Master of Science in Education - Family Life

This program prepares Family Life Educators with the critical skills and resources to assist families in effectively coping with life events and family transitions. Family Life Educators focus on healthy family functioning primarily through educational approaches. Concordia’s program integrates Biblical truths throughout coursework in order to give students a decidedly Christian perspective. Students learn to conduct family life education in a variety of settings to reduce the harmful effects society can have on individuals and families across the life span. A Master of Science in Education-Family Life requires a minimum of 36 credit hours of course work planned in consultation with and approved by the program director.  Students in the Family Life Education program must complete a total of 120 practicum hours. These practicum hours will be embedded within the coursework with a focus on designing positive family programming.

The Family Life Education program is in the process of applying to NCFR for Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. More information about the CFLE designation will be available as Concordia University works through this certification process. The Family Life Education program is not currently NCFR certified.

Program Learning Outcomes

Family Life Content Areas 

  • Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts - An understanding of families and their relationships to other institutions, such as the educational, governmental, religious, healthcare, and occupational institutions in society.

e.g., Structures and Functions; Cultural Variations (family heritage, social class, geography, ethnicity, race & religion); Dating, Courtship, Marital Choice; Kinship; Cross-Cultural and Minority (understanding of lifestyles of minority families and the lifestyles of families in various societies around the world); Changing Gender Roles (role expectations & behaviors of courtship partners, marital partners, parents & children, siblings, and extended kin); Demographic Trends; Historical Issues; Work/Leisure & Family Relationships; Societal Relations (reciprocal influence of the major social institutions and families, i.e., governmental, religious, educational, healthcare & economic).

  • Internal Dynamics of Families - An understanding of family strengths and weaknesses and how family members relate to each other.

e.g., Internal Social Processes (including cooperation & conflict); Communication (patterns & problems in husband-wife relationships and in parent-child relationships, including stress & conflict management); Conflict Management; Decision-making and Goal-setting; Normal Family Stresses (transition periods in the family life cycle, three-generation households, caring for the elderly, & dual careers); Family Stress & Crises (divorce, remarriage, death, economic uncertainty and hardship, violence, substance abuse); Special Needs in Families (including adoptive, foster, migrant, low income, military, and blended families as well as those members with chronic illness and/or disabilities).

  • Human Growth and Development across the Lifespan - An understanding of the developmental changes (both typical and atypical) of individuals in families throughout the lifespan. Based on knowledge of physical, emotional, cognitive, social, moral, and personality aspects.

e.g., Prenatal; Infancy; Early and Middle Childhood; Adolescence; Adulthood; Aging.

  • Human Sexuality - An understanding of the physiological, psychological, & social aspects of sexual development throughout the lifespan, so as to achieve healthy sexual adjustment.

e.g., Reproductive Physiology; Biological Determinants; Emotional and Psychological Aspects of Sexual Involvement; Sexual Behaviors; Sexual Values and Decision-Making; Family Planning; Physiological and Psychological Aspects of Sexual Response; Influence of Sexual Involvement on Interpersonal Relationships.

  • Interpersonal Relationships - An understanding of the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships.

                           e.g., Self and Others; Communication Skills (listening, empathy, self-disclosure, decision-making, problem-solving, & conflict resolution); Intimacy, Love,                                                         Romance; Relating to others with Respect, Sincerity, & Responsibility

  • Family Resource Management - An understanding of the decisions individuals and families make about developing and allocating resources including time, money, material assets, energy, friends, neighbors, and space, to meet their goals.

e.g., Goal Setting and Decision-Making; Development and Allocation of Resources; Social Environment Influences; Life Cycle and Family Structure Influences; Consumer Issues and Decisions.

  • #7.       Parent Education and Guidance - An understanding of how parents teach, guide and influence children and adolescents as well as the changing nature, dynamics and needs of the parent/child relationship across the lifespan.

e.g., Parenting Rights and Responsibilities; Parenting Practices/Processes; Parent/Child Relationships; Variation in Parenting Solutions; Changing Parenting Roles across the Lifespan.

  • #8.       Family Law and Public Policy - An understanding of legal issues, policies, and laws influencing the well-being of families.

e.g., Family and the Law (relating to marriage, divorce, family support, child custody, child protection & rights, & family planning); Family and Social Services; Family and Education; Family and the Economy; Family and Religion; Policy and the Family (public policy as it affects the family, including tax, civil rights, social security, economic support laws, & regulations.)

  • #9.       Professional Ethics and Practice - An understanding of the character and quality of human social conduct, and the ability to critically examine ethical questions and issues as they relate to professional practice

e.g., Formation of Social Attitudes and Values; Recognizing and Respecting the Diversity of Values and the Complexity of Value Choice in a Pluralistic Society; Examining Value Systems and Ideologies systematically and objectively; Social Consequences of Value Choices; Recognizing the Ethical Implications of Social and Technological Changes, Ethics of Professional Practice.

  • #10. Family Life Education Methodology - An understanding of the general philosophy and broad principles of family life education in conjunction with the ability to plan, implement, and evaluate such educational programs.

            e.g., Planning and Implementing; Evaluation (materials, student progress, & program effectiveness); Education Techniques; Sensitivity to Others (to enhance educational                    effectiveness); Sensitivity to Community Concerns and Values (understanding of the public relations process).

                -taken from the NCFR CFLE content area requirements


Completion of 36 credits is required in order to receive a Master of Science in Education-Family Life.

Required Courses
COUN 592Professional Ethics3
COUN 584Human Development3
EFL 526American Family Today3
EFL 580Family Resource Management3
EFL 515Family Life Research Methods3
EFL 569Contemporary Issues of Family and Parenting3
EFL 530Marriage & Family Relations3
EFL 540Human Sexuality3
EFL 550Family Law and Public Policy3
EFL 560Curriculum and Methods in Family Life Education3
EFL 595Capstone - Family Life Practicum3
COUN 593Individual Counseling3
or COUN 594 Group Counseling
Total Hours36

Note that 120 hours of practicum hours are embedded within various courses.