The Marriage and Family Therapy degree offers a unique blend of clinical rigor and personal and spiritual growth.
The MFT degree is designed with the chief mission of developing competent clinicians, the program also includes personal and professional development small groups that facilitate dynamic enrichment of the whole person in Christian community. With relationships and service at the core of our learning and practice, the degree will train you to serve the community of God using your passion, skills and scholarship.
Educational Outcomes (EOs)
Our program has five main outcomes (POs), which correlate with our Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and Faculty Outcomes (FOs), align with our mission statement, and were developed from the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles (PMFTPs). The PMFTPs informing our program include the Marriage and Family Therapy Educational Guidelines and Core Competencies as developed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the AAMFT Code of Ethics, and the laws and regulations of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
Program Outcomes (POs)
There are 5 overall Program Outcomes (POs) that focus on clinical competency (PO1 & PO2), relational competency (PO3), interpersonal justice (PO4), and Christian distinctiveness (PO5). These POs prepare students for licensure, serving within the profession/church/missions, and addressing diverse contexts and constellations of individuals, couples, and families. The MFT POs provide the foundation for, and are shaped by, the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and Faculty Outcomes (FOs). The POs are linked to the SLOs and both the SLOs and POs are shaped by the faculty outcomes (FOs).
The POs are as follow:
- PO1 The program will provide adequate clinical progress of students preparing for service as marriage and family therapist professionals (SLO1: Clinical Competency - Students; FO1; FO2).
- PO2 The program will support alumni as licensed marriage and family therapists and/or serving in the church (SLO1: Clinical Competency - Alumni; FO1; FO2).
- PO3 The program will encourage faculty and student involvement in program development, program governance, and community connection (SLO2: Relational Competency; FO1; FO2).
- PO4 The program will attend to the needs of diverse populations and the underserved in church, missional and community settings (SLO3: Interpersonal Justice; FO3).
- PO5 The program will integrate systemic thinking with Christianity (SLO4: Christian Distinctiveness; FO4).
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Each of the SLOs is based in the program and College’s missions: preparing students who are clinically competent, having a holistic view of growth personally and professionally, understanding the intersection of faith and systemic thought, and having a focus for the underserved. Students will have a breadth of knowledge in theory and skills in working with individuals, couples, and families. The SLOs are connected to and influence the POs and FOs.
The SLOs are as follow:
Clinical Competency (SLO 1)
We aim to form clinicians who are competent in their clinical skills by providing assessment and treatment from a systemic perspective in the way they conceptualize, plan and carry out interventions in their treatment of individuals, couples, families and groups. Students are instructed from an ethical, legal, and respectful standard of therapeutic practice in working with clients and greater systems. Our desire is for students to seek and respond appropriately to supervision from experienced mental health professionals in the field during their clinical experience in the greater Chicagoland area.
Relational Competency (SLO 2)
We hold that relationships from a biblical, systemic, and personal perspective are vital to human development to initiate change in the family system. 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
Interpersonal Justice (SLO 3)
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 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.
Christian Distinctiveness (SLO 4)
In 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.
Faculty Outcomes (FOs)
The four promotable strengths and skills for faculty at Wheaton College are teaching, scholarship, service to the institution, and spiritual mentoring of students. The Faculty Outcomes (FOs) are derived from the program mission and the College’s expectations for faculty as part of the academe. These FOs have a recursive relationship with the POs and SLOs. For example, one faculty outcome has an emphasis on having a MFT professional and clinical identity (FO1). This faculty identity is necessary in preparing students in their own identity and service as an MFT (PO1) and helping students conceptualize and intervene as ethical systemic clinicians (SLO1).
- FO1 Faculty will maintain a professional and clinical identity as Marriage and Family Therapists.
- FO2 Faculty will demonstrate evidence of excellent in teaching, scholarship and service to the institution and program.
- FO3 Faculty will demonstrate evidence of and sensitivity for interpersonal justice as they contribute as MFT professionals to the church, diverse populations, and the underserved.
- FO4 Faculty will demonstrate evidence of Christian faith integration and involvement in their local church and community.