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Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Programs in Kentucky

Kentucky has five schools that offer marriage and family counseling degree programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for these five schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

In Kentucky, students can find master's degree programs in marriage and family therapy. Marriage and family may be the main area of study or it may be offered as a concentration within a larger degree program in social work, family science or education. Courses cover human behavior and development as well as treatments and interventions. Students gain hands-on skills by participating in client contact hours. They may also be able to work in their school's on-campus counseling center. Programs are designed to be completed in 2-3 years.


Asbury Theological Seminary

Located in the city of Wilmore, this private school offers a master's program in marriage and family counseling that's based on Christian principles. The school offers a global education opportunity where students can accompany a faculty member to learn at a partner school overseas, and professors from global partner institutions can teach at the seminary. Partner institutions include the Evangelical Methodist Seminary-University in Costa Rica, the Seoul Theological University in Korea and the West Africa Theological Seminary in Nigeria. Students are required to submit letters of recommendation to gain admission, including at least one reference from a mental health counseling professional and a pastoral leader. Prior to enrolling in courses, students must complete a prerequisite counseling course in the summer or spring term. Training combines study in biblical theology and counseling practices. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for licensure in the state they wish to practice.

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

This small Louisville graduate school is one of only 10 seminaries affiliated with the United States Presbyterian Church. Students can prepare for a career in professional Christian counseling by completing the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program, which is accredited by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) and COAMFTE. Students spend 30-36 months completing coursework in areas like clinical marriage and family therapy methods, biblical education and theology. To gain hands-on experience, students must complete at least 500 client contact hours and a minimum of 100 hours of supervised training. Students participate in field training at the seminary's on-campus counseling training center as well as other off-campus locations.

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky is located in the city of Lexington. Through the School of Human Environmental Sciences, students can complete a master's degree program in family science with an emphasis in couple and family therapy. Classes are taught by faculty members who are approved supervisors or supervisors-in-training with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Students receive training in human development and behavior, couple sex therapy, play therapy and treatment methods. To earn this degree, students must also complete a minimum of 500 client contact hours by taking part in practicum experiences. Students partake in clinical training at the university's family center.

University of Louisville

This university in Louisville offers the only social work program that prepares students to become licensed marriage and family therapists. The program can train students to work with underprivileged and disadvantaged families. This COAMFTE-approved program includes coursework in family therapy, marital therapy, treatment for diverse populations and intervention issues. Students typically complete more than 300 hours of supervised client contact experience over the course of the program, in addition to 60 hours of video supervision. The school offers program plans that can be completed in two or three years.

Western Kentucky University (WKU)

WKU is located in Bowling Green, which is the third-largest city in the state. Students at this school can complete a master's program in counseling with a concentration in marriage and family therapy. This program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Coursework covers counseling techniques, family life studies, mental health diagnosis and sex therapy. Students also complete field internship and practicum experiences to prepare for professional employment. Graduates of the program are eligible to obtain a marriage and family therapy associate license from the state, sit for the National Certified Counselor exam and become members of the AAMFT.

Career Requirements

This profession is regulated by the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Marriage and Family Therapists. Students who successfully complete a program are first granted licensure as marriage and family therapy associates. To qualify for full licensure, students must complete a master's or doctorate program from an accredited institution or a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Applicants must also complete at least 200 hours of supervised clinical experience beyond their graduate studies, have two years of experience in the practice of marriage and family therapy and pass a written board exam.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Marriage and Family Counseling Programs Offered Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Asbury Theological Seminary 4-year; private, not-for-profit; fringe town Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling $16,110*
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary 4-year; private, not-for-profit; large suburb Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy $11,788*
University of Kentucky 4-year; public; large city Master of Science in Family Science with an Emphasis in Couple and Family Therapy $13,052 in-state; $31,364 out-of-state*
University of Louisville 4-year; public; large suburb Master of Science in Social Work with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy $12,880 in-state; $26,650 out-of-state*
Western Kentucky University 4-year; public; small city Master of Arts in Education: Counseling with a Concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy $12,140 in-state; $17,980 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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