The Marriage Course2019-09-09T12:19:54+00:00

The Marriage Course

The Marriage Course is for any couple who wants to invest in their relationship, whether you have been together 1 or 61 years and whether you have a strong relationship or are struggling.



A seven session course set in a fantastic atmosphere. You will be served with a candlelit meal and/or coffee, tea and dessert at a romantic table for two while listening to practical talks that are informative and fun. There is never any group work and you will never be asked to share anything about your relationship with anyone other than your partner.


  • Regular check-ups help a car run smoothly and reduce the risk of breakdown.
  • The best sports professionals spend hours being coached and perfecting their technique.
  • The greatest achievements in life take practice, training and dedication.

It is the same with marriage. A strong, loving and lifelong relationship doesn’t happen by chance. It takes effort and dedication to keep the fun and romance alive. We can all learn how to make even the happiest marriage better.

Would you like to find a course near you?

Find Out More

The Marriage Course was developed by Nicky and Sila Lee, co-authors of The Marriage Book and The Parenting Book. They have been married for over thirty years, have four children and are on the staff at Holy Trinity Brompton – the London church that started the Alpha course. They started The Marriage Preparation Course in 1985 and The Marriage Course in 1996, and the courses continue to spread with thousands of courses now running around the world.

They have spoken to thousands on the subject of marriage and are the co-authors of The Marriage Book which has sold over 210,000 copies since it was published in 2000. They run The Marriage Course three times a year at Holy Trinity Brompton with around 100 couples on each course.

Over seven sessions of the course you will discover practical tools to help you:

  • Understand each other’s needs
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Grow closer through resolving conflict
  • Heal the ways you’ve hurt each other
  • Recognise how your upbringing affects your relationship
  • Improve relationships with parents and in-laws
  • Develop greater sexual intimacy
  • Discover each other’s love languages and much, much more!


The course takes place over seven evenings. A typical evening starts at 7pm and finishes by 9.45pm. Each session includes:

  • Fantastic atmosphere that many say feels like a date night. Courses are run in all kinds of venues.
  • A meal at a romantic table for two giving you space to relax and chat.
  • Practical talks that are informative and fun.
  • Coffee and private discussion time as a couple. You will be given topics to discuss.
  • No group work, so relax.
  • Homework – at the end of each session you are given some homework to do together. This will help you to build on what you have learnt and give you the opportunity to apply it to your relationship. Don’t worry – it won’t be marked! It isn’t looked at by anyone else and is just for your own benefit.


Are you married or in a long-term cohabiting relationship?
Have you been together for over a year?
Would you like your relationship to be the best it can be?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions then this course is for you!

The Marriage Course is for any couple, whether you have been together for one year or 61 years and whether you feel you have a strong relationship or are struggling. While The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles, it is designed for couples with or without a Christian faith. Many couples who are not churchgoers have commented that the Christian content was presented in a way that did not make them uncomfortable at all.

Other Alpha Resources

We hope you’ve enjoyed The Marriage Course and that what you’ve learned will make a difference to your future together. We hope that as you keep investing in your relationship, it will grow deeper and stronger in the years to come.

The Parenting Children Course

Alpha is a ten week practical introduction to the Christian faith. It is designed primarily for non-churchgoers, and is a wonderful opportunity to explore life, meaning and faith in an informal, fun and friendly environment. 

The Parenting Children Course

If you have children, as a next step, we highly recommend taking either The Parenting Children Course or The Parenting Teenagers Course. It’s so important to invest in your family just as you have invested in your marriage.



Don’t just take our word for it – this is what some past guests have said about the course. Why not share your story?

“A guest on the Marriage Course said that all the couples on their course (all in 20’s – 30’s; no children) loved the course and all came to the same conclusion over the weeks of the course. Their conclusion was that they were all living in their married relationship like they used to live when they were single – going out when they wanted to, doing their own thing and living a single life in a married status. The week on communication was challenging but a real eye opener for them all. The conclusion was they needed to be intentional and plan – prepare – commit to their marriage especially to make time for Marriage Time.”

“The husband suffered a brain aneurism just after they had completed the marriage course. The wife felt that they could not have pulled through the ordeal, as a united couple, had they not repaired their broken marriage first. The husband is now well and back at work.”

“Our marriage was at a critical stage in which permanent separation was imminent. This course gave us hope and understanding that we can get to a good place again by working together as a couple.”

Recommended Reading

Nicky and Sila Lee
HTB Publications 2000

The first seven sessions of The Marriage Course are based on the seven sections of the book. Covers additional material from The Marriage Preparation Course in the appendices. Practical advice on what builds a strong marriage for engaged and married people. Also gives single people an insight into marriage.

Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
Zondervan 1982

Only when we know and respect each other’s needs can we give ourselves freely and lovingly to one another. Boundaries in Marriage takes the principles of boundaries and applies them to the marriage relationship.

Stephen Arterburn
Random House 2000

Sexual addiction is on the rise – even within the church. In this compassionate guide, Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker tackle the problem head-on, offering a practical battle plan for men, married or single.

Gary Chapman
Moody Press 1982

Contains sound and practical advice for those who are separated to know how to give their marriage the best chance of being restored.

Rob Parsons
Hodder & Stoughton 1994
Full of humour, engaging stories and practical advice on how to keep love at the heart of marriage and family life.

Gary Chapman
Northfield Publishing 1995

The seventh session of The Marriage Course (‘Love in Action’) is based on this concept of the different ways people feel loved. Highly recommended for any couple.

Rob Parsons
Hodder and Stoughton

The Money Secret demonstrates how money can either be the source of freedom and happiness or a burden of guilt and debt. Rob Parsons shows a new way forward which will focus priorities and put the reader back in control.

Alpha International 2009
Nicky and Sila Lee

Drawing on their own experience of bringing up four children and having talked to thousands of parents over the years on their parenting courses, Nicky and Sila Lee bring fresh insights and time-tested values to the task of parenting. Full of valuable advice and practical tips, The Parenting Book is a resource for parents to come back to again and again. Nominated for theChristianity Magazine Book of the Year Award.

Mary Pytches
Hodder & Stoughton 1990

Describes with a Christian understanding both how a lack of love in our upbringing can affect our relationships today and how to resolve the past.

Get Involved

The Marriage Course utilizes many volunteers to not only lead the courses, but also to help support the couples on the courses and ensure the sessions run smoothly. There are several ways to get involved: Please contact Alpha New Zealand on 095253139 or for more information or for resources.


Support couples attend each session of the course and are available for any couples that need additional help or guidance. Each guest couple should have their own table so support couples are not asked to dine with the guests.


Prayer plays an extremely vital role in everything we do regarding The Marriage Course. We would greatly appreciate your prayers, specifically in the following areas:

  • For each guest couple and their families
  • For all of the course leaders and support couples
  • For God to strengthen marriages and family life around the world
  • For our ministry at Holy Trinity Brompton and Nicky and Sila’s work in marriage and parenting


Course leaders are needed throughout the world as our courses grow rapidly. If you are interested in becoming a course leader please contact us.


Volunteers help in a variety of ways:

  • Greeting guests as they arrive
  • Administrative duties
  • Helping with set up, laying tables and decorations
  • Serving food, coffee/tea etc.
  • Clearing up

If you are interested in volunteering, please find a course near you and contact the course leaders to get started!