The Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy (MA/MFT) is a professional graduate degree that equips counselors to offer concern and care for the whole person. It prepares you to excel in counseling in private practice, church, agency, or school settings. As with most counseling degrees, this program offers skill-based coursework and practicum experience. You will be required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of personal counseling as part of your preparation for counseling others. Since this program is offered at a seminary, it requires biblical and theological studies in order to assist students as they integrate a Christian worldview with their counseling preparation. While the curriculum satisfies California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) requirements for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), it also allows you the flexibility to obtain licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in and beyond California.

Find median pay rates and employability outlook for counselors at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.




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Graduate in as few as three years



24 credits available via online courses,
49 credits on campus


San Jose




A Marital and Family Therapy Program of Distinction*

  • Integrates a biblical worldview with current psychological theory and counseling technique
  • Enables you to apply what you're learning in the classroom almost immediately by completing a minimum of 225 hours of face-to-face experience counseling individuals, couples, families, or groups
  • Requires 30 hours of personal therapy for your own personal and spiritual growth, as you experience the impact of therapy first-hand
  • Allows students to qualify to sit for the Professional Clinical Counselor licensing exam with one additional course (73 total credits) 

*An optional Addiction Studies Certificate track prepares students for certification by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals 

Counseling Program Curriculum



Accessible Scheduling

The MA in Marital and Family Therapy degree may be completed in three years’ time by enrolling in mid-week evening and weekend courses at our San Jose and Sacramento campuses. Students may also complete up to 24 credits of online courses through the Western Seminary Online campus. This flexible schedule allows MA/MFT students to minimize travel time and maintain their family, church, and work commitments. 

Counseling Education That Keeps Debt Down

We encourage wise financial stewardship as you pay for school. In fact, the average Western Seminary counseling student graduates with an average of only $13,567 in loan debt to repay. It might surprise you to learn that only about 19% of our students utilize loans, choosing instead to paying out of pocket, with scholarships, or via a monthly payment plan. Look into your options for financial aid

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited undergraduate institution
  • A cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • A foundational knowledge of psychology
  • A completed application for admission and all admissions materials

If an applicant does not meet one of these requirements, we invite them to contact an enrollment counselor to explore alternative admission options to the MA/MFT program.


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