Lena Lopez Bradley
The Master of Science (M.S.) in Marital and Family Therapy Program is designed to give students an excellent clinical and academic background, based on Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) guidelines, as well as professional practice for working with individuals, couples, groups, and families in a variety of settings. The program emphasizes systemic and relational practice, and couples and family therapy. These include but are not limited to medical, legal, educational, mental health, managed care, public and private agencies, church settings, and private practice. The program is available to students online and on campus.
Students may also complete a the certificate in drug and alcohol counseling or a certificate in play therapy (please consult with advisor). A separate application is required for each of the certificate programs.
The program's mission: educating marital and family therapy (MFT) students to provide effective and competent care to diverse families in local, national, and international communities.
The program's vision: MFT students will learn how to "make diverse families whole." The definition, configuration, and experience of family vary widely; students are trained to regard, respect, and value human difference and family types so as to work successfully with all who seek the services of a marital and family therapist.
The program has adopted four Loma Linda University values as central to the values of this program:
Compassion—Reflects the love of God with respect, mercy, and empathy.
Integrity—Carries out actions with honesty and trustworthiness.
Excellence—Provides service that exceeds expectations with effectiveness, reliability, and efficiency.
Justice—Commits to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Marriage and family therapy is established by law in California as a profession requiring state licensure. Persons who desire to enter the profession must have the academic and clinical preparation, and must pass required licensing examinations. Clinical license requirements vary by state and include additional hours of supervised clinical practice beyond those hours that are completed while studying for the graduate degree. The Board of Behavioral Sciences determined that Loma Linda University’s master's degree in marital and family therapy meets the Senate Bill statutory requirements for marriage and family therapy under Business and Professions Code section 4980.36 and 4980.37 (www.bbbs.ca.gov).
The program offered by Loma Linda University is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, the accrediting body for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. The national commission ensures that academic and clinical training programs adhere to the highest standards of the profession.
The program is 90 quarter units. Students who want to sit for both the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) exams in the state of California have the option to enroll in 4 units of coursework above the 90 required units for the MFT program. These units may not be covered by financial aid. Students interested in this option should consult with the M.S. in MFT program director and the LLU Office of Financial Aid for more information.
Applicants should view "instruction for completing application for registration as a marriage and family intern" at the Board of Behavioral Science Examiner's website for possible issues that may prevent them from obtaining a marital and family therapy license in the state of California, or any state in which a license is sought. A person who completes a graduate degree in MFT may be denied licensure due to prior convictions. This should to be clearly considered before pursuing studies or licensure.
In addition to successful completion of 90 quarter units of academic coursework, students in the MFT program must complete field experience at clinical placement sites. Upon completion of 18 quarter units, the student will be evaluated by the teaching faculty to determine if they will continue the program and be permitted to enter the program's clinical phase. Students have numerous choices of placement sites in which to gain required clinical experience. These sites include community mental health centers, private and public agencies, school and hospital settings, and the department's counseling and family sciences clinic. Some stipends are available for trainees. Clinical training includes a seven-quarter practicum sequence and supervision of trainees at a clinical site.
Students must complete the minimum requirements for clinical hours as established by COAMFTE, the program's national accrediting body. To meet this requirement, students must complete clinical hours that are relational (e.g. with couples and/or families) prior to graduation. Students must also receive live supervision of their clinical hours prior to graduation. All clinical hours must occur over a minimum of twelve months of clinical practice.
The M.S. degree in marital and family therapy may be completed in either two years of full-time study or at least three years of part-time study. Students have up to five years to complete the degree. In order to maintain full-time status, students must take a minimum of 8 units during Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Quarters. First-year students most often attend classes on Tuesday and Thursday, and second-year students attend classes on Monday and Wednesday. Full-time employment is discouraged when a student is enrolled for full-time study. Clinical training experiences are usually on days students are not in class. In order to participate in the June commencement exercises, students must complete all program requirements, including coursework and clinical training.
For information regarding funding opportunities, see Student Aid in the financial polices section of this CATALOG.
Students accepted into the Marital and Family Therapy Program may receive financial assistance through merit-based awards, such as teaching fellowships and a variety of research and student service assistantships, or through need-based financial aid, such as a loan or the University's work-study program. On a limited basis, students receive financial assistance during their clinical traineeships.
The program's educational outcomes include program outcomes and student learning outcomes. These are congruent with the missions of the University and the program, and are appropriate to the profession of marriage and family therapy.
Program goals integrate the University's commitment to diversity and quality training of health-care professionals, with the need for diverse master's degree-level practitioners in the field of MFT. These outcomes follow:
The University emphasizes whole-person care. Each of the six program learning outcomes for the M.S. in MFT supports this mission with a specific emphasis on advancing systems/relational theory and practice in diverse societal contexts. The student will learn to promote the emotional health and well-being of individuals, couples, families, organizations, and communities. By the end of this program, the graduate should be able to:
The M.S. degree in marital and family therapy engages in ongoing review of program outcomes and uses this information to improve program effectiveness. Data on program outcomes are collected through aggregate scores on quarterly evaluations of clinical competency as well as results of final oral and comprehensive examinations, client session and outcome data, and exit surveys and interviews of students at graduation.
