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Master in Family Ministry and Counseling (M-FMC)

This program is jointly offered by LST and the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM). With a base in theology, this program looks to the formation of priests, religious, and lay collaborators who would dedicate themselves to family ministry, with a priority given to counseling and psycho-spiritual integration. This concentration would take the advantage of equipping the students with a more intensive exposure to the skills needed in their ministry.


To get accepted to the Professional Master program in Family Ministry and Counseling, applicants must have a government-recognized (civil) bachelor’s degree with at least 12 units of undergraduate (college) theology courses. Moreover, they must have attained at least a general undergraduate average of B (2.5 or 85) with no grade of “failure” or “condition”.


This program requires at least four semesters of course work in which the student must complete successfully fifteen (15) master’s level courses. The fifteen courses must belong to the following categories:

Foundation Courses (15 units): The five core courses: [1] Revelation-Faith (3 units); [2] Christology (3 units); [3] Ecclesiology (3 units); [4] Fundamental Moral Theology (3 units); and [5] Christian Worship (3 units).

Professional Courses (21 units): The following concentration courses are required in this program:

  1. Pastoral Psychology and Counseling
  2. Marital/Premarital Dynamics and Counseling: A Psycho-Spiritual Approach
  3. Family Dynamics and Counseling Approaches
  4. Assessment and Initial Intervention of Individual and Relationship Disorders
  5. Family Spirituality and Sexual Ethics
  6. Marital and Family Counseling Practicum
  7. Family Spirituality Practicum

Electives (9 units): With the seven required professional courses, it is necessary for the student to take only three (3) elective courses. These courses are chosen from outside the student’s area of concentration. Courses in excess of the minimum requirements under Professional Courses may count as electives.


After completing his/her course work and the Capstone Project or Integrating Paper, the student must pass a two-part comprehensive examination. The student must be registered with the Ateneo de Manila University to take the comprehensive examination. One cannot register for comprehensive examination while still on course work or still have an incomplete grade (INC) in his/her course work.

The comprehensive examinations are scheduled once each semester and in the Intersession. Students who cannot take the comprehensive examination during the regular schedule must wait until the next examination period. Those who cannot complete the two parts of the examination at the schedule must repeat the entire comprehensive at the next examination period.

The two-part examination is given on two successive weeks. Part I, which is an oral examination29 before a panel of three examiners, covers the foundation courses (Revelation-Faith; Christology; Ecclesiology; Fundamental Moral Theology; and Christian Worship).

The student will be examined on a set of twelve (12) thesis statements covering the five (5) founda-tion courses. Questions from the panel of professors will deal with both theological content and pastoral/practical application. Two (2) working days before the scheduled oral exam, the student will be informed of the composition of the panel of professors. At the oral exam itself, each of the three (3) professors will have fifteen (15) minutes to ask questions, for a maximum of forty-five (45) minutes of examination. Each professor will give his/her mark for the student’s overall performance.

Part II, a written examination usually held on the succeeding Saturday, covers the courses the student has taken in his/her area of concentration.

The two parts of the exams are graded separately. In case of failure, a student is allowed to retake the exam only once. Passing the retake exam raises the mark only up to the passing grade of B or 2.5. A student who fails the retake exam is automatically dropped from the program. In retake comprehen-sive examinations, only the parts failed need to be repeated.

An MA/Master Synthesis course is offered every semester which serves as a review course for Part I of the examination and as a general orientation for students taking the comprehensive examination.

The review matter for the comprehensive examination is distributed on a designated date after the opening of classes on the semester of the examination.

The STB dogma comprehensive examination may serve as the MA/Master comprehensive examination for students taking both STB and MPAM programs simultaneously. In this case, the student must be registered with both LST and the Ateneo to be able to take the comprehensive exam.


After completing his/her course work and passing the comprehensive examination, the student prepares and submits a Capstone Project or Integrating Paper. Students enrolled in the professional masters programs must consult the VPAA for details of this requirement.

M-FMC students may select to do one of two types of Capstone Projects – a Family Ministry Project or a Family Counseling Project. The MFMC Capstone Project integrates the student’s classroom learning, academic and field research, and community service into a culminating undertaking that represents the student’s transition to professional ministry. Through their Capstone Project, students make a unique contribution to the field of Family Ministry and Counseling which is culturally appropriate for and responsive to the needs of their Project’s target community.

Both types of projects have these components: Participation in the two-semester Growth Group Process conducted by RMT-Cefam. Consists of one Major Paper and one Report on a Pastoral Project with an overall Introduction and integrative Conclusion.

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Loyola School of Theology