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    Pre-marriage counseling skill banner

    Pre-Marriage Counseling Skills (1 Credit)

    Professor Steve Elzinga

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    Do you minister to people who are getting married? The Pre-marriage Counseling Skills Course was already developed as a skills course for the Life coach minister program.  After they completed the content, the team realized that this course is formative for many areas of ministry. 

    This course features Rev. Steve Elzinga, one of our popular professors who served as a pastor for over 40 years, and Mitchell and Abby Dominiak. In the summer of 2019, Abby Reyenga and Mitch Dominiak were engaged to be married. Steve Elzinga was finishing this pre-marriage counseling course. Steve offered to teach this class while modeling to all of us a real pre-marriage situation. They filmed the pre-marriage sections as skill examples. 

    The Pre-marriage Skills class is ideal for:

    • Volunteer Christian leaders who are occasionally called upon to perform weddings. You will be able to offer pre-marriage counseling.
    • Those called to become licensed or ordained with Christian Leaders Alliance. Perfect for clergy ministers.
    • A Life Coach minister in a selected specialty. 
    • Ministers who want continuing education in the pre-marriage skills area. 
    • Matchmaker ministers who offer pre-marriage ministry to those they help match. 
    • Christian leaders who are discerning their calling to ministry. 

    The Pre-marriage Skills Course has the following learning outcomes:  

    • How to create permanent connections at the beginning of the marriage relationship.
    • How to foster the playful connection.
    • How to balance the demand for social connections.
    • How to develop communication connections.
    • How to lean into your purpose as a couple.
    • How to grow in a spiritual connection.
    • How to create a long-term physical and sexual connection.
    • How to prepare for the wedding.


    View all online lectures and read all the articles on each topic. CLI computer tracks whether you do this. After viewing all lectures for the unit, take the quiz based on the lectures (100% of grade). All reading materials must be of general domain or creative commons.

    Grading Scale
    A 95-100%   A- 90-94%   B+ 87-89%   B 83-86%   B- 80-82%   C+ 77-79%   C 73-76%   C- 70-72%    D+ 67-69%   D 63-66%   D- 60-62%   F 0-59%
    Your average for the course must be at least 60%. Otherwise, you will fail the class and will receive no credit.

    You have 180 days to finish the class. Complete all assignments before the final deadline, or you will be automatically unenrolled, and all classwork will be removed. You will have to start over and retake the class to receive credit.

    Each quiz has up to 20 questions. Our usual formula for quizzes is as follows:  There are 1/3 true and false and 2/3 multiple choices.

    Additional Materials

    The Marriage Connection by Steve Elzinga is available to purchase through the Christian Leaders Store here. Not only is the material used as a guide for this course, but it can also be a great resource as a Bible study, retreat, or counseling tool. The book is highly encouraged, but not required for this course.

    the marriage connection book

  • Six month check up & marriage questions

    As you complete this tuition-free course, let's pray for and thank the Vision Partners!  Their sacrificial giving supports these tuition-free courses so that those will little or no extra resources can access high-quality ministry training. 

    If you are interested in becoming a Vision Partner, Click Here. Find out about the benefits of giving! 

  • Topic 13

    Read the Inspiring Testimony of this Fellow Christian Leaders Institute Student

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    CLI Student Sui Atuatasi

     "I am a 41 year old Samoan-American, born in California where I spent my early childhood. My family and I moved to American Samoa when I was a teenager. I later moved to Hawaii to go to college. It was there that I received the gift of salvation through Jesus and my goals in life changed as well. I then moved to Arizona where I served in ministry and finally to Texas to help plant a church. I continue to reside in Texas with my wife Jayne. Up until 3 years ago I worked in full time ministry since the year 2000. It was during that time that I served and was mentored under what was primarily the discipleship model as mentioned in Rev. Henry Reyenga's book "Raising Up Revival Leaders". I stepped out of full time ministry 3 years ago to take care of some health issues that prevented me from serving at full capacity as well as to somehow pursue a deeper education in seminary.

    I came to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1996. Before then I reached a point where I felt such misery because my life was filled with sin and emptiness. The Lord saved me from a world of anger, violence, alcohol abuse, sexually immoral behavior and a cold-hearted view towards everything and everyone. My personality traits consisted of extreme insecurity, an unfounded sense of arrogance and an incomparable selfishness. I was the 'wretch' that we sing of in Amazing Grace. Since then I have never stopped thanking Him for that amazing grace and His endless mercy towards me. I know that what I deserve He was punished for and what I did not earn He freely gave to me.

    It is out of my gratefulness that I have committed my life to sharing the love of Jesus Christ with as many people as I can. As I mentioned before, I served under a discipleship model, which taught me a work ethic of servanthood, obedience, and diligence. Now I seek the depth of biblical training to not only be better equipped for the work of the Kingdom, but also to be an equipper of the saints myself. While I served in the ministry for over a decade I sought and waited for the specific call of God on my life. After about 12 years I felt the move towards the call of pastoring and teaching. I hope to achieve that goal with a foundation of education and training through CLI and its scholarship offer."

    Please pray for Sui and his ministry!

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    • Share this free training opportunity with new potential students. Help recruit a new generation of Christian leaders. 

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    • Topic 14

      The course has ended. Please make sure all quizzes have been completed. If your work is incomplete, it is considered a drop, and you will have to take the class again in order to receive credit.

      Our staff will be using this time to review your work. Your grade should appear on your "My Home Page" in the "Course Overview" section.  Please contact Helpdesk if you have any questions or did not receive your grade.