M.S. in Family Life


If you have a passion for helping create healthy families and sustainable relationships, Concordia University, Nebraska’s Master of Science in Family Life online degree program is right for you.

Educators, social workers, church workers, and other professionals find our M.S. in Family Life program’s approach to issues facing families – including divorce, remarriage, single parenthood, adolescent and elder life changes, and abuse and sexuality concerns – offers effective, supportive, and morally-based solutions to complex issues, while also offering greater career satisfaction and recognition.

Our online degree program allows graduates to direct family life education programs, but as a candidate you can also immediately apply what you learn in class to your job. The Family Life M.S. program provides you with the clinical and academic background to more effectively encourage and promote personal development, healthy relations, and parent education.

An optional National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) practicum gives Family Life graduate candidates the opportunity for certification that might be required or desired for additional professional career enhancement.

The Next Cohort Start Date is June 29th

M.S. in Family Life Program Goals

In addition to meeting all the objectives and requirements for the M.S. in Family Life online degree program, successful candidates will also demonstrate skills and abilities including but not limited to:

  • Innovative ways to help children and adults continue learning throughout their lives
  • Effective problem-solving of current family issues and prevention of family problems before they occur
  • Expanded personal-professional critical thinking, reflection, and application competencies
  • Heightened interaction skills, a caring capacity, and spiritual nurturance for personal-professional intervention and prevention areas of family and aging education

Course Descriptions

M.S. in Family Life Program Course Descriptions

Concordia University, Nebraska’s Master of Science in Family Life is a 36 credit-hour* online degree program.

Family Life
36 credits
FL 555 (3)
Lifespan Development
A study of the development of changes of the person through the individual and family life cycle. Each stage of the cycle will consider physical development, including body changes and motor skills; cognitive development, including thought and language; psycho-social development, including emotions, personality and relationships with other people; spiritual development, including spiritual formation and implications for family life ministry.
FL 543 (3)
Theory and Dynamics of Family Relations
A study of the theological framework of the family and family relations. An examination of contemporary theories used in family analysis and a study of social, psychological and spiritual influences on family interaction, with special emphasis on how intra-family processes and familial interaction in the social milieu are related to personal and family functioning.
FL 545 (3)
Marriage and Family Relationships
A study of the foundation of marriage and family within the framework of Christian theology and praxis. Includes the history of marriage and family, contributions to and development of the field in divorce prevention, remarriage, divorce recovery; current theories and approaches to marriage and family.
FL 546 (3)
Family Dysfunctions-Crisis Intervention
Covers the etiology and interventions of emotional and behavioral dysfunctions from a family systems perspective and a Christian theological framework. Provides community counselors with assessment intervention tools designed to help professionals in topical areas to gambling, chemical, Internet addictions, anger management and other abuses found in family and community networks.
FL 528 (3)
Parent Education
Examines lifespan faith and moral development of children and parents; characteristics, types, styles and forces that shape parenting practices and processes; development and dynamics of life-span relationships; changing family contexts; programs/services, training and delivery systems; and the impact of cultural-religious norms and family policies upon families.
FL 583 (3)
Sexuality and the Family
This course develops a Christian lifespan approach to healthy sexuality; focusing on attachment theory, dating, mate selection, marriage and family development. Sexual attitudes, values and belief systems, and responsible behaviors within the church, community and larger society are identified. Lifespan curricula and models are examined.
FL 560 (3)
Professional Ethics
This course will examine issues of personal morality and faith. The course begins with a brief introduction to theological ethics, and then moves to practical issues in personal morality, which will be discussed in relation to family, and society. The course will address issues such as marriage and commitment, homosexuality, abortion, end of life issues and the development of faith and virtue. Attention will be given to how one's theological commitments transform secular moral problems and their solutions.
FL 540 (3)
Family Resource Management
This course is a study of the effective management of family resources that relate to lifespan family and individual goals. Values, attitudes, goals and resources are reviewed in light of a biblical foundation, management theories, concepts and principles and communication skills. Management of family time, work, stress, finances, consumerism and the environment provide a knowledge base and decision-making skills for planning, implementing and evaluating change for lifespan decision-making.
FL 547 (3)
Family Law and Public Policy
Basic foundations and knowledge base of family law are studied. Students review their family state laws regarding legal rights of marriage-dissolution, children, family support, child custody, protection, public policies and implications for the church and school.
FL 575 (3)
Volunteer Work with Families and Individuals in Society
Many organizations have a volunteer base that provides support for the organization. The quality of support received from volunteers will be based upon how the staff works with and utilizes the volunteers. Many times organizations determine how they are going to recruit volunteers and do not continue to plan for successful volunteer engagement. The relationship between the organization and the volunteer is crucial. This course will help the learner identify the many aspects organizations must consider when utilizing volunteers.
FL 544 (3)
Lifespan Family Education
This course reviews the nature of lifespan family life education in the community, workplace and church. Students become familiar with professional and faith perspectives related to the foundation and practice of major lifespan family areas. Personal and professional family life assumptions and values are examined. Immediate course applicability is possible through pre- and post-work.
FL 585 (3)
Families & Individuals in Society
This course is a study of various models and strategies useful for initiating and sustaining family ministry as a lifelong process in the context of the home and local congregation. Emphasis is placed on theology and philosophy of family ministry, currents in family change, families in ministry, family life programmatic areas, and curricula for family life educational ministry and skill development.

National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Certification Requirements
3 credits
FL 597 (3)
Practicum for National Council on Family Relations Certification
Required course for NCFR certification as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). Complete a 125-hour practicum. Students will document their hours and write a summary of key learning. This is a self-directed study as an option for certification; this is not an online course. FL 597 must be elected by students desiring certification by the National Council on Family Relations.

*Candidates seeking certification by the National Council on Family Relations are required to take the FL 597 elective course.


Career Opportunities

The following are just a few of the unique career opportunities possible with an M.S. in Family Life online degree available through Concordia University, Nebraska:

  • Youth Development Educator or Director in organizations such as Cooperative Extension, 4-H, Scouting, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, and YWCA
  • Before- and after-school care programs
  • Director of summer camps
  • Director of family life education programs

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