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M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy


The ability to expertly hold people’s stories — to create safe spaces for navigating experiences and relationships — can have a lasting impact on individuals, families and entire communities. The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) empowers students with the clinical skills, spiritual foundations and self-knowledge necessary to guide clients toward healing and relational restoration. You’ll become an ethical, culturally sensitive and licensable marriage and family therapist equipped to serve in both Christian and secular settings.

  • Prioritizes the Formation of the Therapist. As a Christ-centered MFT program, we want to further and bless God's kingdom by prioritizing the formation of the marriage and family therapist. The student’s formation in the Spirit through the guidance of this program is prioritized such that their impact in the world, their community and the local church is a truly kingdom impact. We are deeply invested in our students gaining theoretical knowledge, clinical mental health skills, professional development as a marriage and family therapist, and humility to resource and refer appropriately. We see the formation of the marriage and family therapist being akin to the tree beside the streams of living water, deeply rooted in their faith and identity in Christ Jesus, and also flexible enough to be responsive and patient, a patience that trusts abiding in Christ produces fruit within season (Psalm 1).
  • Year-Long Internship. In addition to learning from faculty with decades of experience in teaching and counseling, you’ll accrue 300+ practicum hours with clients. Supervision by licensed mental health professionals at your internship and by program faculty will refine your skills and promote your growth as a therapist.
  • Biblical Integration. We are created in the image of a relational God — a reality that grounds our approach to counseling at Talbot School of Theology. Throughout every course, you’ll encounter rich integration of faith, theory and practice that will make you a more well-rounded, compassionate counselor.
  • Personal Development. Thorough self-knowledge is essential to being an effective counselor. Engaging in spiritual direction through Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation and in personal psychotherapy with a licensed clinician will allow you to explore your experiences, social locations and relationship with God.
  • Intercultural Experience. Southern California is home to people with widely varied experiences, beliefs and backgrounds. You’ll develop intercultural competence by working with families from underserved backgrounds and studying the ways in which race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexuality shape experience and counseling best practices.
  • Cohort Community. Create formative friendships and professional connections within your cohort of thoughtful, growth-oriented individuals. Progressing through the program in a built-in community will give you the opportunity to process and connect.
  • Prepare for California State Licensure. The MFT program is in alignment with current California licensure requirements. We prepare students for licensure within the state of California, and we assist students in the licensure process for other states by providing them with resources and state specific requirements.

For more reasons to choose Talbot School of Theology for your education, see the Why Talbot? page.

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Professional Licensure

Please visit the Professional Licensure page to see the states for which Biola University meets the educational requirements for the professional licensure program you are interested in.

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What will I study as a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy student?

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy includes coursework focused on theory and methods, personal development, spiritual formation, and professional preparation, and includes a 12-month clinical practicum in community sites. You’ll become equipped to empower your clients through courses such as:

  • Crisis Intervention and Trauma Response
  • Theory and Process of Group Counseling
  • Law, Ethics, and Professional Issues
  • Child and Adolescent Therapy in Family Contexts
  • Clinical Issues in Human Diversity

Admissions & Deadlines

As a Christian institution, Biola seeks to admit applicants whose backgrounds clearly demonstrate scholarly aptitude, a commitment to the historic Christian faith, personal character and integrity, and a positive service-oriented motivation toward their field of study. Biola does not discriminate on the basis of the applicant's race, color, sex, socio-economic status, disability, or national or ethnic origin.

Education and GPA Requirements

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the time you plan to start coursework at Biola, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
    • Applicants who have a GPA lower than 3.0 are required to submit a letter of explanation and viability for entrance into the MFT program. Probationary acceptance may be granted if other factors give evidence of the applicant's ability to successfully complete the program. The probationary status will be removed when the student has successfully completed nine semester units with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Note: If you do not meet the degree or GPA requirements above, you may still be considered for admission. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions office at If you are an international student, contact

English Proficiency Requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you are required to display your English proficiency before admittance into a Biola University graduate program. See “English Proficiency” in the application steps section below.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Early Action: February 1
    • General: March 15

Visit Biola

Explore our sunny Southern California campus in person or virtually. Learn more about your program of interest and the admissions process by scheduling an appointment with an admissions counselor.

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Meet Your Admissions Counselor

If you have more questions about the program, admissions process or Biola in general, schedule a phone call or send an email to your admissions counselor.

