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 :

  • Genograms & Family Systems
  • Motivational interviewing coaching skills
  • Parenting
  • Sexuality & Gender
  • Contemporary Family & Marriage issues
  • Theology of marriage
  • Dysfunction, stress and trauma in families
  • 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. The intensive is planned to run each year. 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 ever 5 or 6 weeks. You can choose to do 9 or 11 online credits, plus 3 credits during the intensive.

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 8 students will be needed to start a language group.

EXTENSION STUDY CREDITS & DEGREE

This school will be registered as 12 – 14 credits with the Family Resource Centre of 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 and a practicum, 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, so we can discuss the requirements.

COST

The online tuition fee for the AFS is 490** euros . This excludes costs for books (usually available as e-books) and other resources and includes access to the online modules and UofN registration for the credits.
The intensive (planned for November 2023) is estimated at 650** euros, including accommodation and meals (the final price will depend the location, cohorts may be able to participate in an intensive locally).

** Prices may vary depending your location and the courses taken.

APPLICATION

Via this form you can indicate your interest, request a registration form and ask further questions.

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

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.

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).

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 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.

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.

Coaching

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

The purpose of the genogram module is to provide the necessary information to equip every student to use genograms for counseling and research. An analytical process is taught, enabling the student to read and interpret important information.

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. 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 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. Students are expected to have a basic understanding of genogram construction.

AFS Module 3 – Family of Origin

This module refreshes and deepens the student in their understanding of the Bowen Family Systems-Family of Origin’s eight concepts and a basic understanding of the Genogram. The interrelationship of the concepts of these two models as applied to the dynamics of family life can be demonstrated with a 3-generational Genogram on the family of King David (Solomon, David, Children) from the Old Testament.

The student must use critical thinking for integration of the Bowen Model and the Genogram model. This integration requires that the student understands the interrelationship of the eight concepts. Students will learn to apply a systems approach to analysing families, and use this to highlight areas that block as well as possible solutions for growth and development.

To start this module go to the first lesson.