Marriage and family therapy is about providing support. And partnering with clients for positive change.
Bethel’s M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy provides the skills to fulfill your call to strengthen and support individuals, couples, and families. Marital and family therapy students train to pour their lives into listening, caring, and sometimes confronting. Part of our mission is to build your spiritual, emotional, and mental strength so you can use your gifts to bring light to a suffering world.
Our marital and family therapy program combines Christian theology with clinical practice and theory, so you're prepared to provide therapy to couples and families and bring hope to those who are hurting. This program fulfills the requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in California.
Location: San Diego
Integrating Christian Theology with Clinical Practice
We know that life’s challenges affect us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. That’s why studying couples and family therapy, while integrating a theological perspective, is relevant and vital. Here, you’ll have the best of both worlds—Christian theology and spirituality along with clinical theory and practice. Treating your clients holistically stimulates healing and fosters hope.
Over 3,600 seminary graduates serving around the world
62 denominations represented at Bethel Seminary
Theoretical and theological integration
Our program is designed for students who want to integrate theoretical and clinical training with biblical and theological study so they can conduct therapy with families, couples and individuals from a holistic perspective.
Instruction and supervision by scholar-practitioners
Our professors are scholar-practitioners who contribute to the field through supervising, teaching, writing, and research. They also maintain clinical practices serving individuals, couples, and families.
Bethel’s program in San Diego is the only seminary marriage and family therapy program in California accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
The program fulfills all academic requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California.
This program blessed me so much! It gave me the opportunity to discover what it means to be a Christian teacher and leader. It also renewed my passion and equipped me with strategies to be more effective in my classroom.Kristie Keenan '16
The D.Min. program gave me tools to transform leadership at my local church. It is stronger, more effective, and service to the community has a greater impact. The credential is leading to other opportunities to help nonprofit leaders and organizations.Judy Austin '14
Current job: Executive Pastor, COO for a start-up organization
Bethel chemistry students not only receive a world-class education, but also training that incorporates the beauty of God's creation in every aspect of learning.Brent Kobielush, Ph.D. '04
Current job: U.S. Regulatory Affairs Manager at Cargill, Inc.
Bethel's Christ-centered values coupled with academic excellence must not be overlooked. My professors were personal with students while spiritually and intellectually challenging. My degree has wide applications and is uniquely equipping me in long-lasting ways for my M.Div. training.Jessica Garske '12
Grad school: Talbot School of Theology (Biola University)
I believe people will never forget what you made them feel, and the Organizational Leadership program will better help me make seniors feel loved.Jeena Gurung '15
Current job: Como Park Falcon Heights Living-at-Home Block Nurse Program
The graduate school teaching program gave me the opportunity to pursue my true passion of teaching. Bethel provided me with real world examples and resources that I could directly use in my own classroom. This program is flexible yet challenging.Lawton Burgstahler '15
Current job: Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart High School Business Teacher
My Bethel master's degree has prepared me to be the best nursing leader I can be. The research projects taught me how to tackle issues on my unit with an evidence-based approach. I loved the cohort aspect of the program.Jill Branovsky '12
Current job: HealthEast Woodwinds Maternity Care
I am so thankful to be a part of Bethel's nursing program. The program is preparing me to take my nursing career to a more comprehensive professional level, pushing me to drive best practices through research and leadership.Heather Jensen '15
The people at Bethel helped me determine the kind of person I wanted to be, before I knew what kind of doctor I would be. Bethel’s influence is essential to my work as a future physician and follower of Jesus.Brett Einerson '06
Current Job: Resident Physician at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
Getting my master's at Bethel was convenient. All the classes were offered online, and I could choose a concentration. Also, I enjoyed the classes. They were a great study of best practices in education.Patty Boettcher '15
Current job: 4th Grade Teacher at International School in Genoa, Italy
The sense of community within the PA program at Bethel is something I appreciate greatly. The teachers and students are all on the same team - we want to become the best people and medical providers we can be.Sarah Field '16
I have loved having a faith-based program. From the prayer before each test to the sincere caring attitudes of the faculty - it has been a great educational experience!Laura Bade '15
My education in the Athletic Training Program truly prepared me for my future beyond college. The faculty and staff in the program are phenomenal, and I am so blessed to have had each and every one of them!Michelle Rabedeaux 2014
Current job and grad school: PRN Athletic Trainer at Accelerated Rehab Systems; Doctor of Physical Therapy student at Des Moines University
The faculty encouraged and challenged me to not settle for good enough. They fostered strong personal character alongside becoming a strong social worker. Their approach to persevere through challenges impacted my work ethic in all levels of social work.Stephen Horn '10
Current job: Case Management Supervisor at Pinnacle Services
History majors are perhaps more prevalent in the corporate world than you think. The habits of research, writing and critical thinking built from a history degree are vital in any field. The ability to critically evaluate sources is particularly valuable.Tim Goddard '04
Current job: Vice President of Marketing, Corum Group Ltd
Graduates of Bethel’s marital and family therapy program become counselors and therapists in private, community, and church-based settings, as well as continue on to doctoral programs.
Learn how to:
- Establish strong therapeutic relationships with clients
- Know and work within the laws and ethical standards for MFT practice
- Assess, diagnose, and treat a wide range of psychological and relational disorders
- Identify and support the strengths and resilience of individuals and families
- Adapt therapeutic approaches to a wide range of client diversity
- Understand the effects of long-term mental illness and persistent poverty
- Work collaboratively with a wide range of mental health and ministry professionals
Our graduates work in places like:
- Private practices
- Community mental health centers and clinics
- Government- and private-funded agencies
- Behavioral health hospitals and units
- Church-based therapy centers
- Pastoral ministries to individuals and families
- Public and private preK-12 schools and universities
- Missionary, pastoral, and denominational care