Fuller Seminary will rename the School of Psychology to the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy, effective July 1. This new moniker recognizes the distinct health services degrees offered by Fuller Seminary: PsyD in Clinical Psychology, PhD in Clinical Psychology, and MS in Marriage and Family Therapy.
“Marriage and family therapy is a unique discipline with its own history, guilds, training, and disciplines,” said Ted Cosse, dean of SOPMFT. “This is also true for clinical psychology. Changing the name of our school recognizes and honors the unique contributions and identities of both of these programs.”
During a time of uncertainty in our world and contraction in many industries, Fuller is seeing unprecedented growth in our MFT programs as evidenced by the largest cohort of new students expected for the Fall 2020 quarter in both Pasadena and Phoenix. This growth can be attributed to the MFT department’s vision to become the strongest clinical training program in the field, with a deep commitment to formation at its core. Furthermore, new efforts to prioritize flexibility, diversity, cost-effectiveness, and relevance are yielding positive results.
“Names imbue meaning and reflect one’s identity,” said Miyoung Yoon Hammer, chair of the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy. “Thus, the decision to modify our school name to include Marriage and Family Therapy is an affirmation of our robust presence on the Pasadena and Phoenix campuses and our dynamic contribution to Fuller, the church, and the mental health field.”
Fuller’s clinical psychology and MFT programs are unique among theological graduate education and foster the institution’s distinct commitment to integration across disciplines. Fuller’s School of Psychology was established in 1964 with the opening of the Pasadena Community Counseling Center as its first phase, followed in 1965 with the school’s first class of 29 students and the inaugural deanship of Lee Edward Travis. In 1972 the American Psychological Association granted approval to the school’s clinical PhD program, making it the first seminary-based graduate school of psychology to be accredited by the APA. Fuller’s psychology program expanded further with the addition of a second doctoral degree, the PsyD in Clinical Psychology, in 1987, coupled with the move of the Marriage and Family Therapy master’s program from the School of Theology to the School of Psychology. Another significant step came in 1991 with the establishment of the Lee Edward Travis Institute, a distinctive research unit within the school that brought together faculty, students, and other collaborators to explore topics across the behavioral sciences spectrum.
Amos Yong, chief academic officer, remarked on the name change: “This new name, the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy, highlights our commitment not only to scholarship but also to the formation of practitioners—therapists and assessment professionals in particular—that has long been a hallmark of SOPMFT faculty and their work.”