Purpose of This Course

Strengthening Marriages in Your Community

The goal of this SELF-STUDY course (see separate registration for live course) is to increase knowledge and skills for Bahá’í Local Spiritual Assemblies, their members, or their representatives (such as a Marriage Task Force or other committee) who are responding to requests from married individuals or couples experiencing challenges in their marriages. The intention is that the Spiritual Assembly and its representatives improve their response and that the marriages they are serving have a greater likelihood of improved functioning and unity.

It is also hoped that when skillfulness improves there is less negative impact from marriages in difficulty on the Assembly itself and on the community that the Assembly serves.

In addition to addressing challenges, this course introduces Assemblies to educational and preventative measures they can take so that individuals and couples are less likely to get into difficulties. 

If your study group wants a private course that others cannot enroll in and that includes a discussion function, please contact us; there is a small set-up fee. It is also possible to arrange for a facilitated private course with Zoom sessions for an agreed hourly fee. Otherwise, this course is self-study.

Note: This course is an individual initiative in service to Spiritual Assemblies in support of an ongoing process of maturation of the institutions. It is not part of an official institutional training program. This is one of many efforts to apply the Bahá’í teachings to the strengthening of marriages.

Course Content

  • 1

    Course Administration

    • Course Site Use - Instructional Video

    • Significant Change Notes for the Course

    • All Units - Practical Scenarios for Discussion

    • All Units-ScenariosforDiscussion-2-10-23

  • 2

    Unit 1: Welcome to the Course

  • 3

    Unit 2: Role in Supporting Marriages

    • Unit 2, Lesson 1: Assemblies and the Institution of Marriage

    • Unit 2-Lesson 1-Quotations-Marriage-10-6-18 (PDF)

    • Unit 2, Lesson 2: The Power of the Covenant

    • Unit 2, Lesson 3: Service--Benefits and Balance

    • Unit 2, Scenarios for Breakout Groups

  • 4

    Unit 3: Responding When a Marriage Is in Difficulty

    • Unit 3 - Explanation of Year of Waiting Flowcharts

    • Unit 3-EXAMPLE-Year of Waiting and Divorce Flowchart-US NSA.pdf

    • Unit3-EXAMPLE-YOWDivorceFlowChart-OttawaCanadaSpiritualAssembly-July282013.pdf

    • Unit 3, Lesson 1: Building a Foundation of Trust

    • Unit 3, Lesson 2: Communication Skills

    • