School of Theology and Ministry
MA in Relationship and Pastoral Therapy

MARPT Admission Info & Resources

  • Admission Requirements, MARPT

    • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, preferably in a liberal arts area
    • 3.00 GPA
    • GPA falls below the required minimum, then the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) is required
    • Two years of experience in some form of education, ministry, or service as a professional or volunteer in the helping field

    Please note: Admission is selective, and candidates are evaluated on their individual merits  

    Application Materials to be submitted 

    • Checklist, download here
    • Application forms and fee (apply online, here)
    • Two recommendations with at least one from a person familiar with your religious/spiritual development (Note: Recommendation forms are provided)
    • Official transcripts of all Colleges and Universities previously attended
    • An autobiographical statement, with a focus on understanding of and experience related to Relationship and Pastoral Therapy/Couples and Family Therapy
    • An interview with a member of the Admissions Committee within Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry

    Successful Transfer of Credit

    Accepted students may petition to transfer up to 21 graduate credits from a regionally accredited institution. If you have an accredited Master of Divinity degree or other advanced theological degree, we may be able to waive up to 21 theology and elective credits required for the MARPT degree. These credits would be evaluated by the associate dean after admission acceptance.

    Seattle University Policy, here

    Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry Policy: Click on School of Theology and Ministry Policy 99-2 on the Seattle University Policy link (above) to download a PDF.

    Academic Offerings

    The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (703) 838-9808, 

    The MARPT program is designed to meet the education standards to be a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) in Washington State. We encourage our students and graduates to become members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT, view here). After graduation, Washington State law requires that people practice therapy under appropriate supervision as part of their post-Master’s training requirements in preparation for full licensure (LMFT, view
    here). These requirements typically take 2-4 years to complete. In addition to the 3,000 hour supervised clinical experience, you must pass the national MFT examination. Licensure laws vary by state. Please check the state in which you planned to be licensed to see if our educational requirements are a match. State board listings are available here.

    Please click here for a program overview.

    Entering the Clinical Program & Policies with Respect to Satisfactory Academic Progress

    In their first year of classes, students take a variety of family therapy courses to learn about and practice basic counseling skills, family therapy, group theory and techniques, and assessment and diagnosis. Students are expected to pass all prerequisites to the clinical sequence with a B (84%) or higher (STMM 5530, STMC 5540, STMC 5220, STMM 5680, STMC 5710, STMC 5500, STMM 5620, STMC 5720, STMC 5520, STMC 5210, and STMC 5510). Additionally, students must have received a satisfactory assessment on skills rubrics for Pastoral Care Skills, Group Therapy Theory and Technique, and Advanced Pastoral Care Skills. There are a series of orientation meetings and required paperwork due before a student begins the clinical sequence.

    After the first quarter of clinical, the MARPT faculty meet and determine the student’s candidacy, based upon the student’s GPA, progress in the first quarter of clinical (STMC 5550), and the students’ disposition (rubric available upon request).

    The MARPT program follows Seattle University’s protocol for grievance in both classes and the candidacy process:

    All work toward a degree from Seattle University must be completed within six years. This time limit includes transfer credit.

    Student Achievement

    Our 2014  and 2015 graduates offered over 6,000 hours of clinical service to couples, families, individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds, including clients from various gender identities, races and ethnicities, and spiritual and religious faith traditions. This service is one of the MARPT program’s most clear expression of Seattle University’s mission of “empowering leaders for a just and humane world”.

    The class of 2014 was the first group of students having completed our revised program (in 2012-2013 we transitioned from pastoral counseling to relationship and pastoral therapy). The 2014 and 2015 cohorts graduated with a clear identity of couples and family therapists who infuse spirituality into their clinical work. 

    From 2005-2013, 34 students graduated or completed a post-masters certificate in pastoral counseling. The past program specialized in couples and family therapy, and many of those students have pursued mental health licensure in order to work with individuals, couples and families. A pastoral counseling graduate, John Bauman, LMHC, wrote:

    I find that in this ministry of therapy that at least half of those who seek to consult with me are in challenging relationships.  I work with almost as many couples as individuals (45% couples – 55% individuals).  I believe that pastoral work is at the core relational work – it is about healing relationship with self, others, God.  Providing the additional Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT)  coursework that comes with the change in the focus from pastoral counseling to relational & pastoral therapy will ultimately serve those who will come seeking help and healing.  

    Attrition / Retention / Graduation Rates

    For students entering in 2013, we admitted 83% of the students who had completed applications. For students graduating in 2014 and 2015, we accepted only students who were previously enrolled in our pastoral counseling degree or post-master certificate program. Ninety-four percent of the degree students chose to transfer into our newly launched MARPT degree program.

    Nearly all students who have entered either the MARPT or pastoral counseling degree programs complete the program or transfer into another degree or certificate that the school offers. Only 6% have discerned a different vocational path.

    Our 2014 class includes 5 MARPT graduates, 1 pastoral counseling graduate, and 3 completing their post-master’s certificate. Students graduating after this June will all be conferred with the MARPT degree. Of our graduating students in 2014, 60% applied for and received the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate (LMFTA) credential.

    Exam Pass Rates and Licensure Rates

    One hundred percent of MARPT graduates have a robust plan for passing the AMFTRB exam and becoming licensed marriage and family therapists. Of our graduates to date, 20% of alumni have been accepted in to a doctoral degree program in Educational Leadership.

    Several pastoral counseling graduates have reported to us that they have passed the mental health national exam and have become Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC). 
    Employment and Achievement of Alumni

    Graduates of our program have gone on to work in various settings including private practice, director of social services, hospital counseling provider, university resident director, recovery program director, and faith-based counseling services. For example, one of our 2014 alumni serves as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate (LMFTA) in the K-12 school system.


    Students: Of our current students, 75% identify as female and 25% identify as male. Our students self identify as 2% American Indian, 10% Black, 13% Hispanic, 2% Multi-ethnic, 53% White, and 20% did not report ethnicity. Our students represent a variety of faith traditions as well as no faith traditions. 

    Faculty: Of our current clinical faculty (those teaching required courses excluding the theological credits), 64% identify as female and 36% identify as male. Our faculty self-report as: 14% Black, 29% Asian-American, 7% Hispanic, and 43% White.

    Supervisors: Of our current supervisors, 70% identify as female and 30% identify as male. Of our supervisors who report ethnicity, 10% self-identify as Asian, and 65% as Caucasian. 25% did not report ethnicity.

    Fees, Other Charges, and Refund Policies



    Total, based on Ideal, 3-Year Completion Schedule

    Application Fee






    81 Credits



    Annual Fees

    $50 x 3 (ideal schedule)


    Formation Requirements

    $80 x 3 + $0-$3,000 (personal therapy)



    Free (10 per term, $5 for e-delivery)


    Recreation Fees, per quarter

    $65-100, depending on # of credits per quarter x 11 quarters


    Technology Fee, per quarter

    $90-140, depending on # of credits per quarter x 11 quarters


    Fee, annual

    $450 x 3


    Books at SU’s Bookstore

    $2,550.00 (used) - $3,397.80        (new)


    ARMFTB Practice Exam



    Video Recorder for Clinical

    $100* (estimate)


    Approximate Total Program Cost


    $56,942 + *personal therapy


    University Link:

    For information on refunds, please see: