The Marriage Course > Frequently Asked Questions


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Frequently Asked Questions

About The Marriage Course


What are The Marriage Courses?

The Marriage Course has been run in over 127 countries for over 1 million couples and consists of two courses: The Marriage Course and The Pre-Marriage Course. The Marriage Course and The Pre-Marriage Course act as a bridge between the church and the local community by recognizing the need to go beyond the social, as well as physical, walls of the church to help couples with their relationships. The Marriage Course is designed to be easy for churches to run; with episodes that are available to download online or buy as a DVD, along with training, guides, and journals.


What is The Marriage Course about?

The Marriage Course was developed in 1996 by Nicky and Sila Lee (authors of The Marriage Book) for couples looking for practical support to strengthen their relationship. The course equips couples with tools and techniques to keep the spark alive and stay connected. There is no group work and each couple’s conversations are completely private. Over seven sessions, the course will help you to:

  • Understand each other’s needs

  • Communicate more effectively

  • Grow closer by learning methods to resolve conflict

  • Recover from the ways you may have hurt each other

  • Recognize how your upbringing affects your relationship

  • Improve relationships with parents and in-laws

  • Develop greater sexual intimacy

  • Discover each other’s “love language” and much, much more….

For more information, head to: alphausa.org/marriage


What is The Pre-Marriage Course about?

The Pre-Marriage Course was developed in 1985 by Nicky and Sila Lee (authors of The Marriage Book) to help couples invest in their relationship to build a lasting marriage. It is for couples who are engaged and for those exploring marriage. There is no group work and each couple’s conversations are completely private. Over five sessions, the course will help you to:

  • Recognize the importance of commitment

  • Understand and appreciate your differences

  • Learn the art of communication

  • Resolve conflict

  • Spend time together

  • Recognize the influence of your family background

  • Develop a good sexual relationship

  • Talk about your goals, values and dreams and much, much more…

For more information, head to: alphausa.org/marriage


What’s the difference between The Marriage Course and The Pre-Marriage Course?

Both The Marriage Course and The Pre-Marriage Course have a similar structure, with the environment of a date night and an emphasis on private discussions for each couple. The key difference is that The Pre-Marriage Course is for engaged couples and those considering marriage, whereas we recommend The Marriage Course for couples who have been married for at least a year. The Pre-Marriage Course can also include a Couple Survey which each guest completes in advance of the course. Following the course, they look at the results of their survey over a meal with a designated married “support couple”.


Running The Marriage Course

Who can run The Marriage Course or The Pre-Marriage Course?

We believe that anyone who has a desire to see either see marriages others get off to a healthy start or be strengthened, has experience of working at their own marriage, and enjoys hosting couples can run a course. You do not need to have a perfect marriage (no one does!) or be an expert to run it. People who are single can also run the course. We have a number of short training videos that will take you through how to run The Marriage Course. Register your course on the Marriage Course Builder to access the training videos.


Are The Marriage Courses easy to run?

Yes, it is very easy! All of the talks are available online, along with a Leaders’ Guide which has instructions for when to pause for exercises and private conversations for each couple. Promotional materials and other resources are also available for both courses once you register your course on the Marriage Course Builder.


How do I get started running The Marriage Course?

To get started running your course, please visit The Marriage Course webpages where you will find more information. To access and download all the materials to help run your course, please register your course on our Marriage Course Builder. There are only a few resources you need to run The Marriage Course:

  • The Marriage Course episodes – available as a DVD or to download online

  • Two Guest Journals per couple

  • The Marriage Course Leaders’ Guide

  • We recommend you watch our training videos


How do I get started with running The Pre-Marriage Course?

To get started running your course, please visit our The Marriage Course webpages where you will find more information. To access and download all the materials to help run your course, please register your course at Marriage Course Builder There are only a few resources you need to run The Pre-Marriage Course:

  • The Pre-Marriage Course episodes – available as a DVD or to download online

  • Two Guest Journals per couple

  • The Pre-Marriage Course Leaders’ Guide

  • Couple Survey (optional)

  • Support Couples’ training videos (if using the Couple Survey)

  • We recommend you watch our training videos To access these materials, register your course on the Marriage Course Builder.


