Marriage and Parenting Ireland
We first developed The Marriage and Parenting Courses as a tools for our local church here in London and we were amazed to see the courses grow first in the UK and then across the world. The Marriage and Parenting Courses act as a bridge between the church and local community by recognising the need to go beyond the social, as well as physical, walls of the church to help couples with their relationships. The Marriage and Parenting Courses are very easy to run; the talks are available on DVD and each guest and leader receives a manual. If you enjoy hosting people and have a passion for strengthening family life, you could run a course! With advisers around the world, we also offer plenty of support to help you get started.
How to run The Marriage Courses
You will need either The Marriage Preparation Course DVD or The Marriage Course DVD with Leaders' Guide and two Guest Manuals per couple available here
Plan your course
Register your course
- Create an Alpha account with us and add your course details. Once you have done this, you can download extra resources and promotional materials.
- You can choose whether or not to promote your course on our website. If you do promote it, when couples are looking for a course running near them, your course will appear on the searchable map.
- The Marriage Preparation Course: Once you have registered you can access the Couple Survey and purchase credits for couples to do it.
- Plan the dates and find a venue to run your course.
- Purchase course materials: The Marriage Preparation Course or The Marriage Course DVD with Leaders’ Guide and two guest manuals per couple.
- Decide what/if to charge guests attending your course and create a budget.
- If you are running The Marriage Preparation Course, Couple Survey is a great tool to help couples understand one another and it can highlight issues that couples need to discuss before getting married. Find out more about the Couple Survey and how to use it here
- Watch the training videos below.
- You can buy personalised promotional materials here.
- Think of ways to make your course feel like a fun 'date night' for your couples.
Sometimes couples need more help. Do a little information gathering ahead of time to find a counsellor in your area to whom you will you feel comfortable referring couples, if they need more specific professional help. We have some organisations that we recommend here.
The training videos cover the key ingredients you need to run The Marriage Course or The Marriage Preparation Course.
Training: Key Ingredients
How To Run a Course at Home
Couple Survey Training
If you would like personalised postcards and posters to advertise your course you can order them on The Alpha Print Shop.
How to run The Parenting Courses
Plan your course
The Parenting Children Course and The Parenting Teenagers Course are easy-to-run, practical five-session courses designed to support parents or carers who want to invest in their relationships with their children and/or teenagers. No expertise is needed to run the course. Anyone who wants to support and encourage parents and other carers and who enjoys hosting a group can run the courses.
Key features of The Parenting Children Course and The Parenting Teenagers Course:
- Easy-to-use DVD
- Leader's guide with instructions for when to pause DVD for exercises and discussion times
- Effective whether held in a home or larger venue
- Practical material presented in a fun and interesting way
- Welcoming and accessible to anyone
How to run...
Plan your course
- Find a venue
- Ask people to help you run the course
- Decide what/if to charge guests to cover costs
- Budget for food and/or drinks and promotion
Purchase the course materials
You need The Parenting Children Course DVD or The Parenting Teenagers Course DVD along with a Leaders’ Guide and one guest manual per person.
You can purchase these at the Alpha Shop.
- Use the leaders’ Resources for support to run your course.
- Determine whether you are going to run a morning or evening course. A mid-morning course after the school run may be more suitable for stay at home parents.
- Each of the five weekly sessions lasts two-and-a-half hours. This includes time for something to eat and/or drink, the talks and the small group discussions. Alternatively, the course can be run over ten weeks with shorter sessions lasting one-and-a-half hours.
Register your course
- Take a few minutes to add your course details to our website.
This helps anyone looking for a course in your area to easily find you, using our Find a Course tool.
How do I invite guests
The most effective way to encourage guests to come on your course is to personally invite them.
Promotional materials such as postcard invitations and banners can help and are easy to use - they can help generate interest and spread the word about your course to those outside your personal network.
Customisable promotional materials including posters and postcard invites are available on the Alpha Print Shop.
How to reach parents and carers 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 a friend
- Place posters and postcards in strategic locations such as coffee shops, gyms, crèches, local GP surgeries and 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.
- Give the course a final push the week before it starts, as many people decide to book on at the last minute.
Find support in advance
Do a little information gathering ahead of time to find a counsellor in your area to whom you feel comfortable referring parents or carers if they need specific professional help.