Bachelor of Arts in Family Studies


We offer a major that is flexible in content and has an emphasis on practical application. Students have an opportunity to explore functional and dysfunctional family systems dynamics and to take courses focused on childhood and adolescence, trauma, familial relationships, and family counseling. Individuals who want to work with families, couples, or children will be set up for success with a Bachelor of Arts in Family Studies from Arizona Christian University.

Mission Statement: Arizona Christian University’s Family Studies program prepares students to assist families through service and research by framing relevant knowledge and skills with a biblical worldview.

Vision Statement: The vision of ACU’s Family Study Major program is to graduate superior evaluators of family study research and theory, Christ-like practitioners, and agents of change in the lives of families.

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Describe dynamics of communication and power in familial relationships.
  • Assess the impact of various stressors on family functioning.
  • Describe various parenting models.
  • Develop and or expand knowledge and understanding of various theoretical approaches to family counseling
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the physical, emotional, social, environmental, and spiritual aspects of human sexuality.

Why Marriage and Family at ACU?

In addition to a faculty to student ratio of 17:1 and a rigorous and biblically-integrated curriculum, ACU’s Family Studies program offers several unique advantages:

  • Our unique department is staffed with clinically-active faculty, who are able to provide insightful information based on their vast professional experiences.
  • Students will graduate as provisionally Certified Family Life Educators by the National Counsil on Family Relations.
  • What is Family Life Education?:
  • This is a terminal degree, therefore students are prepared to enter the workforce or their graduate studies with significant confidence in their educational experiences.
  • For over 20 years, many of our graduates have continued their studies to pursue careers as licensed marriage & family therapists, counselors, and social workers.
  • Marriage and Family Practicum, Family Counseling, Human Sexuality, Psychology of Marriage

What will I study?

Following completion of a Bachelor of Arts in Family Studies – Marriage and Family from ACU, students will:

  • Be able to identify and evaluate psychological, spiritual, physical, and social contributors to optimal human development
  • Be able to evaluate families and their functioning using research and systemic theories
  • Be able to design, implement, and evaluate family life education programs
  • Explore and evaluate societal issues that impact families
  • Explore career options
  • Early Childhood Concentration Option: Focus on early childhood aspects.

Undergraduate students are introduced to fascinating topics through mandatory and elective courses that are often preserved for graduate studies, including:

  • Trauma and families
  • Play therapy
  • Family structure and dynamics
  • Parent/child relations
  • Gender studies
  • Family resource management
  • Grief and loss in families
  • Public policy
  • Transformational marriage
  • Early learning environments
  • Poverty


Career Paths

Graduates are well-equipped to continue their education to become licensed marriage and family therapists, children’s counselors, to pursue family law careers, or to advance their careers in social work, child life, or ministry. This is perhaps the broadest of the three programs, preparing students for careers in child protective services, public policy lobbyist, community organizer, family intervention, parent aid, family and children’s ministries, victim-witness advocate.

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Children’s Therapists
  • Trauma Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Child Behavioral Specialists
  • Case Managers
  • Ministries (Family, Children’s, Women’s)
  • Motivational Speakers
  • Victim Witness Advocates
  • Child Protective Services
  • Public Policy and Lobbying (i.e., sex-trafficking, child protection)
  • Coaching

Graduate education prepation for programs such as Marriage and Family Therapy, Family Law, Health Care Administration, Ministry, Public Policy, Counseling and Family Studies.


Marriage and Family


Career Paths


Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Arizona Christian University
Building 2000
1 W. Firestorm Way
Glendale, AZ 85306

(602) 489-5300

[email protected]

Academic Major Courses

Core requirements accumulate to 30 credits, 15 credits of General Biblical and Theological Studies courses and 8 credits of foreign language courses. 3 credits of Upper Division Biblical and Theological Studies electives are required.

CourseCourse NameCreditsPrerequisites
FAM 200Family Resource Management3
FAM 316Family Structure and Function3
PSY 320Cross-Cultural Counseling3
FAM 332Public Policy and the Family3
FAM 425Parent/Child Relations3FAM 261 (Pr)
FAM 435Family Life Education312 FAM or ECE credit hrs. (Pr)
FAM 490Family Studies Capstone3
PSY 202General Psychology3
FAM 312Human Development3
FAM 400Human Sexuality3FAM 312 (Pr)
FAM 430Principles of Family Counseling3FAM 316 (Pr)
FAM 440Gender Studies3
FAM 497Internship3FAM 332, 425, 430, 435 (Pr)
Choose OneFAM 420 Psychology of Marriage ~OR~ FAM 421 Transformational Marriage3