Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy

The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program is to educate persons with theological or spiritual commitments to become marriage and family therapists competent to practice in a diverse, multicultural, and interfaith world. We accomplish this by balancing classroom and intensive supervised experience in an on-campus counseling center and a broad range of off-campus sites.

At Louisville Seminary, Marriage and Family Therapy is framed as a professional expression of pastoral care and counseling. Individuals trained in the MFT Program gain theoretical and practical tools to work as comprehensive mental health providers in a broad range of treatment contexts with careful attention to human, family and cultural diversity. To this end, the MFT Program is built on COAMFTE’s Foundational Curriculum in Marriage and Family Therapy and core theological courses that help students relate learning across theoretical, theological and spiritual disciplines.

Through academic study and clinical experience students form a professional identity as a marriage and family therapist critically informed by religious and theological values and commitments. Most students expect to become theologically and spiritually informed MFTs practicing in community settings. Others expect to express their ordained ministry through specialized skills as a professional marriage and family therapist and will earn a M.Div. while at Louisville Seminary. The Marriage and Family Therapy Program encourages students to explore and integrate both theological and systemic traditions that mutually inform their work with people and enrich their professional identity as marriage and family therapists, minister and pastoral counselor. Students receive individual supervision and group supervision based on direct observation of their clinical work.


All entering students are required to review license regulations in the state in which they intend to be licensed with either the Clinical Director or academic advisor. This consultation will give the student and Program the opportunity to plan for regulatory differences between Kentucky and another state in which the student may plan to be licensed.

Academic Requirements
The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree requires 70 hours (3 years) of academic study. With guidance from their academic advisor and careful course management, some students may complete the program in 2.5 years. Of the 70 hours of academic study, 15 hours will be in Integrational Studies which will include courses in Bible, Theology, and reflection/integration experiences designed to provide a foundation for integrational discourse and tools for exploring one’s own spiritual and theological tradition. The remaining hours are distributed over areas of study required to meet national credentialing standards in the field of marriage and family therapy. To graduate, students must complete all academic courses with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average, and pass the Exit Examination and Senior Integration Experience.

Clinical Requirements
The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy clinical requirements include the following:
  • Successful completion of Practicum courses by demonstrating that competencies required by syllabi are met.
  • Successful completion of a minimum of 300 direct client contact hours, of which 100 are relational hours, and a minimum of 100 hours of MFT relational/systemic supervision.


A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is required for admission. Personal experience, maturity, sense of ministry and aptitude, as demonstrated during an interview process, also are considered for admission. Advanced standing may be given for previous graduate degrees in selected fields.

Transfer of Credit Policy for the MFT Program

Entering students may transfer credit hours from previous graduate work under the following conditions:
  1. Credit was completed no longer than 5 years prior to application.
  2. Grade earned was B or better.
  3. No more than six (6) hours of MFT related credit earned from another COAMFTE accredited program may be applied toward required courses in the MFT Program. Transfer of these credits requires MFT faculty review and approval.
  4. No more than six (6) hours of MFT related credit earned from a non-COAMFTE accredited program may be applied as electives in the MFT Program with approval of the MFT Program Director.
  5. Students entering with graduate theological credits (no theological degree) may transfer up to 15 hours of credit toward core theological requirements if classes are determined to be commensurate with MFT Program required courses as determined by the Registrar in consultation with the MFT Program Director.
  6. Students entering with a completed M.Div. or other theological degree may transfer fifteen (15) credit hours toward the MAMFT degree requirements.


Two capstone experiences are required for the completion of the MAMFT: (1) The Senior Integration Experience - Students must complete a clinical project which includes a case write-up and oral presentation before a committee; (2) the MFT Exit Exam – a web-based exam designed to test graduating students’ theoretical and therapeutic knowledge and to be used in preparation for Marriage and Family Therapy licensure examinations.


The Marriage and Family Therapy Program supports and applies the diversity, inclusion and anti-discrimination values of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary including a commitment to anti-racism academically and throughout the LPTS community; modeling, expecting, and promoting gender equity; supporting the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons; embracing diversity of ministries including pastors, chaplains, therapists, community leaders, and more; respecting the dignity and gifts of all; and valuing accessibility and inclusivity. The charts below provide a demonstration of the diversity of students, faculty and staff within the MFT Program during the years listed.

Type/Academic YearTotal #GenderAge
Clinical Staff

Type/Academic YearTotal #Ethnicity
* Non-resident/International student
Clinical Staff


The MFT Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Graduates of the MFT Program meet all academic requirements for a Marriage and Family Therapy license in Kentucky and most other states. Entering students are required to work with the Clinical Director or academic advisor to determine requirements for licenses in states other than Kentucky.

Program Statistics:

COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria Data for LPTS Marriage and Family Therapy Program
Accredited: July 1, 1993
Advertised Program Length*: Full-Time-3 years
Cohort Year Students Entered Program# of Students in ProgramAdvertised Graduation Rate (%)*Maximum Graduation Rate (%)*Job Placement Rate (%)**National Exam Pass Rate (%)
* Graduation rates for program’s Advertised and Maximum Length of Completion.
**This is defined as the percentage of reporting graduates from the cohort year listed that are employed utilizing skills learned in the COAMFTE accredited program.
2017-20181050%80%100%In process
2018-20191090%90%100%In process
2019-202015In processIn processIn processIn process
2020-20218In processIn processIn processIn process

Program Goals (PG) and Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

Expected Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes for the MFT Program at Louisville Seminary are as follows:

Program Goals (Standard 12.5)
PG1To graduate students prepared with clinical and theoretical and ethical tools to provide individual, couple and family therapy as entry-level professional MFT practitioners.
PG2To graduate students who demonstrate cultural competence and are able to provide individual, couple and family therapy with diverse clients.
PG3To graduate students with an entry-level professional ability to reflect theologically/spiritually on their clinical practice in a multi-faith world.
PG4To graduate students with ethical commitments to service, advocacy, antiracism, and public participation as an MFT.

Student Learning Outcomes (Standard 12.5)
SLO1Graduating students will be able to flexibly conduct evidence-based systemic therapy with individuals, couples and families that meets entry-level professional standards.
SLO2Graduating students will demonstrate a broad knowledge of systemic theory and MFT treatment models.
SLO3Graduating students will demonstrate ethical knowledge and ethical practices that meet professional and legal standards in the field.
SLO4Graduating students will be able to use a multi-contextual, antiracist approach to Marriage and Family Therapy that attends to religious, cultural, racial, economic, gender, and sexual orientation diversity and intersectional contexts in client, client-therapist, supervisory, and broader social systems.
SLO5Graduating students will be able to use a clinically appropriate theological/spiritual framework in the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy.
SLO6Graduating students will be able to apply an ethical framework, including but not limited to the AAMFT Code of Ethics, to make appropriate decisions in therapy, advocacy, service and public participation.

COAMFTE Developmental Competencies

COAMFTE Standards Version 12.5 identifies five Developmental Competency Components that refer “…to the primary areas of professional learning and skill-development central to the effective and ethical practice of a future Marriage and Family Therapy professional.” These include:
  • knowledge of the profession;
  • practice of therapy;
  • human diversity and social structures;
  • professional identity, ethics, and law; and
  • research and evidence-based practice.
This framework is intended to encompass historical, current, and future elements of MFT professional identity and practice, and to organize student learning outcomes expected of a graduate of the COAMFTE Accredited program.”1

1 COAMFTE Standards, Version 12.5, p. 36.