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Program Overview

Program Overview

Families are society’s most important institution. However, some families are becoming more complex and vulnerable to environmental and social influences. At Lipscomb, you can learn how to serve these families by better understanding their challenges through the academic field of family science, a discipline becoming increasingly popular with both students and a wide range of organizations, businesses, and service providers who value family-trained professionals.

Lipscomb's Family Science program is an approved program by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).



Specific courses required:

  • FS 1011 - Introduction to Family Science
  • FS 2413 - Early Childhood Development
  • FS 2503 - Families and Spirituality
  • PS 2603 - Introduction to Psychological Research
  • FS 3433 - Family Interaction
  • FS 3503 - Family Problems
  • FS 3513 - Family Resource Management
  • FS 3523 - Family Life Education
  • FS 404V - Internship in Family Science
  • FS 4092 - Senior Seminar
  • FS 4403 - Families in Later Adulthood
  • FS 4423 - Development in Middle Childhood and Adolescence
  • PS 3483 - Human Sexuality
  • SO 2103 - The Family
  • INST 4103 - Research Methods

Three to six hours selected from:

  • BI 3273 - Children's Ministry
  • BI 3523 - The Youth Ministry Program
  • FS 3153 - Nurturing Spiritual Development in Children
  • FS 3413 - Children in Health Care
  • FS 3423 - Foundation and Theory of Child Life Practice
  • FS 3451 - Nursery School Practicum
  • FS 37nV - Special Topics
  • FS 400V - Travel
  • FS 401V - Independent Study and Research
  • FI 2213 - Personal Finance
  • MG 3503 - Leading and Managing People
  • NUTR 2613 - Principles of Nutrition
  • PS 2423 - Life Span Development
  • PS 3323 - Business and Industrial Psychology
  • PS 3413 - Social Psychology
  • PS 3453 - Death and Dying
  • PS 3513 - Drugs and Behavior
  • SW 3113 - Race and Ethnic Groups
  • SW 3223 - Social Work with Aging
  • SW 3313 - Child Welfare
  • SW 3333 - Juvenile Justice
  • SO 1123 - Introduction to Sociology


This major, with appropriate electives, is designed according to the Family Life Education College and University Curriculum guidelines established by the Certification Committee for Family Life Educators, National Council on Family Relations. Students wishing to seek certification must apply with the Certification Committee, NCFR. 

All courses required for this major must be completed with a grade of ""C"" or higher or be repeated 

*Students planning to pursue a career as a Child LIfe Specialist are required to take FS3413 and FS3423, and must complete FS401V in a health care setting.

Why Earn Your Degree at Lipscomb University?

NCFR Approved Program

Approved by the National Council of Family Relations, Lipscomb's Family of Science program meets the highest national standards. Upon graduation, students can begin the process of becoming a Certified Family Life Educator.

Expert faculty, small class sizes

Learn from award-winning, experienced faculty who actually care about you. Our small class sizes allow us to get to know you personally. We lead an approachable community within our respective programs. Our faculty connections are the experts on their subject matter, too.

Nashville, TN

A big city. An even bigger opportunity. We consider Nashville, Tennessee, an extension of our classroom, and as a leading city in many industries, that means you’ll gain experience and insight you won’t find anywhere else.

Job placement

With a top-tier university education on your resume, you’ll be in high demand, whether you choose to launch your career or begin graduate school. Most of our programs have a placement rate of at least 90 percent within six months of graduation.

Our Faculty

  • Shaun Calix headshot

    Shaun Calix

    Lead Fac, Family Science

    Dr. Shaun Calix was born in Warner Robins, GA, grew up in Birmingham, AL, and has since lived in Tuscaloosa, AL; Hattiesburg, MS; Columbia, MO; and Lawton, OK. He is...

    Meet Shaun Calix
  • Holly Allen headshot

    Holly Allen

    Adjunct Faculty

    Dr. Holly Catterton Allen teaches two courses: Nurturing Spiritual Development in Children and Family Ministry. She also taught these courses before she retired in 2022 from her position as Professor...

    Meet Holly Allen
  • Chris Gonzalez headshot

    Chris Gonzalez

    Professor and Director, Marriage and Family Therapy

    Gonzalez joined the psychology and counseling faculty in Fall 2010 after completing his Ph.D. in Family Social Science from University of Minnesota. He teaches several courses in the MFT program....

    Meet Chris Gonzalez
  • Dave Morgan

    Dave Morgan

    Associate Professor

    Morgan joined the psychology and counseling faculty in Fall 2013 after a several years in the Lipscomb University Counseling Center where he served as a therapist and the Director of...

    Meet Dave Morgan
  • Shanna Ray headshot

    Shanna Ray

    Executive Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

    Shanna Ray has a B.S. in Psychology from Lipscomb University, M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University and a Ph.D./M.S. in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University. Ray joined...

    Meet Shanna Ray
  • Hunter Stanfield

    Hunter Stanfield

    Assistant Professor

    Hunter was born and raised in Florence, Alabama. Before arriving at Lipscomb in August 2019, he spent formative years in Los Angeles, California; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Birmingham, Alabama; Manhattan, Kansas; and...

    Meet Hunter Stanfield
  • Casey McGregor headshot

    Casey McGregor

    Adjunct Faculty

    Dr. Casey McGregor is originally from the central Pennsylvania region. She has a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) from Penn State Altoona and a M.S. and Ph.D....

    Meet Casey McGregor