The Marriage Course Online
The Marriage Course and The Pre-Marriage Course can now be run remotely from the comforts of your own home!
We have recently received a generous gift that has helped to make the online Marriage Course and Pre-Marriage Course series free. We hope this blesses churches and course leaders by lowering the cost of running a course and enables more people to access The Marriage Course globally.
In Times of Uncertainty: Helping couples cope
Recent news headlines have mentioned that some couples have been struggling with spending too much time together at home during coronavirus self-isolation, even leading to a divorce spike in certain countries. We’ve created a few helpful videos offering tips from Nicky and Sila on how to cope as a couple while both are potentially working from home and practising social distancing or self isolation. We encourage you to share this with couples that you think may benefit from these tips.
Our new series are very easy to use and run a course online! Below are 5 easy steps to move your course online.
Download the special online episodes
We have created episodes with the conversation timings built in so you and your guests can watch the episode the entire way through. Please access the videos from The Marriage Course Builder.
Choose an online platform to host your course.
It’s important for many courses to facilitate the course even as it’s running online. If so, we recommend zoom, Skype and Google Hangout for hosting smaller courses and platforms with a livestream or webinar function for larger groups. The Marriage Course is now available with full conversation timings built in if you would like to livestream your course.
Schedule your call on the platform.
Email or text an invite to your guests with a link to the meeting.
Have all your materials ready.
Prior to your session, make sure you as the host have the episodes ready and your guests have their Guest Journals (they are available to order from your local distributor. Reach out to your local Alpha offices to enquire.
Host your call.
Host it like you would an online conference call. Be animated and lively as that extra bit of friendliness will go a long way. Share the video via a private or password-protected link in the chat box so guests can go on and view the link by themselves.
Thank the group for their time, remind them to do Continuing Conversations before the next session, and include the call link for the next meeting. You might also want to share the episode with the guests so that couples can review it by themselves again later in the week. Ask for feedback as we’re all so new at this!
You can find a more detailed guide on how you can host The Marriage Course and The Pre-Marriage Course online on the Marriage Builder. Sign up for an account today!
We decided to offer a 10pm course online for couples. After the kids go to bed, we meet through zoom and watch the video together. It’s working very well and couples are really enjoying it. After this, they want to take The Parenting Course and are already talking to their friends about taking the next Marriage Course!
John, Course Leader (Ontario, Canada)
Online Marriage Courses can still keep up good hospitality
Send weekly emails or messages re-capping last week’s talk/discussion and ask guests to share their thoughts. Make sure to check-in if a couple has missed a night.
Make sure the course host is engaging right from the beginning of the online session – saying hello to people, asking questions, telling jokes. Keep your communication platforms open throughout the evening in case any guests have questions or comments they’d like to speak with you about.
Encourage the team and guests to utilise chat functionalities to comment and ask questions before or after the episode.
Setting the mood
Have the course hosts encourage the guests to set the mood in their own homes, making sure they are seated comfortably with snacks and food on hand. A few clever groups have even taken to ordering delivery or sending date night boxes to their guests’ homes before the session – now that’s hospitality!
If you are hosting TMC Online, make sure you have a strong internet connection. If possible, plug directly into an ethernet cable.
Equipped with Resources
Make sure the hosts have the videos ready and access to your chosen digital platform.
Lights, camera, action
As hosts, it’s helpful if your screen is decluttered and showing a nice setting so take time to frame your shot. Your energy as the host is also essential so don’t be afraid to be friendly and warm.
Ensure Private Conversations
- Ask guests to be on video at the beginning of the session. Encourage couples to be on the same screen.
- Once the series begins, encourage couples to turn off their video but stay on the platform in case they need help or have questions.
- Ask guests to join in a quiet environment if possible and wear headphones if need be.
When everything shut down due to COVID-19, we considered the possibility of running it online. We decided to open it up to anyone who was interested. We thought we might get 25 couples to join us each night. With only two weeks of promotion, we were blown away by the interest and ended up with over 300 couples registering from 24 different states and two provinces. Offering couples seven date nights in the midst of this pandemic lockdown really hit a felt need!
Couples are loving the experience of going through The Marriage Course as it provides so much space for them to talk each evening in the privacy of their own home. We feel the opportunity to do this online has reached far more couples than we ever could have imagined.”
— Kirk, Course Leader (Portland, OR)