M.A. Counseling Ministries Course Descriptions
MFT – Marriage and Family Therapy
This course addresses individual and family development and the interconnectedness of biopsychosocial and spiritual health from birth to later adulthood. It addresses the normal developmental processes that occur over the life span. It explores continuity and change within the developing family system. Health and wellness, the impact of technology in a person’s life and relationships, and digital literacy are explored.
This skills-based course focuses on basic counseling skills and techniques for working with individuals, couples, and families. Using role plays, students facilitate a counseling session, demonstrate micro-skills, and practice interpersonal effectiveness. This course is a hybrid course requiring online work and an intensive weekend spent on campus with hands-on training.
This course examines the etiology of psychopathology, the recognition and categorization of dysfunctional psychological, emotional and relational patterns, and the application of diagnostic criteria as specified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The course includes a critique of individual pathology from a systemic perspective.
This course examines social and cultural foundations of behavior manifested in social systems, individuals, and diverse groups. Students are challenged to increase self-awareness, pursue understanding, and provide culturally sensitive therapy to all populations.
CSG – Counseling
This course explores the provision of pastoral and lay pastoral care to individuals, couples and families within church and parachurch contexts responding to people’s mental health and relationship challenges, as well as being a resource to people in engaging community and medical interventions. Prerequisite: None
The literature on the integration of psychology (counseling) and theology (spirituality) forms the basis for this course. Contrasting perspectives on theological and psychological aspects of personal and relational problems are explored through an evaluation of models of integration. Specific topics such as image of God, forgiveness, grace, sin, guilt/shame, the demonic, suffering, healing, and spiritual growth are explored. Ethical considerations concerning the use of spiritual interventions in counseling are addressed. Prerequisite: None
This is an overview, introductory course that helps students understand and intervene in marriages and family systems, by acquiring knowledge of relationship dynamics, assessment, and skills related to working with couples and families. Premarital counseling, marriage enrichment, and parenting are addressed. The Christian view of marriage informs the consideration of the nature of marriage and family in contemporary society. This course is designed for non-MFT students and may not be used in the MFT program. Prerequisite: None
This course describes psychological crisis intervention approaches and techniques in the face of natural and human made disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, fires, transportation accidents, school shootings, workplace violence, and terrorism. These disasters typically affect large groups of persons at the same time and require a planned response for the victims, their families, and helping providers who may or may not have a faith background. Course content focuses on the theological issues of a disaster; spiritual, physical, and psychological responses to disaster; intervention techniques; and care for the caregivers to prevent or mitigate compassion fatigue. As a part of this course, students are trained and receive a certificate in Group Crisis Intervention: Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) through the International Critical Stress Foundation (ICSF)* and/or earn certification in Psychological First Aid (PFA). Another component of the course involves discussion of the assessment and practical intervention techniques related to individual crisis situations in the first 72 hours following a crisis such as suicide, domestic violence, addiction, homicide, death, divorce, health issues, and life transitions. *An additional fee is required for CISM training and certification. Prerequisite: None
Several theories and approaches to brief counseling, using primarily problem-solving and solution-focused strategies are discussed and practiced in this course. These approaches are particularly relevant to ministry contexts where longer-term therapeutic approaches are not appropriate. Attention is given to practical techniques such as the use of homework techniques in therapy, video and online resources, as well as short-term trauma incident reduction techniques for trauma survivors. Prerequisite: None
This course explores the counseling implications of grief and loss across the life span. Attention is given to therapeutic strategies that are effective with persons who struggle with grief and loss, as well as to biblical material regarding grief and loss. Differences between normal grief, complicated grief, and traumatic grief are addressed. The less obvious losses that are often associated with traumatic events are discussed. A theology of suffering is addressed. Prerequisite: None
Utilizing supervision and peer-feedback, this internship opportunity requires the student to find a ministry placement that offers them a hands-on opportunity to work directly with people in a ministry setting. On-site supervision, along with weekly supervision groups facilitated by TFC counseling faculty, provides a rich learning experience. Ethics, helping strategies, diversity awareness, and the personal and spiritual growth of the counselor are discussed. Prerequisites: CSG503; CSG553; CSG623
This course allows students to study group theories, dynamics, process, and stages as well as provides the opportunity to learn and apply various systems to group counseling, by demonstrating learned skills and leadership. Students participate as a member of a group in order to gain a better understanding of group process. Prerequisite: None
Elective Courses – 6 Credit Hours
This course focuses on the assessment and treatment of PTSD, as distinguished from Complex PTSD. Treatment approaches discussed include Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and EMDR, among others. Included is how to work with veterans suffering from combat trauma and moral injury. The neurobiology of trauma, including the effects of trauma on the developing brain is examined, in addition to the possibility of posttraumatic growth. Vicarious/secondary trauma is covered, as well as guidelines for developing resistance to the negative impacts of ministering to traumatized individuals through physical, emotional, spiritual, and professional self-care. Discussion regarding how to help develop trauma-informed churches and organizations is included. Prerequisite: None
This course is an overview of career development theories, career decision-making, lifestyle considerations, and the use of assessment instruments that help facilitate lifelong career development. Prerequisite: None
This course discusses the etiology, psychological, and spiritual dynamics of addictive behaviors. Group and individual approaches to the treatment of substance abuse and other addictions are presented. Attention is given to preventive strategies and therapeutic interventions to address substance abuse and other addictions. Prerequisite: None
This course explores the growing area of the application of counseling and care ministries in mission contexts. The focus is on supporting missionaries to fulfill the mandate of world evangelization. Attention is given to the training of nationals as counselors and counseling cross-culturally. Models, skills, case studies, and resources are discussed. Prerequisite: None
A number of topics related to specific issues in trauma treatment are addressed in this course. They include treatment of intimate partner violence (IPV)/domestic violence (DV), perpetrators of IPV/DV, clergy abuse, spiritual abuse, trafficking, traumatized children, and refugees. Also covered are trauma care in developing nations, and trauma treatment of missionaries/international workers. An additional focus is the effects of trauma on families and strengthening family resilience to trauma. Prerequisite: None
The Toccoa Falls College Orientation is designed for students who are new to graduate studies at TFC. The course equips students with knowledge, skills, and resources necessary for a positive experience as a graduate student at TFC. The College does not charge tuition for this course since it is a non-credit course; however, a passing grade in the course is a requirement to continue in the program. (0 hours, either semester)