Master of Arts

Marriage and Family Therapy

Prepare for service in the mental health sector and in specialized church or parachurch counselling ministries.

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) helps you meet the academic requirements to gain professional recognition with accrediting groups, including membership with the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT), the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA), and the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists (PACCP).

Study the theory and practice of marriage and family therapy, receive a biblical and theological foundation, and complete hands-on practicums that will help you counsel with confidence.

Learn together

Learn not only from your professors, but also your peers. Briercrest Seminary attracts students from various marketplace and ministry contexts and walks of life, making for eye-opening class discussion and rich community events.

Biblical foundation

Receive a biblical foundation that enhances your life and ministry. The MAMFT pairs courses in Bible, theology, and personal formation for ministry with relevant marriage and family therapy courses.

Qualified and certified

The MAMFT meets the requirements of three accrediting groups, including the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

Timothy Plant


MAMFT provides me with everything I need to become an effective therapist. The courses give me a well-rounded knowledge and understanding while my profs foster my spiritual and personal growth and build my confidence with encouragement and guidance.

  • Overview
  • Requirements

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree provides a professional course of study that equips students for a vocation in the mental health sector and in specialized counselling ministries in church and parachurch organizations. The program is designed to help students meet the academic course requirements for pursuing RMFT membership within the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT). Graduates of the MA Marriage and Family Therapy program are eligible to obtain membership with the Professional Association of Christian Counsellors and Psychotherapists (PACCP) and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). It should be noted that recognition in each of these associations is independent of Briercrest's program and that it is the student's responsibility to pursue such recognition after graduation. The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree takes a minimum of two and one-half  to three years of full-time studies to complete.


  1. Articulate and apply an evangelical theology that demonstrably arises out of Scripture and finds expression in all areas of life and ministry.
  2. Be equipped for serving the local church and its global mission.
  3. Demonstrate growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
  4. Demonstrate the necessary skills and personal attributes to enter into a ministry of counselling.
  5. Demonstrate that their practice of counselling meets the highest Christian and professional ethical standards.
  6. Meet the basic academic course requirements to pursue RMFT membership in the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT).
Credit Hours: 63

I. Core (12 credit hours)
In consultation with the program coordinator, students will choose one course from each of the following disciplines:
Personal Formation for Ministry *
New Testament
Old Testament
THEO 601 Christian Theology Overview **

II. Marriage and Family Therapy (30 credit hours)
(Required for MFT professional membership)
Marriage and Family Therapy Studies
CO 603 Foundations of Marriage and Family Therapy
CO 606 Marriage and Family Therapy
CO 714 Counselling Systems and Approaches
Marriage and Family Therapy Skills
CO 703 Counselling Problems and Procedures
CO 707 Procedures in Marriage and Family Therapy
CO 713 Topics in Marriage and Family Therapy
Human Development
PSY 607 Child Development
PSY 608 Adolescent Development
PSY 706 Adult Development
CO 705 Counselling Ethics 

III. Research and Practicums (12-18 credit hours)
PSY 701 Psychological Research Methods
RD 809 Specialty Research Project
   OR RD 808 Thesis ***
CO 790 Counselling Practicum I ****
CO 791 Counselling Practicum II *****
CO 800 Counselling Internship (300 clinical hours, non-credit)******

IV. Electives (to fulfill 63 credit hours)
Counselling Electives (3-6 credits)

PSY 611 DSM and Psychopharmacology
CO 620 Pastoral Counselling
CO 710 Crisis and Grief Counselling
CO 711 Addictions Counselling
CO 712 Interpersonal Trauma Counselling
CO 717 Group Counselling Strategies
CO 819 Counselling Specialty: Life in the Mess
CO 819 Counselling Specialty: Motivational Interviewing

Open Electives (3-6 credits)

V. Non-Credit Requirements
PRT 800 Learning Portfolio and Interview

* Must include one of the following: CM 600 Spiritual Formation for Ministry; CM 601 Philosophy and Foundation for Ministry; LE 605 Personal and Service Development.
**With permission of the program coordinator, a student with sufficient background in theology may replace this course with one course in history or theology.
*** Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50 and have the approval of the program coordinator in order to qualify to write a thesis.
****Students must have taken CO 603, CO 705 and two other counselling (CO) courses before taking CO 790 Counselling Practicum I.  Please contact Academic Services to register for CO 790.
*****Students must have a grade of "B" in CO 790 to proceed to CO 791. Please contact Academic Services to register for CO 791 Counselling Practicum II.
******Students must have a grade of "B" in both CO 790 and CO 791 and the approval of the program coordinator to proceed with CO 800 Counselling Internship.

Please note: Course substitutions to the program major are at the discretion of the program coordinator in consultation with the Registrar. Any course substitutions in the major may impact CAMFT membership and other professional associations. For more information, please contact your program coordinator.

Program Sheet(s)


Margaret Clarke
Margaret Clarke PhD
Program Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy
Carlie Pagens
Carlie Pagens MA
Assistant Professor of Counselling/Internship Coordinator
Ellery Pullman
Ellery Pullman PhD
Professor of Psychology and Educational Leadership
Jesse Schellenberg
Jesse Schellenberg (PhD in process)
Assistant Professor of Counselling
Tony Schnare
Tony Schnare MA
Adjunct Faculty in Counselling
Tamara Strijack
Tamara Strijack MC
Adjunct Faculty in Counselling
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My experience at Briercrest was great—they were flexible with my busy schedule, affordable, and practical. The courses directly impacted my ministry and help me leverage the call in my life to where I am today.
Andy Gabruch