Curriculum Change Overview

2018-2019 Curriculum Change

For the 2018-2019 school year there are several changes taking place that affect Marriage and Family Therapy students. To summarize, there are two major updates happening starting fall 2018-2019.

  • A nomenclature (aka, title change) for the MFT program.
    As you have heard, as of the 2018-2019 school year, the Marriage and Family Therapy program will be phased out. As a current student, you have the option of deciding if you would like to finish out your current MFT program (and graduate with a degree in Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy) or switch into the new degree program Master of Arts in Counseling – Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling (MAC for short).
  • A transition to new Bible and Theology curriculum
    Last year the Seminary introduced new Bible and Theology curriculum. This year it is being introduced for counseling students. These new courses consist of BL506, BL507, TH506 and TH507 and are taught on campus. They cover all of the content in the old BL511-513 and TH511-513 series but are designed specifically for counselors and will help you integrate Bible and Theology concepts that are most important for you in working with clients. It also helps that these courses require fewer credit hours overall than the old Bible/Theology sequence, while being more focused on your specific vocational preparation. Please refer to the letter sent to each MFT student by the Registrar Office for specific student course recommendations.

We are encouraging all students to consider moving to the 2018-2019 Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) degree program. Potentially you can save up to 5 credits as the new degree program is now 68 total credits.

Important to Know

  • Switching catalog years is permanent. Once you switch to the 2018-2019 MAC, you cannot go back to the MFT or your original catalog year requirements. You will always have the option of moving to new catalog year if they are of benefit to you, but you cannot go backwards.
  • The 2018-2019 MAC degree maximum allowable transfer or advance standing credits for either the BL/TH subject areas is 8 credits. We may need to adjust previously awarded credits. Students with advance standing may find it to their advantage to complete under the current catalog year.
  • Western Seminary will not refund or make credit adjustments for any unapplied credits as these courses were required at the time you enrolled in them.
  • If you are planning to graduate in 2018-2019 school year, it may be in your best interest to stay in your current program. We will seek to find what is in your best interest and advise you accordingly.
  • It is your responsibility to know and understand the additional non-course requirements, such as a CPCE exam or client hours. Check your handbook or with your advisor.
  • Your advisor, your campus student service director (Lindsey McKinnon – Sacramento, Williana Purnama – San Jose), the Registrar, Sandy Foster, are here to help you with further questions if needed.

Next Step:  Review and Declare your Intention

After reviewing the MAC program information, please review this with your advisor or student service director. You have the entire month of July to discuss, weigh options and register for classes for fall. Before July 30th, in addition to registering for classes on S.I.S., please fill out the Curriculum and Degree Intent Form for MFT Students declaring your program intent. We are requiring every student to complete this form so we know whether you intend to remain with your current catalog year or move to the new program requirements. This is an important step, because it helps us know what degree requirements we should be using for a future graduation audit. If you change to the 2018-2019 MAC program, your new degree progress report will appear in your S.I.S. account once your intent to change form has been processed. These will officially start when fall term starts.   

2017-2018 Curriculum Change

As a current student, we want you to be aware of all the information about this change so you can make wise choices moving forward. If you haven't done so, you may want to read more about the rationale behind the change. If you are very near the end of your program, have no fear; you can continue your current program without any changes. However, if you are interested in changing to the new curriculum, there are some things you will need to consider with the help of your advisor.

Resources for you to consider...

Your next steps...

If you are considering a change to the new 2017-2018 curriculum, we recommend that you take the following steps:

  1. Read through the new academic catalog description.
    It is important for you to understand just how the new curriculum differs from the old one. In most cases, it will benefit you to move to the new curriculum and we encourage you to consider it. For example, the new 2017-2018 curriculum requires fewer credit hours and may enable you to take fewer courses, depending on which courses you have completed to date. However, the new curriculum also introduces a degree candidacy process for those programs that require ministry formation courses (M.Div. and MA/ML) and this may apply to you depending on which courses you have completed to date.
  2. Consult your advisor about changing into the 2017-2018 curriculum.
    Once you have completed the updated checklist as much as possible, you should be able to compare it against your prior program checklist to see how the curriculum will differ. This curriculum change isn't a "one size fits all" process and really depends on what makes the most sense for your particular situation. Your advisor can help you consider the options and determine what is in your best interest.
  3. Complete the Request to Change to New Curriculum form and submit it.
    If you determine you want to change to the new 2017-2018 curriculum, we need you to take formal action to declare that you want to make the change. If you don't submit the request, we will assume that you intend to complete the former curriculum requirements and these requirements are what will be used to complete your graduation audit when you near the end of your program. One important aspect to consider is that once you change to the new curriculum requirements, you can't later return to the old requirements so making this decision in consultation with your advisor is helpful. Requests can be submitted starting at any time. We will officially start processing and updating records after the summer 2017 term has begun and your new degree status will be effective starting fall 2017 if you applied between now and the end of summer term. 

    Note:  If you are planning to change degree programs (e.g., from MA(BTS) to M.Div 2017-2018 curriculum), then you will need to use the Request to Change Degree Program form.

Forms You May Need

  • Curriculum and Degree Intent Form for MFT Students
    This form allows you to declare your intent to stay in the current MA/MFT program or change to the new 2018-2019 MA Counseling catalog requirements.
  • Request to Change to New Curriculum
    This is a request to change to the new 2017-2018 catalog requirements for your current program. If you are requesting a change to a different program, please use the Request to Change Degree Program form.
  • Request to Change to New Degree Program
    This is a request to change to a different program than the one to which you are currently enrolled and have been admitted. Admission to Western Seminary is by program so a change to a different degree requires approval to change to the new degree program and must be done before the start of a term in which the new program takes effect.
  • Academic Petition
    For any adjustments to curriculum requirements that are not addressed by any other form.


If you have questions, please feel free to contact your advisor.