About The Knoxville Marriage Initiative
A stable, healthy marriage is strongly linked to physical and emotional health and is a fundamental building block of a healthy community. However, Tennessee is one of ten states with the highest divorce rates, and broadly accessible programs for strengthening marriages have been nonexistent in Knoxville.
Statistically, 80-90% of couples seeking divorce never seek professional counseling, and by their second year of marriage, 50% of newlyweds seriously doubt their marriage will last. A majority of couples experiencing marital unhappiness can turn their marriage around with help from the right resources.
The Knoxville Marriage Initiative aims to grow a network of church and community organizations that provide effective and accessible relationship assistance to citizens of Knoxville and surrounding counties. We believe that church and community organizations can provide research-proven relationship assistance to help couples grow a strong, life-long marriage.
Our goal is to train clergy and community volunteers to provide a research-based Marriage/Relationship Education (MRE) and mentoring program designed to strengthen relationships of married and pre-married couples.
MRE prevents marital breakdown, improves relationship quality, and provides couples with necessary tools to maintain higher marital quality across time.
-University of Denver
Development of the Knoxville Marriage Initiative was made possible by a grant from the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee and Cornerstone Foundation.
Community Impact Partners
About PREP Curriculum
The Knoxville Marriage utilizes the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), which has over three decades of research backing its effectiveness in improving couples relationships. PREP is designed to teach couples skills to have a healthier more satisfying relationship.
Whether you are struggling to communicate or enjoying a warm, loving relationship, PREP can teach you tools to improve and sustain a healthy relationship. PREP has lessons on understanding each other’s personalities, learning how to listen well, managing anger and conflict in relationships, and understanding your own sensitive spots that might be hindering intimacy.
Through experiential activities, videos, and teaching you will learn the keys to having a satisfying marriage. This is not group therapy, most of the activities will be done between you and your spouse, and you will not be forced to share with the larger group.
About our Instructors
Our Workshops are lead by clergy and volunteers. They receive training in the PREP Curriculum, including best practices in relationship education programming, facilitation, and mentoring. Programming is based on research that has determined what makes marriages succeed or fail, including the benefits of marriage, normal, expected stages and challenges all couples face in marriage, skills and behaviors that help build strong bonds, and avoiding the dangers of falling out of love and hope.