Graduate Admissions Counselor

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Amy Finn

Text or Call: (562) 573-1206
Book a Phone or Virtual Appointment

International Graduate Admissions Counselor

The Office of International Admissions serves students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Book a Phone or Virtual Appointment

Application Steps

  1. Complete and submit the online application

  2. Submit a non-refundable $65 application fee

  3. Submit supplemental application materials through your online application portal:

  4. Official Transcripts

    • Submit all official transcripts from previous academic institutions.
      • Request official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
      • If enrolled at the time the application is filed, be sure to request transcripts of work finished to date and final transcripts upon completion of your course of study.
      • Transcripts will be considered official only when a) mailed directly from the institution to Biola, b) sent electronically through an approved vendor or c) physically delivered in an untampered envelope sealed by the institution. Final approval for admission is contingent on receiving an official transcript.
        • Mail transcripts to:
          Biola University Office of Graduate Admissions
          13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639
    • Note for International Students: All international transcripts need U.S. grade equivalencies noted (i.e. GPA on a 4.0 scale). If your transcripts do not show U.S. grade equivalencies, you must have them evaluated by a credential evaluation agency like SpanTran (Biola Discount), World Education Services (WES) or Foundation for International Services (FIS). Be sure to choose "course by course report" and have SpanTran/WES/FIS send them directly to Biola University via online portal or post (13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639) in order to be considered official.

    Three Reference Letters

    • Pastoral reference
    • Character reference (someone in a leadership role in your life)
    • Academic reference
    • Note: Additional instructions can be found in the online application.

    Two Essays

    • Christian testimony
    • Autobiographical statement (1,000 word count maximum), answering the following questions:
      • Why do you want to become a Marriage and Family Therapist?
      • Why are you seeking to do your MFT training at Talbot?
      • How has your family of origin shaped you and informed your vocation? This includes reflections on strengths and challenges in your family of origin, the impact of family-of-origin experiences on your adult relationships, and strengths and growth areas in your current significant relationships (with spouse, children, siblings, parents, etc.).
      • What are your professional goals?
      • What personal characteristics will contribute to your success as a marriage and family therapist?
      • What experience, education, and training do you have with diverse populations?
    • Note: The essay prompts can be found in the online application.

    Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)

    Please submit an official summary documenting your professional background and academic accomplishments.

    English Proficiency (required for non-native English speakers)

    • Evidence of English proficiency is required for all students to support student success. Proficiency must be shown through one of the methods described below:
      • Minimum test score on a qualifying standardized test
        • TOEFL: minimum score of 90 iBT
        • IELTS: minimum score of 7.0
        • Duolingo: minimum score of 125
      • A degree (bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral) issued by an institution where English is the medium of instruction.
        • Official written communication from the institution (Registrar, Controller of Examinations Office, or Undergraduate College)
        • Official degree statements or transcripts may be accepted given English is stated as the medium of instruction
        • Official catalog verification
        • Note: For universities from non-Anglophone countries, further language assessment may be required.
      • Completion of the English Language Scholars (ELS) with passing status on the ELS's final exit exam, which must be approved by the ELS Director in collaboration with the academic program committee. An updated TOEFL or IELTS score may be used at the end of a term to test directly into the graduate program for the following term.
      • Qualify for English Language Scholars (ELS), which allows students who do not meet the minimum TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores to still enroll in their graduate degree program. Students would be taking academic English courses concurrently with the graduate degree program courses. 
        • Students eligible for ELS will be assessed by the ELS Director to determine the total number of academic English courses to take while enrolled in their graduate program courses. The following are the scores needed to qualify for ELS: TOEFL iBT 81 / IELTS 6.5 / Duolingo 110–124.
        • Note: Students must be admitted to the graduate program first to be considered for ELS.


    Additional Forms


    Things to Note

    • Track your application status at any time. You do not have to complete the application in one sitting. You can complete a portion and finish at a later time. Your information will be saved. When you apply, to guarantee confidentiality, you will be asked to create a user name and a password, and will receive a personalized identification number. Track your application status by logging in to the online application.
    • Official documents presented for admission or evaluation become part of the student’s academic file and normally cannot be returned or copied for distribution.
    • International students who will be studying on campus are required to apply for an F-1 student visa. For more information, visit

Tuition and Financial Aid

Biola is committed to help make your studies affordable — each school offers different scholarship, grant and loan opportunities to help finance your education.

Cost Per Credit (2024‑25) $834
Full-time Tuition Per Term (Estimated) Based on 9 credit courseload$7,506
Part-time Tuition Per Term (Estimated) Based on 3 credit courseload$2,502
Total Program Tuition (Estimated) Based on total program credits and 2024‑25 cost per credit$55,878


Program Learning Outcomes

Learn about the program learning outcomes.

Program Learning Outcomes

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On Campus: You'll study in person at Biola University's campus in Southern California.

Total Credits

Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.

Cost per Credit

This is the cost per credit; total tuition costs for each term will differ for part-time and full-time students.

Standard Completion Time

This indicates the standard duration of this program. Completion time may vary depending on transferred coursework and preferred courseload.


Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.