Frequently asked questions

The Marriage Course

The Marriage Preparation Course

Who is The Marriage Course for? 

The Marriage Course is for couples who are in a married or cohabiting* relationship and seeking to strengthen their relationship. Some couples do the course to invest in their relationship, others need more urgent help. Either way, the course offers a lifetime of practical ideas and tools to help keep your relationship strong. 

The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background. 

*Some course leaders may be running their course for married couples only. Please check with your local course before booking. 

 

What does the course cover?

The Marriage Course is seven sessions normally run on one evening a week over seven weeks. The sessions are very practical and help couples learn to understand each other’s needs, learn how to listen and communicate effectively, develop methods to resolve conflict and disagreements, learn how to apologise and forgive as a couple, explore the impact of your family on your relationship, find ways to develop greater sexual intimacy, learn your partner’s ‘love language’ and how to love them well.

 

There isn't a course running near me

Sometimes course leaders do not register their courses with us. In this case, here are a few options for you to consider: -

  • Search the Internet via a search engine by typing your chosen course name and your town or city, for example: The Marriage Course, Crewe. This can sometimes generate websites for local churches or community groups running a course. Please do encourage the course leader to register their course on themariagecourses.org website so that they can access free resources and so that others can find their course. 
  • If you belong to a church and they aren’t running a course, approach your church leader or relevant member of staff about facilitating a course. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself and would like us to approach on your behalf then please do get in touch.
  • All material is available to buy via the Alpha Shop. Rather than do the course on your own, we recommend you invite other couples to do the course with you.

 

Is there a cost to attend a course?

There may be a charge to cover the cost of food, venue, resources, etc., however this will vary. We recommend you get in touch with the course leaders to find out the amount they are charging.

 

How do we continue to invest in our marriage after attending a course?

COME BACK! The Marriage Course isn’t a one time only course, we recommend couples who have been married longer than two years attend The Marriage Course annually if possible. Just like you would maintain your health or MOT your car, your marriage deserves investment.

Make sure to put marriage time in your diary. Click here for ideas.

Become a course leader. You are the best person to introduce others to The Marriage Courses. Become a support couple for The Marriage Preparation Course or lead your own. You will be investing in your own marriage at the same time as you and your spouse will be revisiting the material together.

Who is The Marriage Preparation Course for? 

The Marriage Preparation Course is for any engaged couple planning to give their marriage the best possible start. The course is also for couples who would like to explore the idea of getting married, or for couples where one or both partners have been married previously.

The course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background. You do not need to be getting married in a church to come on the course.

 

What does the course cover? 

The Marriage Preparation Course is five sessions normally run on one evening a week over five weeks. The sessions are very practical and help couples to learn your personality types and your communication styles, explore the importance and benefits of committed relationships, discover potential relationship challenges and how to tackle them, learn how to maintain the momentum of your relationship, find out what is important to you both and develop unity as a couple. 

 

My partner and I are getting married but live apart, are we able to do the course online?

Due to copyright and security issues, our courses are not available online.

The course requires both of you to attend together to get the full benefit, but if you are unable to do that, you could approach a local church leader to see if they would be willing to go through the course with you via Skype. If that isn't possible, we recommend you both read The Marriage Book by Nicky and Sila Lee.

 

There isn't a course running near me

Sometimes course leaders do not register their courses with us. In this case, here are a few options for you to consider: -

  • Search the Internet via a search engine by typing your chosen course name and your town or city, for example: The Marriage Course, Crewe. This can sometimes generate websites for local churches or community groups running a course. Please do encourage the course leader to register their course on themariagecourses.org website so that they can access free resources and so that others can find their course. 
  • If you belong to a church and they aren’t running a course, approach your church leader or relevant member of staff about facilitating a course. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself and would like us to approach on your behalf then please do get in touch.
  • All material is available to buy via the Alpha Shop. Rather than do the course on your own, we recommend you invite other couples to do the course with you.

 

Is there a cost to attend a course?

There may be a charge to cover the cost of food, venue, resources, etc., however this will vary. We recommend you get in touch with the course leaders to find out the amount they are charging.

 

How do we continue to invest in our marriage after attending a course?

After a few years of marriage, we would recommend attending The Marriage Course to build on what you have learnt in The Marriage Preparation Course.


Running a Course?

How do I invite people to attend a course?

The most effective way to encourage guests to come on your course is to personally invite them.

Think about inviting:

  • Friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues and church congregation members
  • Current and previous wedding and baptism candidates
  • Community groups, such as gym classes or mother & toddler groups
  • If your church is running Alpha and/or The Parenting Courses, invite current and past guests

Promotional materials, such as postcard invitations and banners, are easy to use and generate interest from those outside your personal network. Once you register, we have a selection of materials that you can download for free. See the materials here 

Customisable promotional materials including posters and postcard invites are available on the Alpha Print Shop.

How to reach couples in your community:

  • Promote your course from the front of church with a fun video or by sharing feedback from previous guests
  • Give out invites and encourage everyone to invite one couple
  • Place posters and postcards in strategic locations, such as coffee shops, gyms, crèches, libraries, etc
  • Advertise the event on your church website and social media
  • Make sure the date, time, venue and contact information are clear on your communication
  • Make a final push the week before your course as many decide to book on at the last minute.

 

Do I need to register my course?

YES. Registering your course is important for three reasons:

1. Local couples can search for a course near them and contact you via our website.

2. Training and extra resources are only available after registration by download. If you are running The Marriage Preparation Course this is particularly key as the link to the Couple Survey is only available during registration.  

3. We are able to monitor the course across the UK. We use this information to provide training in regions frequently using our courses. We invest time into providing relevant materials for your context and as a valued course leader, we can get in touch with you regarding events across the UK, updates and support.

You can keep your course private. We still recommend you register but you can opt out of advertising it on our website.

 

Do you provide training?

We have a range of training available, both digitally and in-person. All our digital training is available here and is available to download after registration to be watched at your convenience. Our in-person training varies from local events run by experienced course leaders to national events hosted by The Marriage Courses team. To find an event near you please look at our events page.

 

How can I promote my course?

1.     Register your course. This gives you access to promotional resources for free and a national audience of guests looking to attend courses near them. 

2.     Personalise your posters via Alpha Print Shop and distribute where appropriate within your local community.

3.     Use social media, a fantastic tool to reach a wider range of people.

4.     Set up a promotional event or post course information in community pages.


Further Support

Recommended reading

Learn more about marriage and relationships with Nicky and Sila’s recommended reading:

·       The Marriage Book - by Nicky and Sila Lee

·       Hope for the Separated - by Gary Chapman

·       The Mystery of Marriage - by Mike Mason

·       Boundaries in Marriage - by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend

·      The Sixty Minute Marriage - by Rob Parsons

·       Loving Against the Odds - by Rob Parsons

·       The Highway Code for Marriage - by Michael and Hilary Perrott

For more titles and information:
 > Download Reading List [PDF]

Professional Counselling

Sometimes couples require additional help. As a first step, we recommend you ask your course leader for a referral. They can often recommend someone suited to your needs and based near you. 

If you prefer more specific support, the organisations listed below can put you in touch with accredited counsellors. (Try to speak with the counsellor(s) in advance to make sure they hold similar values to you regarding marriage before booking a session.)

Its Good To Talk
itsgoodtotalk.org.uk/therapists/

Association of Christian Counsellors
acc-uk.org/find-a-counsellor/search-for-a-counsellor.html

UK Council for Psychotherapy
members.psychotherapy.org.uk/findATherapist