M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy
As one of HIU’s fastest growing graduate programs, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at Hope International University (HIU) has developed a reputation among the highest quality MFT programs in the region. By providing academic and clinical training for a career as a professional marriage and family therapist, students are prepared to treat relational mental health issues with individuals, couples, and families from a family systems perspective.
The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Hope International University develops highly trained counselors, grounded in Christian principles, who help families to restore broken relationships, resolve life challenges, and develop adequate and satisfying relationships.
The 60-unit program is designed to integrate both theory and practice, grounded in Christian principles. Sound research skills, theoretical teaching, practical application, and clinical training are central to the curriculum. The faculty guides students through academic studies, clinical courses, self-assessment measures, and professional development, all of which provide a rich educational experience. MFT faculty members are current practitioners and they bring their professional experiences to the classroom.
In addition to academic course requirements, students are placed in community based practicum and trainee sites where they undergo real-world training experiences with diverse clientele. Supervisors who have had specific training in MFT supervision and meet rigorous supervision standards supervise students. The MFT program at HIU accepts students from around the world and is dedicated to training students to work with diverse populations.
The program is accredited by the Commission of Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the national accrediting body for marriage and family therapy programs. The Accreditation Standards set by COAMFTE require the program to report on student achievement. Click here to view the Student Achievement Criteria. The program also meets the educational requirements of the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) in California, including the requirements of the Business and Professions Code, Section 4980.37, .38, and .40. Graduates may sit for their licensing examination upon completion of the necessary 3,000 supervised hours.
This is an on-ground program completed at our Orange Education Center. Courses last 8 to 16 weeks and are offered in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. A schedule can be developed to accommodate two to three year completion.
HIU’s on-site counseling center, Hope Counseling Center (HCC), offers counseling services for Hope students, faculty, staff, and the local community. The HCC is a convenient location for some MFT students to gain clinical training hours.
The MFT program at HIU will :
- Prepare students to pass the MFT licensing examination and demonstrate (1) essential knowledge related to clinical case conceptualization, diagnosis, intervention, and the use of community mental health resources, (2) knowledge of the principles of marriage and family therapy, and (3) the ability to write and articulate their personal theoretical model for therapy. (Knowledge)
- Develop skills that reflect high standards of professionalism and commitment to ethical and professional behavior consistent with the standards of counseling and psychology and Christian principles. (Professionalism)
- Help students master clinical skills and the ability to apply innovative therapeutic techniques to meet the diverse needs of individuals and families. (Clinical)
- Assist students in learning to critically evaluate and conduct clinical research related to all aspects of therapy ensuring the highest quality of therapeutic skill. (Research)
Student Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Marriage and Family Therapy are prepared to:
PO 1. Knowledge: Student will demonstrate (1) essential knowledge related to clinical case conceptualization, diagnosis, intervention, and the use of community mental health resources, (2) knowledge of the principles of marriage and family therapy, and (3) the ability to write and articulate their personal theoretical model for therapy.
- SLO 1.1: Student articulates a theoretical and conceptual systems framework and personal therapeutic approach for marital and family issues.
- SLO 1.2: Student demonstrates knowledge and application of key concepts related to systems thinking, contextual factors, human development, psychological, social, biological, and spiritual factors effecting human relationships.
- SLO 1.3: Student demonstrates awareness of issues of diversity and practice culturally sensitive family therapy.
- SLO 1.4: Student demonstrates an understanding of ethical and legal standards in marriage and family therapy.
- SLO 1.5: Student will evidence the integration of comprehensive knowledge of clinical and family systems concepts and processes in oral and written communication.
- SLO 1.6: Student will demonstrate knowledge of a Christian worldview and how this impacts the therapeutic relationship.
PO 2. Professionalism: Student will demonstrate skills that reflect high standards of professionalism and commitment to ethical and professional behavior consistent with the standards of counseling and psychology and Christian principles.
- SLO 2.1: Student will demonstrate personal qualities that are intimately related to counseling situations such as integrity, sensitivity, flexibility, insight, compassion, and personal presence.
