FAM Intensive Seminar – 2021

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. This December we get together for 9 days of face-to-face lectures and interaction, preceded by online tools & resources to prime you for this Intensive.


This advanced seminar is part of the full Advanced Family Studies. In this intensive we dive deeper into these topics:

  • Coaching – using Motivational Interviewing techniques
  • Gender & Sexuality

Dates & Location

The seminar runs from 1-9 December 2021 at YWAM Heidebeek in the Netherlands. Arrival is November 30, closing and departure is on December 10th.


The full package costs €650, this includes:

  • all course materials and seminar participation,
  • accommodation & food, arriving 30 Nov, departing Dec 10.
  • access to the online module containing videos, reading and assignments for both the Motivational Interviewing and the Gender Issues topics.

It excludes airport transfers and the optional registration for credit (see below).

Alternative prices:

  • Standard package (Seminar + full board) for €500 (or 50/day)
  • Budget Seminar package (attendance only) for €250 (or 25/day)


Since this is part of our full 12-credit Advanced Family Studies (AFS) course you could get 3 UofN credits when participating in both the online preparatory module and the 9-day intensive. The credits are earned through the UofN Extension Studies center and can be used to complete the full AFS online, which in turn can contribute to the BA degree in Family Studies. Registration for credit is at an extra cost (€15) and subject to satisfactory completion of the course work.

AFS Module 9 – 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.

AFS Module 8 – 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.

Module Manual

You can download your manual for this module here.


  • 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).

AFS module 7 – Theology of Marriage

All of us have ideas about marriage that are shaped by our cultures and church culture. Can we find how the Bible uses this terminology and understand some of the concepts and practices that were surrounding marriage at the times these texts were written? This is the challenge we face as we re-interpret ideas and terms from Bible times into our daily experience. One of the exercises will ask you to identify differences in biblical and real-time culture.

As a reference text we will use a book by Ernest D. Martin. There are many books written on marriage from biblical perspective. Martin systematically unpacks the vocabulary used in the texts and contextualises it. You may find this book challenging and decide not to explore all of the chapters immediately. It is far better to work carefully through a few concepts rather than trying to read everything without grasping the ideas.

Finally, so as to broaden your reading a little more, you will dig into one of the chapters of Covey’s book. You can choose how you present your summary of these ideas, either in written form or by producing a short video.

The content of this module is based around a couple of authors, so clearly we will not have direct content with the teacher. We will take advantage of student interactivity and shared reflections to cover the required material.

AFS Module 6 – Parenting

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 course 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.

Start this module by going to the first lesson.

AFS Module 5 – Family Dysfunction

During this course Erik Spruyt will draw on his experience of crisis and trauma debriefing to create a Christ centred approach to healing. This is a model that has been used extensively by Le Rucher Ministries, a centre for trauma recovery in France that Erik has pioneered. This is a Christian approach to the areas of stress and trauma, using Biblical processes and an understanding of the spiritual world as a basis for action.

The presentation of the material is primarily through short lectures followed by discussion questions that will be used in breakout groups. There are other reading resources to be studied, and some written work to pull together the ideas gained in a practical way.
To facilitate a broader approach to the the question of families and the effects on individuals we will refer to the book Families and how to survive them.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the principle ways trauma deviates from God’s original plan
  • Identify and understand the basic behavioural and neurological trauma reactions
  • Exploring a holistic approach through “The exchange at the Cross”, from Le Rucher Ministries
  • Observing how to link these concepts to current marriage and family difficulties

Start this module by going to the first lesson.

AFS Module 4 – Coaching, Sexuality & Gender

This module consists of 2 distinct parts, which will prepare you for the intensive modules later in the school.

  1. Coaching
  2. Sexuality & Gender

These two so called half modules are worth half a credit each. The intensive will feature both these topics again, to go deeper and to go into application, for 1 credit each. See the overview of modules and credits in Module 1.


This part of the module teaches you some basic coaching principles, to lay the foundation for the intensive module on Coaching. This topic consists of 1.5 credit and is divided into a primary half module, exposing the student to the literature and principles associated with Motivational Interviewing. The second part (1 credit) will be accomplished during the intensive part of the course and significant emphasis will be given at this stage to practical application of the theoretical model.

Learning outcomes for part 1:

  • Familiarisation with the theory of MI (Motivational Interviewing)
  • Evaluating the application of the MI model in real situations
  • Identifying the learning needs to practice MI competently

Sexuality & Gender

This part of the module has as purpose/outcome to gain a basic biblical understanding to use as a framework for looking at and describing Gender development and analysing Gender ideologies. We will use this framework as a starting point for our Intensive module on this same topic.

Start this module by going to the first Lesson.

AFS Module 2 – Genograms

Welcome to the Genogram module. The purpose of this course is to provide the necessary information on genograms and to aim to equip every student to use genograms for counseling and research.

In a person’s life, there is no more significant shaping influence than the family that raised them. Family influence builds patterns of behavior, even when they are hidden. This influence appears from generation to generation and can often be neglected, but creating a genogram helps an individual understand other family members, and most importantly, themselves.

A genogram is similar to a family tree or a genealogy chart. The most significant difference is that a genogram includes not just demographic information about family members, but also information that helps you understand relationships, critical events in the family history, and major life-cycle transitions. The genogram can show how family members’ relationships and values are created through their interaction with others. Every single person will have a genogram that is unique since their values and experience with others will differ.

AFS Module 3 – Family of Origin

This module refreshes the student in their understanding of the Bowen Family Systems-Family of Origin’s 8 concepts & the Genogram model. This review of the Knowledge & Understanding of the interrelationship of the concepts of these two models to the dynamics of family life, together with the students working knowledge & skill of the Genogram model will be demonstrated by the completion a 3-generational Genogram on the family of King David (Solomon,David,Children) from the Old Testament.

This means that the student must use critical thinking for integration of the Bowen Model & the Genogram model. This integration requires that the student understands the interrelationship of the 8 concepts and be able to explain the family life dynamics of King David’s family.

To start this module go to the first lesson.

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.