation. However, MFT licensure requirements vary by state; for more information regarding state by state requirements, students may refer to www.AMFTRB.org.

COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria Data


*Information will become available for each cohort after minimum/advertised time for graduation has elapsed (2 years from each respective cohort’s start date of program)
**Job Placement Rates are calculated based on number of graduates who self-reported on job placement status
***National Exam Pass Rates are calculated based on number of graduates eligible to sit for the exam (in their respective state of licensure) who sat for the national exam and who self-reported on national exam pass rate

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