Can The Marriage Courses be run online?

We have created resources for churches and course leaders who want to run The Marriage Courses online. These additional resources are available to course leaders when they register their Marriage Course in Marriage Course Builder.

  1. Vimeo embed codes: eliminating the download process. Leaders can use the codes to upload the videos to their church or organization’s website.

  2. Password-protected links to our global viewing page for course leaders who want the simplest method of running TMC online.

  3. Updated “Run TMC Online” pdf; including new resources, advice, and tips.


What is the Couple Survey?

The Couple Survey is an optional series of questions to be completed by guests on The Pre-Marriage Course before the course begins. The purpose of the Couple Survey is to:

  • Affirm areas of strength

  • Highlight those issues the couple needs to discuss

  • Help them make sure they are ready for marriage

  • Give a realistic view of what makes a marriage work

Couples do not receive the results of their Couple Survey. Instead, before and after the course they have a discussion with a designated support couple. The Couple Survey report guides the conversation, affirming areas of strength in the couple’s relationship and highlighting issues for discussion. For more information on the Couple Survey, please visit here.


What’s a Support Couple?

Each couple on The Pre-Marriage Course is allocated a support couple. The requirements for support couples are simply that they are married; that they have completed The Marriage Course; that they are happy to host a couple from The Pre-Marriage Course, usually in their home, over an evening; and that they have been approved by someone with pastoral oversight (see the sample form that can be downloaded from Marriage Course Builder for this signed approval). During the evening the support couple guides the guests in the conversation using the findings of the Couple Survey, which the guests would have completed before the start of the course.

The role of the support couple is to affirm areas of strength and highlight issues the couple needs to discuss. The Couple Survey report is very easy to use, with suggested follow-up questions for the support couple to ask the guest couple to facilitate the discussion. Once you register your course, you’ll be able to access dedicated training videos for support couples that fully explains their role. Head to https://run.usa.themarriagecourse.org/ to get started. (Training videos are also available here). There is no Couple Survey or support couple role for The Marriage Course. It is designed only to accompany The Pre-Marriage Course.


Can we promote our course continually on the website?

The website requires fixed dates in order for a course to be entered. Please note if you chose to make your course appear publically, the course dates will be visible to others until approximately two weeks into the start of your course.


We would like to run parts of your course, can we do this?

Running sections of the course means guests don’t get the full experience or the full benefit. The course is written in a way that the different sections build upon each other and don’t work as effectively when done independently. We would recommend you run the full course as The Marriage Course, rather than just use sections.


How do you get the Study Journals?

We suggest that you purchase two Study Journals (previously Guest Guide) prior to the course; one for each person.

Here is The Marriage Course Study Journal.

Here is The Pre-Marriage Course Study Journal.

You can also order the Leader’s Guides and DVDs here.


When will the DVDs be in stock?

The Pre-Marriage Course DVD is available now.

The Marriage Course DVD (English/Spanish) will be ready in early March 2020 and will have full English and Spanish subtitles and audio.


Will any of these resources be available in Spanish?

  • The Marriage Course and The Pre-Marriage Course digital episodes and The Marriage Course Study Journal are available in Spanish in Marriage Builder now.

  • The Marriage Course DVDwith full English and Spanish subtitles and audio early March 2021.

  • Both Leader’s Guide and The Pre-Marriage Course Study Journal will be available in early summer 2021.


What do I do if I run into tech issues with Marriage Course Builder?
Use the same email for issues with MyAlpha or Alpha in general – questions@alphausa.org


How much does it cost to run a course?

All the resources in Marriage Course Builder are free for you to use. However, there are ongoing expenses to maintain the digital platforms and for that all donations are welcome.


How do I make a donation to support The Marriage Course?

Give to Alpha USA here

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