- SLO 2.2: Student will be familiar with psychotherapy and recovery oriented resources.
- SLO 2.3: Student will be able to apply complex clinical and theoretical knowledge and skills in providing professional services.
- SLO 2.4: Student will demonstrate an understanding of the recursive nature of spirituality and its impact on the therapeutic process.
PO 3. Clinical: Student will demonstrate clinical skills and the ability to apply innovative therapeutic techniques to meet the diverse needs of individuals and families.
- SLO 3.1: Student will use appropriate clinical and family systems oriented language in oral and written communication.
- SLO 3.2: Student will identify and incorporate into treatment psychological, biological, social, and spiritual factors that influence relationships.
- SLO 3.3: Student will critically evaluate their theoretical approach to therapy in light of its compatibility or incompatibility with the Christian faith and its application to the practice of marriage and family therapy.
- SLO 3.4: Student will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of human diversity issues and their impact on the therapeutic process.
- SLO 3.5: Student will be able to identify and apply Christian principles to the practice of marriage and family therapy.
PO 4. Research: Student will be able to critically evaluate and conduct clinical research related to all aspects of therapy ensuring the highest quality of therapeutic skill.
- SLO 4.1: Demonstrate knowledge of current trends and research methods in the field of marriage and family therapy.
- SLO 4.2: Student will review empirical studies of psychology, counseling, and psychotherapy, analyze and synthesize research findings and draw appropriate inferences.
- SLO 4.3: Student will conduct relevant research in the area of psychology, counseling, and relationships, especially focusing on how this research impacts marriage and family therapy.
- Board of Behavioral Sciences
- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
- California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
- Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy
- Approaches to the Treatment of Couples
- Approaches to the Treatment of Children
- Counseling Older Adults and Their Families
Real World Opportunities
All MFT students participate in the clinical training program as part of the Supervised Practicum course, while accruing hours in an approved practicum site. As part of the degree requirements, all students are required to complete at least 325 clinical training hours, which includes a minimum of 225 direct client contact hours. Direct client contact hours include providing therapy to couples, individuals, children, families, and/or groups. Departmental approval must be obtained for a student to Advance to Practicum. All practicum sites and supervisors must obtain departmental approval and comply with all of the current statutes and regulations set forth by the Board of Behavioral Sciences.
Our Alumni Tell Our Story Best
"From the moment I walked onto Hope’s campus, I felt welcomed. The staff took the time to get to know me and give me as much information as I needed. The students and professors became mentors to me and created a safe place for me to share about myself and grow as a Christian leader. The examples of the staff members really motivated me to be the best I could be both in my professional and personal life."
Our Alumni Tell Our Story Best
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern
Pacific Coast Psychological Associates
"The course work is rigorous, thorough and relevant to today's challenges and opportunities. I work with individuals, couples and families who have encountered traumatic life experiences. I have the privilege of working with them towards greater healing, wholeness and fulfillment. Today I maintain close contact with my former professors and classmates, which keeps me growing in my effectiveness. The education lasts a lifetime and the impact lasts forever."
Our Alumni Tell Our Story Best
M.A. M.F.T. '08
"I attended Hope’s MFT program because of the convenient course schedule, nationally respected curriculum, and faculty that brought not only a textbook to class but real experience by being in the trenches themselves. As a recent graduate, I now have a steady client load of some twenty individuals in a private practice setting. My supervisor has made several comments about the training I have received and has complimented HIU in providing superior academic support in meeting the challenges of individuals in bettering their relationships."
"I love Hope International University and the Marriage and Family Therapy program because Hope is not only a university, it is a family whose vision is centered on God and on creating leaders for Christ. Hope has impacted my life greatly and brought me closer to Christ.
My professors and colleagues challenge me to personal growth and development each and every day, which is helping me learn how to be an effective therapist.
This program is great preparation for my career – the faculty members constantly share their professional experiences, and we practice effective techniques in the classroom. "