Department ofMarriage & Family Therapy

Our Mission

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Pacific Lutheran University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Pacific Lutheran University is to train students in developing a systemically-oriented, contextually competent worldview that is implemented with a wide range of clinical concerns impacting individuals, couples, and families.

Graduates of the program will:

  • Be prepared to pass the American Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board (AMFTRB) national exam
  • Be prepared to obtain employment in community mental health agencies
  • Practice from a systemic and contextually sensitive lens
  • Practice according to legal and ethical standards
  • Understand the major behavioral health disorders and how to use research to inform clinical practice and evaluate effectiveness
  • Develop a personal epistemology that is grounded in couple and family therapy theories, demonstrates contextual sensitivity, and reflects awareness and management their personal impact on the therapeutic process and the impact of the therapeutic process on them

A Cooperative Cohort of Colleagues

With small class sizes of approximately 20 students, our students get to know each other very well right away.  While there is room for flexibility in terms of practica and summer course start dates, students find that the relationships they develop by working so closely together benefits both their professional and personal lives.

We Value Diversity

We value a diverse learning community. Together, we encounter and experience a rich variety of perspectives, ideas, belief systems and ways of thinking. In and out of class, we are enriched by each other's stories, opinions, and personalities. The learning that happens between students is equally as vibrant and powerful as the literature we read, the assignments we complete and the exams we take. The relationships we build with each other as a cohort of graduate students make us more culturally aware human beings and more effective therapists-in-training.

The Couple and Family Therapy Center

The Couple and Family Therapy Center is a training facility for our MFT students to hone their therapeutic skills with and for clients who come to us from our community.  Together, clients and therapists in training work toward their common goals.

  • Our new home:  The MFT Department and Couple and Family Therapy Center will be moving to "Garfield Station," a new development on Garfield Street.

Drawing of Garfield North, new building that will house the Marriage and Family Therapy Department and the Couple/Family Therapy Clinic

Interested in Clinic Services?  Click here

Program Performance

We are proud of the success of our students.  Below is a summary of student achievement statistics.  You can see more information including length of time to employment on our Program Performance page.  The following data is based on PLU data.  N/A is shown where either a) graduation is pending, b) eligibility for taking the national exam is pending, or C) eligibility for licensure is pending.


Student Achievement Data
Advertised Program Length [2 years]
Maximum Time to Complete Program [2.3 years]
Year Students Entered Program Graduation Rate (%) National Exam Pass Rate (%) Licensure Rate (%)
2005-2006 89.47% 100% 58.82%
2006-2007 90% 100% 72.22%
2007-2008 78.26% 100% 44.44%
2008-2009 95.24% 100% 25%
2009-2010 76.47% 100% 23.08%
2010-2011 84.21% 100% n/a
2011-2012 94.74% n/a n/a
2012-2013 n/a n/a n/a
2013-2014 n/a n/a n/a


MFT Featured Stories

  • MFT Graduate featured!  Click here to read a story about Najib, who will be the first marriage and family therapist in Saudi Arabia.
  • MFT Graduate Chelsea Kramer (class of 2012) talks about her experience in the PLU MFT program in the video link below: