Advanced Family Studies Online

Are you ministering to families regularly? Have you done prior training* and want to deepen your knowledge & skills to work effectively with Families, yet you can’t leave your ministry for 3-5 months to do a University of the Nations school?

* If you have completed a YWAM DTS and a Foundations in Family Studies course or an FMS, then you qualify. If you have only completed a YWAM DTS and now have experience working with families and couples, you may also qualify to join. Please ask.
If you have not studied Family Systems or Genograms, you will be able to take two short courses as a prerequisite before starting the program.

TOPICS

In the Online Advanced Family Studies (AFS) you will take your skills to the next level :

  1. Advanced Genograms
  2. Advanced Family Systems
  3. Motivational interviewing coaching skills
  4. Parenting
  5. Sexuality and Gender
  6. Contemporary Family & Marriage issues
  7. Theology of marriage
  8. Dysfunction, stress and trauma in families
  9. Developing culturally appropriate courses

…and you will do this mostly from your home! All you need is a computer and a good internet connection!

ONLINE & INTENSIVES

This school will be run mostly online, ending with an on-site intensive. The online modules will run in a cohort, meaning that we work through each module connected to a group of students. This program is essentially on-line, but you benefit from a personal 1-on-1 tutor, group discussions with each module, individual feedback on your assignments, and regular contact with other students through student trios and group “coffee times”.

The intensive is planned to run each year. We get together for 2 weeks and go deep on 2 topics: Motivational Interviewing and Sexuality & Gender. We will announce the date & location as the online school starts. Last time it ran in November at YWAM Burtigny, Switzerland. See this page as reference and for more info.

The online modules will take place over the course of 14 months and require self-study, online teaching and Zoom (small) group meetings. These require about 25 hours (5 – 6 hours a week) each and will become available every 5 or 6 weeks. You can do 8-10 credits online, plus 3 credits during the intensive (a total of 11 credits is the minimum to be considered as a full AFS).

LANGUAGE OPTIONS

The Course material & lectures are offered in English. Depending students and staff there will be language groups, so you can do the processing and written work also in, for example, Korean, French or Portuguese. A minimum of 6 students is required to start a language cohort.

EXTENSION STUDY CREDITS & DEGREE

This school will be registered as 11 – 13 credits through the College of Family Studies (with Extension Studies) in the UofN. All modules combined may count towards the third level AFS school (FAM 351), building upon the existing Foundation for Family Studies. We expect you will do outreach or modular application, details to be confirmed with the school leader. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in Family Studies, please indicate this when registering for this school. If you like, we can discuss the requirements.

COST

The online tuition fee for the AFS is 790** euros (exchange). This excludes costs for books (usually available as e-books at a minimal cost). It does include access to the online modules (as long as your work and attendance is up to date) and of course credit registration with the UofN. The 2-week intensive (planned during the school) is estimated at 850** euros (Europe), including accommodation and meals (the final price will depend the location, cohorts may be able to participate in an intensive locally).

We offer a scholarships as a partial discount for category B/C nations. We also offer an additional discount on your tuition for each student you refer to us. Contact us for details and conditions. You may also pay per module in advance, as we go through the course, however keep in mind that there is a cost for each international money transfer.

** Prices may vary depending your location and the modules taken. A non-refundable registration fee of €27 is included.

APPLICATION

Via this form you can indicate your interest and ask further questions.

To apply go here.

Click on the module content below to find out more about each topic.

AFS Module 8 – Parenting & Attachment

There is hardly a job more common, yet so difficult to get right, than parenting. In one way or another we are all affected by (the lack of) parenting in our lives. As hard as it is to do it well, it is even harder to teach others to do this well. Parenting instruction easily becomes biased, or seen through a cultural lens.

This module will begin by exploring and evaluating a variety of lenses and cultural bias, each of which have led to different parenting styles and disciplines. 

We will then present a framework for parenting from one particular viewpoint (the Developmental Approach). This particular methodology will give students the opportunity to develop an understanding and culturally appropriate interpretation to parenting in various contexts, while remaining congruent with biblical values. By comparing other approaches (based on other methodologies), students can develop their capacity to communicate their values and chosen approach to parents.

The premise of this material is to teach students “how to see”, rather than give them instructions as to “what to do”. The student can then evaluate their ability to ask questions so as “to see” the child in the process of maturation. There will be several opportunities (via group discussion) for students to engage and respond with their observations. 

You will find exercise questions for each video session. The best way to work with these is to read the questions before watching the video, and then make notes as you go. These can then be tidied up as succinct answers to the questions.

FAM Advanced Seminar – 2025

How do we effectively work with today’s young generation? How can we answer their purpose & identity questions? How do we motivate them for a lifetime of missions with a healthy family identity?

These are some of the questions we, as colleagues with a mission, wrestle with during this FAM intensive seminar. In this time we get together for 10 days of face-to-face lectures and interaction, preceded by online tools & resources to prime you for this Intensive.

Topics

This advanced seminar is part of the full Advanced Family Studies, but you can choose to join 1 or 2 of these weeks. In this intensive we dive deeper into these topics:

  • Week 1: Gender & Sexuality
  • Week 2: Coaching – using Motivational Interviewing techniques

Dates & Location

The intensive runs from [dates to be announced] in [location to be announced].
We start with dinner on the evening of [date], departure is from the morning of [day + date].