Alumni surveys are also conducted every two years to track graduates' attainment of marital and family therapy licensure, data on employment, and feedback regarding how well the program prepared graduates for their job responsibilities. Program faculty also maintain regular contact with community agencies and educational institutions in the region to obtain input into curriculum planning and improvements in clinical training.
The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the accrediting body for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), The next renewal is 2025. The national commission functions to ensure academic and clinical training programs adhere to the highest standards of the profession. They may be contacted at 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3061; telephone: 703/838-9808; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to Loma Linda University admissions requirements, admission to the on-campus and online M.S. in Marital and Family Therapy Program are governed by the policies and procedures established by the School of Behavioral Health.
Additional admission requirements include:
No academic credit is given for life experiences or previous work experience for any part for the Marriage and Family Therapy degree program. Admission is granted to the on-campus program in autumn, winter, and spring quarters. The online program entry term is autumn quarter only.
A grade of B or better indicates that a student has mastered the knowledge, skill, and professional practice performance competencies outlined by the program. In order to progress successfully and complete the degree, students must meet both course and cumulative G.P.A. standards. The University allows students to repeat two courses per degree. Course repeat expectations set by the School of Behavioral Health may be found in the general regulations section of this CATALOG.
|Foundations of relational/systemic practice, theories & models|
|MFAM 551||Family Therapy: Foundational Theories and Practice||3|
|MFAM 553||Family Systems Theory||3|
|MFAM 564||Family Therapy: Advanced Foundational Theories and Practice||3|
|Clinical treatment with individuals, couples and families|
|MFAM 515||Crisis Intervention and Client Advocacy||3|
|MFAM 552||Couples Therapy: Theory and Practice||3|
|MFAM 638||Substance Use Disorders, Relationships, and Recovery||3|
|MFAM 644||Child Abuse and Family Violence||3|
|MFAM 674||Human Sexual Behavior||3|
|Diverse multicultural and/or underserved communities|
|MFAM 528||Culture, Socioeconomic Status in Therapy||3|
|MFAM 567||Treating the Severely and Persistently Mentally Ill and the Recovery Process||3|
|MFAM 604||Social Context in Clinical Practice: Gender, Class, and Race||3|
|Research and evaluation|
|MFAM 501||Research Tools and Methodology: Quantitative||3|
|MFAM 502||Research Tools and Methodology: Qualitative||3|
|Professional identity, law, ethics & social responsibilities|
|MFAM 614||Law and Ethics||3|
|MFAM 635||Case Presentation and Legal Issues||3|
|Biopsychosocial health and development across the life span|
|COUN 675||Dynamics of Aging||1|
|MFAM 547||Social Ecology of Individual and Family Development||3|
|MFAM 584||Advanced Child and Adolescent Development||3|
|Systemic/relational assessment and mental health diagnosis and treatment|
|MFAM 524||Psychopharmacology and Medical Issues||3|
|MFAM 556||Psychopathology and Diagnostic Procedures||3|
|MFAM 624||Individual and Systems Assessment||3|
Select from the following:
|Introduction to Medical Family Therapy|
|Health and Illness in Families|
|Counseling Theory and Applications|
|Exceptional and Medically Challenged Children|
|Assessment in Counseling|
|Career Theories and Applications|
|Consultation and Program Evaluation|
|Field Experience in Counseling|
|Solution-Focused Family Therapy|
|Christian Counseling and Family Therapy|
|Narrative Family Therapy|
|Cognitive-Behavioral Couples Therapy|
|Mastering Each New Direction Theory and Practice|
|Gestalt Family Therapy|
|Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy|
|Advanced Treatment Strategies – Substance Use Disorders|
|Practicum in Drug and Alcohol Counseling|
|Structural and Multidimensional Family Therapy|
|Directed Study: Marriage and Family|
|Community intersections and collaboration|
|MFAM 535||Case Presentation and Professional Studies||3|
|MFAM 536||Case Presentation and Documentation||3|
|MFAM 537||Case Presentation||3|
|MFAM 636||Case Presentation and Client-Centered Advocacy||3|
|MFAM 637||Case Presentation and Global Practices||3|
|Clinical Training 1|
|Clinical Training 1|
|MFAM 735||Case Presentation Extension||0|
|RELR 540||Wholeness and Health 2||3|
|MFAM 568||Groups: Process and Practice||3|
700-numbered courses do not count toward total didactic units required for the degree
Fulfills service learning requirement
Requirements for the M.S. degree in marital and family therapy from Loma Linda University include the following:
A minimum of 90 quarter units of graduate work, which includes credit received for core courses, electives, and a three-unit religion course.
Clinical training in marriage and family therapy - students are required to complete the minimum clinical training requirements established by COAMFTE including relational client contact hours and live supervision.
For every week in which clients are seen, the student must have at least one hour of individual supervision. The ratio of supervision hours to treatment hours must not be less than one hour of supervision to five hours of clinical contact. Students enrolled in the program should consult the MFT Clinical Training Manual regarding clinical training requirements.
Successful completion of a written comprehensive examination (taken before advancement to candidacy) and an oral examination (taken at the end of the program).
Two (2) years (seven  academic quarters) — based on full-time enrollment