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    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
    Doctor of Ministry Office
    130 Essex Street
    South Hamilton, MA 01982
    Fax: (978) 646-4574
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F

  • Tracks »

    Take a look at our Doctor of Ministry tracks.

Marriage and Family Counseling



Campus: Hamilton
Primary Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen Mason and Dr. Ray Pendleton
  Check out this article by Dr. Karen Mason!

Informing spiritual passions by...

Forming mentored learning communities, thereby...

Transforming ministers and ministries for a lifetime.



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As the health care industry continues to change rapidly, it is important that the church become proactive in asserting a biblically sound program of intervention for the basic building of society—marriage and family life. This track is designed to inform the spiritual passion of those who want to help the church in that endeavor.

"I would not be exaggerating if I were to say that my course work in Marriage and Family Therapy with the mentors has been used by the Lord to make a major paradigm shift in the care of the human soul both personally and in ministry. I would highly recommend this course work, especially the advanced track, to my colleagues in the pastorate and my missionary co-laborers." - Vince Costa, 2006

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Our Marriage & Family Counseling track helps students develop a counseling framework for ministry through textbooks, lectures, case studies, skill labs, practica, and more. Sample readings include:

An academic degree alone does not license anyone for professional practice, students seeking licensure are responsible for following up with their own state regarding state particular licensure requirements.

American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR 4th Ed.)

Corsini, R.J. and Wedding, D (2010). Current psychotherapies: theories and practice. (9th ed.) Canada: Brooks/Cole. 

Creswell, John W. (2008). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Method Approaches (3rd ed.) Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Dutton, Donald, G. (2007) The Abusive Personality: Violence and Control In Intimate Relationships.  Guilford Press.

E.gan, G (2006) The Skilled Helper: A problem management and opportunity development approach to helping (8th ED.) Thomson.

Johnson, S. M. (2004). The practice of emotionally focused couple therapy: Creating connection. 2nd. Ed. Routledge.

Sanders, R. K. (Ed.). (1997). Christian counseling ethics: A handbook for therapists, pastors, & counselors. Downers Grove. IL: InterVarsity Press.

Tan, S.Y. (2011). Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective. Grand Rapids: Baker Academics.

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Here is how your studies will transform you and your ministry by seeking to fulfill our general Doctor of Ministry goals in some track-specific ways:

  • To resource students through a biblically-grounded educational program taught by faculty who are committed to God's Word and the application of principles of Scripture to the issues of contemporary culture.
  • Dr. Karen Mason and Dr. Raymond Pendleton are committed to God's Word and its application to marriage and family. They are both psychologists and Dr. Pendleton is also an ordained minister. They lead students through the development of Biblical and Theological paradigms designed to help clients maximize their God-given potential.
  • To form in students a sound foundation of theological and biblical inquiry in their professional doctoral program's specialized track that they are able to integrate into the life of Christian ministry.
  • Each course begins with theological and biblical principles and integrates psychological science.
  • The final thesis-project must have as one of its components a fully integrated biblical and theological rationale for marriage and family intervention.
  • To provide students with the skill sets and understandings in a specialized area of ministry to such an extent that they can impact their congregation or community more powerfully for God.
  • Over the four years each student will complete case studies. The case studies provide both a logical and a developmental progression as diagnostic and conceptual skills emerge and are enhanced.
  • Students will also complete practica hours at sites outside normal ministry or work locations. Students are advised on how to set up agreements with sites fitting their interest, these sites should be chosen to give the students a variety of counseling settings.
  • To create through the cohort model of the program a dimension of Christian community and spiritual nurturing so that students form strong friendships with one another and enter long-term relationships with the scholars who guide the learning experience.
  • Each residency includes at least one evening meal together as a cohort, hosted by the mentors. This is an opportunity for students to cement relationships in a relaxed environment outside the classroom.
  • To develop in students a deeper understanding of Christ's lordship in all areas of life for the common good of the contemporary world.
  • Each day begins with a devotional led by the students. This is a time of spiritual focus and a time for growing together as a cohort.
  • To cultivate within students through critical reflection and careful research through the residencies and projects an enriched Christian witness in the places of society they are called to serve.
  • It is clear that the Church must take a proactive stance in undergirding strong marital and family life and a program that provides specialized training in Marriage & Family Counseling will serve that purpose.
  • To instill in students a refreshed view of their ministry as it relates to the proclamation of the Gospel among all people.
  • Students will complete supervised clinical hours over the course of the residencies.Sites are set up by the student and approved by the mentor as appropriate to meet the educational needs of the program.

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