M.A. MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPY
|AVERAGE COMPLETION TIME||23 Months|
|COST PER CREDIT||$610* (financial aid & scholarships available)|
|COURSE FORMAT||Daytime and late afternoon classes|
|APPLICATION DEADLINE||Jan. 1 for early consideration. All other applications should be submitted by Feb. 1.|
*for the 2016-17 academic year
- Spokane’s only M.A. program dedicated solely to marriage and family therapy.
- 23-month program quickly prepares you for employment as a marriage and family therapist.
- On-site clinical training takes place at Whitworth’s Marriage & Family Therapy Wellness Center and in off-site community clinical training locations.
In just 23 months, Whitworth’s Marriage & Family Therapy Program will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to work as an ethically competent marriage and family therapist to help people discover positive change in the midst of their personal struggles. Through an academically challenging curriculum that emphasizes cultural competence, systemic and relational perspectives, spiritual sensitivity and clinical soundness, our graduates are prepared for licensure as marriage and family therapists.
Students will gain clinical training at both our on-site Marriage & Family Therapy Wellness Center and through local clinics and agencies, as Whitworth University takes its mission of mind and heart into the community. You will work under the close supervision of clinical faculty approved by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Your clinical training equips you to provide systemic therapy to help individuals, couples, and families reconcile a wide range of issues and move toward wholeness.
If you have a bachelor’s degree and a desire to have a positive influence on your community by helping individuals, couples, and/or families, it’s time to make your dream a reality.
Enhance Your Career Opportunities
Whitworth’s Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy Program gives you a strong foundation for licensure as a marriage and family therapist, providing you with the knowledge and experience to work with individuals, couples and families struggling with mental health and relationship issues. Licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) work in agencies and organizations, as well as in independent and private practice.
"Employment of marriage and family therapists is expected to grow by 41 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.” - Bureau of Labor Statistics
The M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy Program is a 64-credit, full-time day program that begins each June. Students move through the program as a cohort, taking each of the classes together in sequence. This provides a support system for students as they complete the program and helps establish their first network of professional colleagues.
During the first two semesters, students will be immersed in full-time coursework that provides an introduction to counseling and a foundation for the treatment of clients in a clinical setting. During the remainder of the program, students will split their time between taking classes and treating clients in both community and on-site clinics. In the final semester, students will complete a comprehensive examination that evaluates the student’s mastery of concepts learned throughout the program.
Click here for current degree plan.
Click here for current student handbook.
Required Core Courses (18 credits)
Marriage & Family Therapy Courses (33 credits)
Clinical Experience (13 credits)
Doug Jones, Ph.D., LMFT, LMHC (Program Director)
Doug Jones is an AAMFT-approved supervisor who has been in counselor education and clinical practice for more than 20 years. He has worked in private practice and church-counseling settings. His areas of interest are integration of faith into practice and working with couples raising children with autism spectrum disorder diagnoses. Jones is an ordained minister and is actively engaged in missions work in South Asia. He serves as executive director of Northwest Connect, an outreach ministry serving low SES populations. He was recognized by the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as its Educator of the Year for 2015.
- B.S. in Business Administration/Accounting, San Diego State University, 1977
- M.Ed. in Human Development Counseling, Vanderbilt University, 1981
- M.A. in Marriage and Family Counseling, Southwestern Baptist Seminary 1995
- M.A. in Religious Education, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, 1995
- Ph.D. in Psychology/Counseling, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, 1999
Horatius Gittens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Horatius Gittens is a graduate of Loma Linda University’s (Calif.) COAMFTE Ph.D. program in marriage and family therapy. He has more than eight years of progressive experience in counseling and family therapy, with service in multiple clinical settings and a variety of modalities. Gittens’ areas of therapeutic interest include couples’ therapy, family therapy with traumatized children, and service to substance-abusing youth. He has served as an ordained minister of religion for more than 20 years and has done volunteer service in many inner-city communities around the country during that period. Gittens also has experience in research and teaching that includes his time as research-assistants supervisor for NIH grant-funded projects of Adventist Health Studies II (2007); his position as a researcher with Changing Health for Adult Men with New and Great Experiences (Project C.H.A.N.G.E); and his research activities dealing with prostate cancer screening issues with African-American families (2013-16).
