An in-depth examination of the dynamics of marriage and family relationships, with emphasis on the structure and function of marriage, various aspects of the marital relationship, family systems, and ways to conduct premarital, divorce care, and remarriage counseling as a creative, preventative, and healing ministry.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
Counselors need to advocate and intentionally build marital relationships that are characterized by openness, intimacy, stability, safety, love, respect, and eroticism. This course provides the student with an introduction to theory, research, and the practice of premarital/remarital counseling. The student will develop the requisite skills and knowledge of using premarital inventories, assessing, and counseling couples to develop healthy, vibrant, and faith-grounded marriages.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Assess and describe the contemporary issues addressed in marriage and remarriage contexts.
- Critique the major theoretical models in marital therapy in relationship to pastoral counseling.
- Appraise pastoral counseling and its applicability in the context of marriage and remarriage.
- Compare and contrast current church ministry programs intended to strengthen marriage and remarriage relationships.
- Analyze the difficulties endemic in a remarriage environment.
- Assess the impact a dysfunctional marriage or remarriage has on those directly and indirectly involved.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will create a discussion in response to the provided prompt. Each discussion must be at least 800 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and be supported by a minimum of 3 scholarly citations and biblical principles. In addition to the discussion, the student will reply to at least 2 classmates’ discussions. Each reply must be at least 400 words and must be supported by a minimum of 1 scholarly citation and biblical principles.
PREPARE/ENRICH Certification or Paper Assignment
The student will complete the PREPARE/ENRICH certification online at a reduced rate. The student will need to register for the online training here.
The online training will provide a step-by-step process of completing the 12 comprehensive sections. Each section ends with a 5-item quiz based on the content covered. Once the course is completed, the student will submit his/her certificate to Canvas.
If the student has previously completed the PREPARE/ENRICH training, he/she will submit a copy of the certificate of completion. Then, the student will administer to 2 couples and submit a reflection and analysis paper of 5–7 pages in current APA format.
Premarital Project Assignment
In 3 phases, the student will develop a marital education/therapy intervention for premarital or remarital couples by creating a curriculum or treatment manual (Word document) along with a visual medium (e.g., PowerPoint, Slate, etc.). The manual must be a detailed outline that would be used to provide the training and must include a biblical worldview regardless of the audience. The average premarital/remarital training will include approximately 7 sessions (2 hours each) of didactic material and interactive exercises; a therapeutic marital group will have approximately 6–10 weeks of sessions (1 hour per week). The student must use ideas from course textbooks, marital therapy theorists, scholarly research, Scripture, and other sources to complete the project. Citations for all sources must be in current APA format.
Premarital Project: Topic Selection Assignment
The student will submit a 1–2-sentence statement describing the project’s specific topic.
Premarital Project: Outline Assignment
The student will provide a session-by-session outline of his/her program. The outline must include the major points associated with the topic of each particular session as well as a short description of each point.
Premarital Project: Final Submission Assignment
The student will develop a curriculum manual for use with premarital or remarital couples. The curriculum must include a visual element to augment the program. All citations must be in current APA format.