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M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

Therapy is about offering hope for today. And wholeness that lasts a lifetime.

Marriage and Family Therapy is the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental and emotional disorders, whether affective, behavioral, or cognitive, within the context of family systems. When working with individuals, couples, families, or other large systems, the marriage and family therapist conceptualizes and implements treatment from a systemic perspective and framework. Marriage and family therapists utilize a relational stance to join with clients in the healing process to resolve conflicts, work through interpersonal issues, overcome mental and emotional disorders and strengthen the family system. Bethel’s M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy prepares students for licensure in a career focused on assisting people to discover healthy strategies to cope with life’s complex issues. Here, you’ll discover the many ways to lead people to life transformation while learning more about yourself and maturing in your faith.

Program Option(s)

M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

In Bethel’s marriage and family therapy program, you’ll gain expertise in clinical practice and theory in combination with Christian theology so you’re ready to earn your license and provide holistic therapy to those in need.

Delivery Blended
Location St. Paul
Credits 60
Tuition per Credit $508
Estimated Total Tuition $30,480*

See full details

* These program details and costs are estimated and subject to change. View our program details disclaimer for more information.

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Responsive to diversity

Here, we’re highly committed to raising cultural competence so that you understand the issues and challenges of people from all backgrounds. We’re also committed to social justice, which ignites and informs how we teach therapy and ministry. With these values, coupled with a strong integration of Christian theology and spirituality with clinical theory and practice, our graduates are highly prepared with the skills to treat others with dignity, respect, and empathy and to bring them to a place of restoration and hope.

Seminary students are learning in class.

The majority of our students pass the national licensing exam the first time


Bethel students have received the annual MN Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Outstanding Student Award since 2001

Program Highlights

Instruction and supervision by scholar-practitioners

Our professors are scholar-practitioners who contribute to the field through teaching, writing, and research. Many of them also maintain clinical practices serving individuals, couples, and families.

An emphasis on the self of the therapist

Our program pays particular attention to the development of the therapist as a whole and holy person. Courses are structured to support community interaction and accountability.

Support for personal, theoretical, and spiritual integration

Our intention is to prepare therapists whose practice reflects increasing congruence between their personal stories and values, their theoretical and theological commitments, and their clinical experiences.

Preparation for competent, ethical practice in any setting

Being a part of the seminary, our students engage in biblical and theological study along with their preparation for couples and family therapy work. Our graduates show God’s light in the world by partnering with Him to bring transformation to individuals and relationships in any setting.

Skills for Effective Practice

The M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy provides the background to conduct effective couples and family therapy in clinics, counseling practices, nonprofits, churches, community mental health agencies, on the mission field, or in other settings that require relationship and family expertise.


Learn how to:

  • Diagnose and treat mental health issues
  • Apply family systems theory
  • Collaborate care with other stakeholders including insurance companies, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals
  • Apply therapeutic strategies to address developmental issues throughout the family life cycle
  • Understand how theology applies to couples and family therapy
  • Care for families from all cultures and walks of life
  • Understand your own family dynamics and how they affect your life today
  • Identify individual and relational problems or unhealthy relationships
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research relative to MFT


Our graduates work as:

  • Marriage and family therapists
  • Directors of children’s and family ministry
  • School-based therapists
  • Church family ministry specialists (family life education certificate)
  • Case managers
  • Missionary pastoral care/coaches
  • Private practitioners


Our graduates work at places like:

  • Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge
  • Nystrom and Associates
  • Family Innovations, Inc.
  • Minnesota Renewal Center
  • David Hoy and Associates
  • Counseling Care
  • Bridging Hope
  • Neighborhood Involvement Program
  • Birch Lake Counseling
  • Volunteers of America
  • Private practice