- B.A. Theology, University of the Southern Caribbean, 1980
- M.A. Religion, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Mich., 1986
- M.B.A. Master in Business Administration, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Mich., 1989
- M.A. Psychology Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif., 2008
- Ph.D. Marriage and Family Therapy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif., 2015
Elizabeth Campbell, Ph.D., LP (Assistant Professor)
Elizabeth Campbell is an assistant professor of psychology and instructor for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Whitworth University. She is also a therapist and licensed psychologist for the Emily Program, an eating disorder clinic. Campbell earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from the University of North Texas. She is an AAMFT Pre-Clinical Fellow and approved supervisor trainee. Her research foci include young-adult development, vocational development, and counselor training.
- B.A. in Psychology/Sociology, Whitworth University, 2005
- M.S. in Counseling Psychology, University of North Texas, 2008
- Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, University of North Texas, 2011
Mark J. Baird, Psy.D, LP
Mark Baird has more than a decade of experience in providing clinical assessments and psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families. He has directed multiple mental-health clinics and has served on the staff of medical centers across the nation. Baird currently maintains a private practice and specializes in working with trauma survivors and their families as well as those who have anxiety, depression, phase-of-life difficulties, relational problems and bereavement. He deployed to Iraq as a U.S. Army psychologist and has provided help to veterans of conflicts ranging from World War II to the current wars. He has extensive experience supervising trainees and clinicians from various disciplines in the assessment and treatment of psychological problems. Baird’s research interests are in the areas of hardiness and resilience, veterans’ family reintegration issues, and the teaching of psychology. He was selected as Most Influential Professor in 2015 and 2016.
- B.A. in Counseling Psychology, San Diego Christian College, 1999
- M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, 2003
- APA Approved Internship, D.D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, 2005-06
- Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, 2006
- Post-Doctorate, Clinical Psychology, Madigan Army Medical Center, 2007-08
From time to time, Whitworth hires faculty members from the professional community to teach courses in their areas of expertise. Some of the courses taught by these individuals include Therapy with Children and Their Families, Therapy with Adolescents and Their Families, and Introduction to Chemical Dependency. Most adjunct faculty serve as clinical directors or senior clinicians in such agencies as Lutheran Community Services and Excelsior Youth Center.
Students in the MFT Program complete their internship through experiences at both the Whitworth MFT Center and clinical sites in the community. Supervision at the Whitworth MFT Center is provided by AAMFT-approved supervisors or supervisors in training. Supervision at community sites is provided by licensed practitioners. When possible, Whitworth attempts to match students with sites supervised by licensed MFTs. When that is not possible, supervisors licensed as mental health counselors or social workers are used.
Do I need to have a bachelor’s degree in a specific area to be accepted into the MFT Program?
There is no required major for those entering the MFT Program. Prior to admission, all students must have completed a course in both abnormal psychology and statistics.
When does the program begin and end?
The MFT Program begins in June and ends 23 months later.
When are applications due?
We begin reviewing applications as soon as September for the following June. For early consideration, complete applications should be submitted no later than Jan. 1. All other applications should be submitted by Feb. 1. Interviews will begin in February for early admission, subsequent admission decisions will be made in March. If space allows, strong applications may be considered after this time.
Do I need to take the GRE?
We do not require GRE scores for admission, although students are encouraged to take the exam. If you do not submit GRE scores, we will require an essay that we will use to evaluate both your writing and your analytic abilities.
Can I transfer coursework from a different program?
Up to six credits of approved coursework may be transferred. In the instance that a previously completed course is the same in content and structure, students may petition to be excused from the course at Whitworth.
What kinds of employment opportunities can I anticipate once I graduate?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for marriage and family therapists is expected to grow much faster through 2020 than the average for all occupations. In fact, BLS estimated that from 2010-20 there will be a 41 percent increase in positions for marriage and family therapists.
What is a typical class schedule?
Students will take classes two days per week and spend the other three days in a clinical setting.
Is there a part-time option?
Students can take coursework part time. However, students should be prepared to transition to full-time status when they begin their clinical obligations.