Fuller Logo


Spring 2011
FSW – Phoenix







DESCRIPTION:  This course is designed to introduce students to the field of marriage and family counseling.  It provides an overview of the dynamics of interpersonal relationship and the primary problems which emerge in marital conflict. Students are encouraged to consider positive, constructive, and preventative measures for enriching marriage and will develop a wide variety of techniques to facilitate resolution of marital conflicts.


LEARNING OUTCOMES:  Students successfully completing this course will have demonstrated that they have: (1.) Gained an understanding of common marital interaction patterns. (2.) Learned about factors which contribute to the success or failure of marriage. (3.) Gained an overview of effective approaches to couple and family treatment. (4.) Developed basic skills in facilitating the resolution of marital conflict. (5.) Integrated a spiritual dimension in marriage and family counseling.


RELEVANCE FOR MINISTRY: To consider biblical, theological, psychological and other relevant aspects of marriage. To discover primary problems which emerge in marital and family conflict.  To consider positive, constructive, preventive measures for enriching marriage.  To develop a variety of techniques to facilitate the resolution of marital and family conflict.  To see how the unique role of the minister may be most effectively used for intervention in the healing process.


COURSE FORMAT: Class will meet for ten sessions, each session three hours, for a total of 30 hours.



       Hargrave, T. C.  The Essential Humility of Marriage.  Phoenix: Zeig, Tucker & Theisen, Inc., 2000.

[204 pp.] ISBN: 9781891944369.

       Worthington, E. L. Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling. Downers Grove: IVP, 2000. [311pp.] ISBN: 830815481.

       Friedman, Edwin. Generation to Generation. New York: Guilford, 1985.

Choose one (1) from the following:

       Brown, S. & Lewis, V. The Alcoholic Family in Recovery.  New York: The Guilford Press, 1999.

[283 pp.] ISBN: 1572308346

       Deal, R. The Smart Stepfamily.  Ada, MI: Bethany House, 2006.  [272 pp.] ISBN: 978-0764201592.

       Jacobson, N. & Gottman, J. When Men Batter Women: New Insights into Ending Abusive Relationships.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998. [286 pp.] ISBN: 0684814471

       Weil, B. E. Adultery: The Forgivable Sin.  New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1993. [222 pp.] ISBN: 1559721855




       Johnson, Susan. The Practice of Emotionally Focused Marital Therapy: Creating Connection. NY:       Bruner/Mazel, 1996.

       Parrott, Les.  Helping the Struggling Adolescent: A Guide to Thirty-six Common Problems for Counselors, Pastors and Youth Workers.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.



1.     Reading journal – format to be provided. (20%)

2.     One 10 page paper (using at least 8 sources) or two 5 page papers (using at least 4 sources) on some aspect of family or couple dysfunction or challenge.  Suggested topics to be provided.  (30%)

3.     One assessment and treatment plan for a fictional movie family.  Details to be provided. (15%)

4.     One 5-8 page paper providing a description of the students planned approach to working with a couple and a family based upon provided case studies.  This will include a brief overview of the approach and a detailed outline of how each session will be conducted.  A variety of approaches will be discussed and demonstrated in class; resources for each will be provided. (25%)

5.     A family-of-origin, self-evaluation paper.  Details to be provided. (10%)




RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: M.Div.: MIN5; M.A.T.: Elective; M.A.C.L.: LDR2/Elective





This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification.