Premarital & Marital Issues in Pastoral Counseling – EDCO 836

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

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.

Prerequisites

None

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

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

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

Biblical Worldview Forum

The student will compare a biblical worldview of marriage to two other worldviews on marriage. This will require researching various worldviews. The thread should be at least 400 words and include Scripture and at least 3 academic sources. Replies should be at least 200 words and include at least one source.

“Out of the Box” Premarital or Marital Enrichment Program Forum

Each student will review 1 premarital or marriage enrichment program (e.g., PREPARE, Before I Do, Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, ENRICH) that can be used in the church to prepare and strengthen marriages. Create a 900-word review and critique of the program, strengths and weaknesses of the content, delivery format, level of commitment needed by staff and participants, the likelihood of success, any research conducted on it, and how applicable it is to a church or ministry setting. Post two replies of at least 200 words.

Relational Conflict Forum

Each student will write a 500-word thread in response to a clinical vignette (case) on relational conflict. The vignette can be chosen from any of the course texts cases.

Annotated Bibliography on Aggressions/Substance Abuse Forum

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’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words.

Annotated Bibliography on Sexual Issues/Disorders Forum

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 thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words.

Particular Psychopathology Forum

Each student will write a 500-word thread in response to a clinical vignette on how a particular psychopathology (other than substance abuse or sexual issue) impacts marital functioning. The vignette can be chosen from any of the course texts cases. Write two replies of at least 200 words each.

Couple Interview Analysis Forum

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 thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words.

Annotated Bibliography on Impacts of Marital Functioning Forum

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 thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words.