Cost

The full package costs €850*, this includes:

  • all course materials and seminar participation,
  • accommodation & food, arriving …, departing …
  • access to the online module containing videos, reading and assignments for both the Motivational Interviewing and the Gender Issues topics.

* This depends on the location and excludes airport transfers.

Alternative prices:

  • Standard package (Seminar + full board, excl. online content & credits) for €695
    Attending 1 of the 2 topics is €375.
  • Budget Seminar package (Seminar only, no accommodation) for €350
    Attending 1 of the 2 topics is €195.

Credits

Since this is part of our full 12-credit Advanced Family Studies (AFS) course you can earn up to 3 UofN credits when participating in both the online preparatory module and the 10-day intensive. These credits are earned through the College of Family Studies and can be used to complete the full AFS online, which in turn can contribute to the BA degree in Family Studies. AFS online students who are presenting their Capstone also earn 3 credits.

AFS – Before you begin

To participate effectively in the AFS you must have some minimum internet and computer skills .

If you are already fluent in these areas, this short aptitude module will take you no time at all to complete. However, if you discover that there are areas you struggle with, this is the perfect time to quickly gain the necessary skills. You will be glad you did!

You will be asked to use Zoom, create and upload documents, access the Facebook site, use email and Whatsapp, and navigate the course website (which you are now visiting to read this page).

Once you have completed this module, you are ready to go for the AFS online! We are looking forward to having you as part of the group.

Click on the first module below to get started!

Outreach and Application Module

How can you obtain recognition of the application of the material learnt during the study phase? Going on outreach for three months may not be an option for you. Here is a plan for your Application module that would allow you to provide evidence of your ministry and file for the appropriate credits.

The Outreach and Application module is worth 1 credit for every 50 hours of module work, including the teamwork, prayer, planning and evaluation. This could be accomplished in a week, or take up to 6 months to complete. You may want to accomplish this while you are learning in the FFS or AFS (very helpful) or complete it afterwards. As most students are already in ministry situations, this alternative is highly recommended. You are simply documenting the ministry you are already involved in that is appropriate for the FFS and AFS modules.

Students must submit for approval a plan before embarking on the work. The objective is to allow students to design application modules that fit well with their current ministry experience. To meet the requirements for a field assignment, at least 8 credits are necessary.

You can download this document here.

This process is currently under evaluation. There should be no reason that appropriate credits can be attributed if the application is carried out as specified; however, as with all credits currently going through the extension study accreditation scheme, this would need to be approved with an academic degree advisor.

AFS – Personal Development Module

We don’t just want to get head knowledge and understanding, we hope this school also brings transformation. To keep track of our goals for growth we have created this module for personal development.

This module runs in the background during your full online program.

AFS Module 11 – Personality profile & Contemporary Marriage Issues

During this module we will be dealing with two different topics. You may want to work on them in parallel. Much of the teaching material for the personality aspect will be contained in short videos.

Personality Profile

You will learn how to administer and interpret a basic personality profile for individuals and couples. Not every student will be coming from the same starting point, and this course is designed for those who will be teaching and using this material. However, if you have not had any background in personality approaches during your previous schools or seminars, the full basic material is available for you to work through.

Personality as a diagnostic approach fits well with the systemic and genogram approach to families, and helps explain why different family members assume certain roles and interactive behaviours. 

Contemporary Marriage Issues

In the second part of the module we will open a chapter on current approaches and definitions of marriage & family structure in a post-modern society. You have already begun to deal with these ideas in the module on theology and contemporary comparisons.

When faced with a particular culture in its current context we do need to understand the reasons why these current trends exist and competently articulate our beliefs about family. You will realise that this is particularly a worldview approach.

In most nations we are experiencing a post-modern societal impact on today’s family: The 7 spheres of society affect the family with various non-Biblical viewpoints, and sorting this out is not as straightforward as it seems. So if you end up with more questions than answers you can still consider this a success. We will try to examine issues from a biblical perspective and deal with difficult texts.

You can consult the timetable here

AFS Module 10 – Designing Culturally Appropriate Courses

During your training in the Family Ministries School, Foundations for Family Studies or Advanced Family Studies, you have gained a lot of valuable knowledge. But how useful is this knowledge when it doesn’t get out to the families and communities you are working with?

In this module we want to give you practical tools to share what you have learned with your audience.

There are many different ways to do that. Sometimes it’s a once-off moment. You have a speaking engagement for a bigger group or you share in a one-on-one conversation. Other times you want to teach your audience a bigger concept. Then it’s very useful to know how to create a course that is well suited for your audience.

Creating a course can be difficult. It can feel overwhelming. You know what you want to teach and the transformation you want to see, but how do you put a course together?

The reason this module is part of the AFS is because we want to encourage you to create courses that will transform your communities.

At the end of this module you will have created a course appropriate for the cultural setting you are in and you will help countless families transform.

We will walk you through, step by step. Let’s begin.

You can consult the timetable here

Module Manual

You can download your manual for this module here.

Prerequisites

  • You have knowledge about the topic you want to teach on.
  • You have had some experience with teaching already i.e., FMS / Outreaches / Ministry opportunities
  • You know the basic differences in culture (as described in Foreign to Familiar by Sarah. A. Lanier).