Pre-AFS – Family Systems Introduction

Pre-AFS introduction

This brief introduction is presented by Peter Thomas. You will need to have basic understanding of the Genogram to follow the content. Your understanding of these ideas will prepare you to work with the AFS module on Family Systems Theory. There is also a written summary, extracted from a manual written by Dr Bruce Litchfield. You are expected to be familiar with the terms Bowen theory uses and be able to apply these to the basic Genogram model.

Pre-AFS – Genogram introduction

During this module we will be looking at the basic Genogram in short videos. Trond Saethren takes us through the content that is part of the FFS, and which you will need to be familiar with before taking the AFS module on the Genogram.


The realisation and analysis of a Genogram is linked to the understanding of Family Systems (Bowen theory). In this section you will be introduced to the basic structure, symbols and purpose of a Genogram. You should be able to draw an analytical Genogram of your own family system and use this as a basis for exploring other family systems.

Foundations for Family Life Online – Worldview

This course is designed to look at family and marriage from God’s perspective.  Our purpose is to help you to understand God’s intentions for the family and to discover the biblical principles of marriage and family life.  We want you to understand some of the important issues of a good marriage and a healthy family.  Our prayer is that your own marriage and family will be strengthened as you go through this course and that you will then be more equipped to strengthen and help other families.   

Do you have a desire to learn more about Family Life and how to work with Families? Did you do a Family Ministries School (FMS) and now you want to do the AFS (online)? These FFL modules are meant to bring you up to speed on 3 the main topics of the Foundations for Family Studies (FFS):

  • Family of Origin (including Bowen Family Systems & Genograms)
  • Biblical view of Family (covered in this course)

In order for you to get most out of the online Advanced Family Studies it is strongly advised to go over these topics first. Even if you did the FMS (or FFS more than a year ago) we still encourage you to revisit this to refresh your understanding on these topics. These 3 topics are the core of the FFS that we build on with the (online) AFS.

This module including its assignments will help you if you are pursuing a degree in Family Studies with the UofN and have completed the FMS (not FFS).

P.S. This content of this module was taken from Larry Ballard’s teaching on Family Life. It was originally written for the Chinese culture, but it can be used to help individuals & families in all cultures. If you desire to teach this material in another culture feel free to change the content to reflect the culture in which you serve. “My copyright is your right to copy.” Permission is granted to use this material for educational and noncommercial purposes.