Family Studies – Program Overview

Online Family Studies Degree | Mid-Atlantic Christian UniversityThe Family Studies major focuses on healthy family functioning within a family systems perspective and provides a primarily preventive approach. The skills and knowledge needed for healthy functioning are widely known: strong communication skills, knowledge of typical human development, good decision-making skills, positive self-esteem, and healthy interpersonal relationships.The goal of human development and family studies education is to teach and foster this knowledge and these skills to enable individuals and families to function optimally.Family life education professionals consider societal issues including economics, education, work-family issues, parenting, sexuality, gender and more within the context of the family. They believe that societal problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, unemployment, debt, and child abuse can be more effectively addressed from a perspective that considers the individual and family as part of larger systems. Knowledge about healthy family functioning can be applied to prevent or minimize many of these problems.An education in human development and family studies provides this information through an educational approach, often in a classroom-type setting or through educational materials.

Students majoring in Family Studies will have the opportunity to:

  • Meet the standards and criteria required for the Certified Family Life Educator (Provisional) designation by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR).
  • Be trained to understand and respond to the varying needs of families through the life cycle from birth to death.
  • Learn the characteristics of healthy relationships and how to promote optimal human development.
  • Develop communication/educator skills for diverse demographic groups.
  • Examine current research and theory regarding the challenges with which individuals and families are faced with.

What can I do with a degree in Family Studies?

Family life educators work in a variety of Christian and secular settings. As a family studies major, you’ll learn how to bring comprehensive family training to numerous employment sectors and job settings providing crucial training for the local church and community. Often, CFLEs work in the following venues:

  • Practice – ministry, teaching, education, research/scholarship, program or curricula development.
  • Administration – ministry, leadership or management, organizing, and coordinating.
  • Promotion – public policy, fundraising, lobbying, advocating for system change and awareness.

Learning Outcomes

Required Courses 127/128 Semester Hours
General Studies 36/37 Semester Hours
Family Studies Major 45 Semester Hours
Biblical Studies Minor 18 Semester Hours
Open Electives 31 Semester Hours

Students successfully completing the major in Family Studies will:

  • Analyze the multifaceted needs of families in society
  • Identify points of potential conflict within the family and know how to apply conflict resolution skills
  • Distinguish the various stages of human development through the life cycle
  • Appreciate the value of all people and learn to listen and observe individual needs
  • Explain the realities of financial responsibility in the family
  • Analyze various models for parenting
  • Explain current trends in family law
  • Articulate a healthy code of ethics for ministry
  • Describe age appropriate teaching methods
  • Have practical abilities to become an effective family advocate

Course Schedule and ChecklistTo learn more about our Mission, Student Life, Admission Process, and Academic Information please refer to our 2016 MACU Academic Catalog.

Service Type
Online Family Studies Course
Provider Name
Mid-Atlantic Christian University
The Family Studies major focuses on healthy family functioning within a family systems perspective and provides a primarily preventive approach.
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