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Program Overview

Program Overview

Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) Logo

Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are professional mental health providers who serve a critical role in helping individuals, couples, and families heal from psychological and relationship wounds as well as solve psychological and relationship problems. In their clinical work, MFTs enter into individual and relational suffering of loss, grief, trauma, difficult transitions, and conflict as a presence that can catalyze healing.

The Lipscomb Marriage and Family Therapy masters program is the only COAMFTE accredited (the gold standard in the field) program in Middle Tennessee.  Students in the Lipscomb MFT program go through rigorous and comprehensive training and become highly trained, caring, and compassionate therapists who can effectively treat the challenges faced by individuals, couples,  and families.  Our cohort model provides students the unique opportunity to learn systems theory while forming a social system within their cohort.
Your rigorous training will prepare you to serve individuals overcoming their mental health challenges, help couples restore a thriving relationship, and lead families to create healthy and effective family processes. And once you finish here, you’ll be able to continue your clinical work while pursuing the Marriage and Family Therapy license.

Whether you are straight out of undergraduate work, are looking for a meaningful career change, or would like to expand your existing skill set in helping others, a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy can situate you to help and heal in powerful ways.

Click here for Program Diversity and Student / Graduate Achievement

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Please submit:

  • Lipscomb University's online application
  • A 500-700 word essay that explains more about you, why you're doing this, and why Lipscomb
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • GRE scores (waived if you already hold a master's degree, optional if you have a 3.0 or above undergraduate GPA)
  • Interview

The deadline to apply for Fall 2021 has passed.  The Fall 2022 deadline will be March 1, 2022.



Courses in Sequence:

Fall I
  • PSFT 5903: Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy Skills
  • PSFT 5103: Introduction to Systems and Family Theory
  • PSFT 6733: Non-traditional Families
Spring I
  • PSFT 5203: Family Therapy 1
  • PSFT 5403: Ethics and Clinical Practice
  • PSFT 6833: Practicum
Summer I 
  • PSFT 6A23: Introduction to Play Therapy
  • PSFT 5603: Research Methods and Statistics
  • PSFT 6603: Diagnosis and Assessment
  • PSFT 6843: Supervised Clinical Practice I
Fall II
  • PSFT 6713: Family Therapy II
  • PSFT 6763: Intimacy: Sexuality, Couple and Sex Therapy
  • PSFT 6853: Supervised Clinical Practice II
Spring II
  • PSFT 6823: Professional Marriage and Family Therapy: Evidence Based Mental Health Care
  • PSFT 6053: Cultural Diversity in MFT
  • PSFT 6863: Supervised Clinical Practice III
Summer II
  • PSFT 6613: Family Life Cycle: Theory and practice
  • PSFT 6353: Treating Trauma and Addiction in Families
  • PSFT 6873: Supervised Clinical Practice IV
  • PSFT 6813 - Marriage and Family Therapy Exam and Licensure (3)


There is one area of specializations in the MMFT program.

Play Therapy: This concentration is a 9 credit hour concentration where two Play Therapy courses and one Play Therapy Supervised Clinical Practice (SCP) replace two regular MFT courses and integrate Play Therapy into one SCP. The MMFT with a Play Therapy Concentration is 63 credit hours.

Special Courses

  • PSFT 6800: Clinical Practice Extension
  • PSFT 688V: Independent Study in MFT
  • PSFT 6XN3: Special Topics in MFT
Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

  • $962* per credit hour
  • Books and iPad included in tuition

*Note: The graduate tuition rates may increase annually, effective each summer semester.

Types of Aid


Student to faculty ratio

Small Class Sizes

You’ll have opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion, receive one-on-one faculty mentorship and ask difficult questions in our small class sizes. Plus, you’ll feel supported in a tight-knit learning community.

Cohort Model

Our cohort model emphasizes communal learning and extended field experiences. You’ll have the opportunity to form professional and personal relationships with like-minded peers that will extend far beyond the duration of the program.


A big city. An even bigger opportunity. We consider Nashville 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.

Our Faculty

  • Chris Gonzalez headshot

    Chris Gonzalez

    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
  • Justin Briggs headshot

    Justin Briggs

    Associate Professor

    Justin Gregory Briggs joined the faculty at Lipscomb University in 2014. He completed his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Purdue University and earned his M.S. in Marital and...

    Meet Justin Briggs
  • 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
  • William Turner headshot

    William Turner

    Distinguished Prof of Leadership and Public Policy

    Turner holds a Distinguished Professorship in the College of Leadership and Public Service and is Counselor to the President at Lipscomb University on matters of diversity and strategic community engagement....

    Meet William Turner

Career Paths

Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome problems with family and other relationships.

Play Therapist

After becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist, you can become a registered play therapist. A Registered Play Therapist will use play therapy to help clients (regardless of age) find healing and achieve the growth they desire.