As the Coptic Diaspora continues to grow throughout North America, the calling for more laymen and laywoman to serve as trained Christian counselors can be heard louder then ever before. Marital trouble, drug addiction, social pressure… the issues continue to deepen without bounds within our communities. Clergy desperately need to be reinforced with humble Christian servants that can help lighten the load and aid in guiding our communities down the straight and narrow path. By preparing these servants using the tools of both psychology and theology we can better answer this call to service. Therefore, in the Spring of 2006, H.G. Bishop Youssef met with a team of psychiatrists and Christian/Pastoral counselors to found what is now called, the Family Ministry Program (FMP).
FMP infuses Western psychology with Orthodox theology, Church tradition, and the true Christian message. It then focuses all of its faculties on understanding, diagnosing, and treating the unique Coptic American culture in which the Diaspora is flourishing in. The program incorporates 2 years of distance learning with meetings held three times a year in Titussville, FL in the education of its students. The program is revolving ,meaning students can join any semester.The program will provide a thorough background in the basics of human psychology and integrate this with Christian counseling.The curriculum is geared towards practical and clinical issues and the application of knowledge gained in real life situations.
Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of achievement. They will have the knowledge and skills to recognize cases requiring referral to professionals, to teach premarital classes, to guide families and youth, to access information and resources for those in need, as well as a general understanding of legal and ethical issues just to name a few.
Graduates of FMP will are eligible to register for Advanced FMP Program. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Graduates will be sent back to their respective communities both with the tools of education and more importantly, the blessing of our Lord to assist clergy in shepherding the flock.
Graduates of the FMP will take one of the following three certificates:
1. Level 1: Graduates with outstanding performance – Students who get A for all the required courses.
2. Level 2: Graduates of FMP – Students who get grades B or higher.
3. Level 3: Attendants – Students who get less than B or just attend the onsite classes (auditing only).