Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees in Arkansas

If you have received the calling to treat cognitive, behavioral, emotional, physical, or familial problems to improve the quality of relationships, then you should keep in mind the two top-notch marriage and family counseling degrees in Arkansas to help reach these goals. Like many other areas in the South, Arkansas suffers from being one of the least healthy states in the United States due to its high obesity rate, rising smoking prevalence, lack of physical activity, low insurance coverage, and limited availability of healthcare professionals. In fact, Arkansas has been recognized for having the second highest child poverty rate in the nation with over 25% of Arkansan youth living below the poverty line. As a result, there is a strong demand for the “Land of Opportunity” to hire licensed marriage and family therapists for working with vulnerable families across the state. Read on to learn about the two accredited master’s degrees that can help you fulfill the requirements needed to receive MFT licensure within Arkansas.

Harding University

College of Bible & Ministry

Located on a beautiful 350-acre suburban campus in Searcy at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains within just 50 miles northeast of the state’s capital in Little Rock, Harding University is a nationally recognized private co-educational Christian liberal arts institution associated with the Church of Christ. As home to more than 6,100 students, Harding is currently ranked as the 22nd best regional college and the 2nd top value school in the South by the U.S. News and World Report. With accreditation through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the College of Bible & Ministry is dedicated to providing specialized instruction for students seeking to understand, love, share, and serve God’s world for enhanced spiritual well-being.

M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy

Founded over two decades ago, the M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy program is designed to provide high-quality therapy training for preparing qualified graduate students for professional service in churches, private practices, mental health centers, hospitals, community clinics, and various other psychotherapeutic settings. Deeply rooted in the spiritual tenants of God’s word, the program forms a strong value-oriented foundation for practicing therapy from a systemic perspective to positively impact both individual and family systems. Within the 60-credit curriculum, students will be exposed to the most common problems related to family dynamics, including domestic violence, sexual abuse, substance addiction, and divorce. Students will also be responsible for acquiring a minimum of 500 face-to-face client contact hours with couples and families to build the experience needed for a marriage and family therapy license.


Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)


915 East Market Avenue
Searcy, AR 72143
(501) 279-4347

John Brown University

The Graduate School

Initially founded in 1919 as a comprehensive four-year private interdenominational Christian liberal arts institution, John Brown University is situated on a 200-acre rural campus in the small town of Siloam Springs within Cherokee Nation territory in northwestern Arkansas. Serving a close-knit community of just over 2,100 students, JBU is currently ranked as the 1st best regional college, 3rd top value school, and 3rd best up-and-coming university in the South by the U.S. News and World Report. Within the Graduate School, professionals have the option to enhance both their knowledge and their spiritual faith by choosing from a broad array of advanced master’s degree options, including clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, school counseling, and play therapy.

Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy

Aligned to adhere to the national standards of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program at JBU follows an intensive 64-credit curriculum to prepare qualified graduate students for pursuing state licensure as a marriage and family therapist in Arkansas. Students will be required to take advanced coursework covering topics in human development, counseling theory, case management, diagnosis, family systems, marital therapy, family sexuality, relationship assessment, psychopharmacology, statistics, and Christian counseling with two semesters of professional internship experience. In addition to pursuing the degree on-campus at the Siloam Springs, Fort Smith, Little Rock, or Rogers campuses, students have the ability to complete many major courses online from anywhere with an Internet connection for added flexibility.


Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (NCA)


2000 West University Street
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
(479) 524-9500

Now that our nation’s Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance carriers cover the costs of mental health counseling on par with other medical coverage, there is expected to be a rising demand for marriage and family therapists to provide therapeutic services to address relational issues with individuals, couples, and families. As a matter of fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of marriage and family therapist will grow a whopping 31% over the next decade, which is considerably faster than other mental health fields. Therefore, it is an excellent time to stand looking at the marriage and family counseling degrees in Arkansas to receive the training needed for joining this in-demand profession and truly affecting people’s lives in a positive way.

Another useful resource:

Top 10 Best Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Programs