Medical Family Therapy Certificate

SPFC faculty
206-281-2091 and 800-601-0603 (toll free)
Marston Hall, first floor
SPFC graduate programs website


About the program

The medical field is developing integrated health care teams in medical settings to address the physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational needs of patients. Seattle Pacific University’s Medical Family Therapy (MDFT) Certificate program is opening doors in this emerging field, training professionals who can support individuals and families as they face and navigate illness and its implications.

Master’s level students and graduates with advanced training in medical family therapy can become a vital part of the collaborative health care team. Mental health providers can expand their scope of practice, learn how to collaborate, and enhance their marketing skills to healthcare providers and clergy. This is an ideal time to join the movement toward collaborative and integrated health care that focuses upon the needs of the whole person and family system.


SPU’s Medical Family Therapy Certificate program is geared to training biomedical, psychosocial, and spiritual providers to work in medical settings as a part of an integrated health care team.

  • State-certified/licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and social workers will be equipped to provide medical family therapy in out-patient medical clinics, in-patient hospital and hospice settings, and other clinics where health care is provided.
  • Physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals will be able to understand and effectively intervene in the psychological and spiritual implications of illness. Clergy will be equipped to provide medical family therapy as a spiritual provider when working with families facing illness.


You have two options in obtaining the Medical Family Therapy Certificate:

  • If you are already enrolled in the SPU Marriage and Family Therapy program, you may add 14 additional credits (6 seminar and 8 supervision) focused on medical family therapy to receive the certificate.
    • You can earn the certificate in Medical Family Therapy during or after completion of the MFT program. View specific MFT admissions information.
  • If you are a professional with a degree in Couple/Marriage and Family Therapy, you will need to complete all core MDFT courses (16 credits) to receive the certificate. Classes may be taken individually as well.
  • If you have received graduate training in social work, behavioral science, theology, nursing, or medicine, you will need to review your prior classes. Depending upon past coursework, additional credits may be needed (for instance, in couple therapy or family therapy).

For most students, the certificate can be completed over a two-year period. For specific admissions information for professional/post-grad students, visit our MDFT website for post-grad admissions.

Continuing education

Professionals looking to keep up-to-date with the latest information on specialized topics in medical family therapy may register to take MDFT classes as seminars for continuing education credits. We invite you to campus for the day to participate in a seminar and discussion, and we offer 5 hours of CEU credit per course at no additional cost.

For more information about individual seminars, or to register for a seminar, visit our Medical Family Therapy website.

Clinical practicum supervision and internship (12 mos.)

In the late summer or early fall after all your coursework is complete, you will be placed in a yearlong internship for 10 hours a week in an outpatient medical clinic. You will have a chance to discuss internship placement possibilities prior to placement.

Clinics specialties range from family medicine, oncology, rheumatology, women’s health, and other specialty medicine sites. You will work alongside physicians, nurses, and staff providing on-site psychosocial care. You will be actively involved in charting, consulting with the medical team, program development, and clinical treatment.

Clinic schedule will be determined in consideration of clinic need, space restrictions, and your availability. During the internship year, you will also be enrolled in the practicum with supervision course.

Admission information

  • Application deadline: July 1

This certificate program begins in Autumn Quarter and admits students once a year. For more detailed information on admission, and to apply online, visit Graduate Admissions.