Premarital & Marital Issues in Pastoral Counseling – EDCO 836

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/17/2022

Course Description

This course studies issues that affect the relationship and decision to marry in premarital counseling, as well as problematic factors in marriage such as marital distress and dissolution. Factors central to marital enrichment, renewal, stability, growth, and health are addressed by marriage theories and intervention strategies.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

Counselors must understand the impact of a complex and sin-oriented society on marriage. Special knowledge and skills are necessary to understand the wide-range issues and roots of marital issues and how to meet the challenges facing couples in dating, engagement, and marital seasons of life. This course is designed to equip counselors in the clinical literature with application to couples using a lens of a biblical worldview.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Compare worldviews of marriage from a biblical worldview.
  2. Appraise and describe how contemporary socio-cultural perspectives of cohabitation, separation/divorce, and gender impact marriage.
  3. Appraise how issues such as substance abuse, infidelity, sexual deviances and addictions, and domestic violence.
  4. Identify, evaluate, and analyze generational relational issues that impact functioning for a couple system preparing for and in marriage with considerations of biblical principles.
  5. Assess marital functioning and identify goals for counseling premarital and marital issues using interview, tests and measures, and theoretical conceptualization.
  6. Compare and contrast current church ministry and organizational programs intended to strengthen marriage.

Course Assignment

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 (8)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a discussion thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. This course utilizes Discussions to submit all of the assignments so that each student can learn from his or her peers. Each Discussion has its own unique requirements for length and citations.

Biblical Worldview

The student will compare a biblical worldview of marriage to other worldviews on marriage. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the discussion thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 200 words.

Out of the Box 

Each student will review one “out of the box” premarital (e.g., PREPARE, Before I Do, Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts) or marital enrichment program (e.g., ENRICH) that can be used in the church to prepare and strengthen marriages. The student will create a 900-word review and critique of the program. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 200 words.

Relational Conflict

Each student will write a 500-word response to a clinical vignette on relational conflict. In addition to the discussion thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 200 words.

Annotated Bibliography – Aggression/Substance Abuse

The student will post an annotated bibliography of scholarly articles on how aggression or substance abuse impacts marital functioning, divorce, or stepfamilies. Each student needs to find 5 scholarly articles written within the last 5 years on the noted topics. A brief synopsis is to be written on each scholarly article. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 200 words.

Annotated Bibliography – Sexual Issues/Disorders

The student will post an annotated bibliography of scholarly articles on how sexual issues (including sex addiction) or sexual disorders impact marital functioning. Each student needs to find 5 scholarly articles written within the last 5 years on the noted topics. A brief synopsis is to be written on each scholarly article. In addition to the discussion thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 200 words.

Particular Psychopathology

Each student will write a 500-word response to a clinical vignette on how particular psychopathology (other than substance abuse or sexual issue) impacts marital functioning. In addition to the discussion thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 200 words.

Couple Interview Analysis

Each student will have 3 sessions with either a pre-engaged, engaged, or married couple throughout the 8 weeks of this course. Each student will write a 900-word analysis of the couple interviewed. In addition to the discussion thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 200 words.

Annotated Bibliography – Separation, Divorce or Stepfamilies and the Impact on Marital Functioning

Each student will post an annotated bibliography of scholarly articles on how separation, divorce, or stepfamilies impact(s) marital functioning. Each student needs to find 5 scholarly articles written within the last 5 years on the noted topics. A brief synopsis is to be written on each scholarly article. In addition to the discussion thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ discussion threads. Each discussion reply must be at least 200 words.