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
Training for clergy and volunteers includes 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.
Development of the Knoxville Marriage Initiative was made possible by a grant from the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee and Cornerstone Foundation.
We are a team of clergy, volunteers, professionals and researchers passionate about strengthening marriages in Knoxville. Partners include Knoxville’s Compassion Coalition, Dr. Clark Stevens of Fellowship Church Knoxville; research consultant Dr. Kristina Gordon (a national expert in relationship intervention and couple functioning), and national experts in marriage education, divorce prevention and marriage restoration at the University of Denver.
If you have any questions about involvement or simply want to learn more about the Knoxville Marriage Initiative, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org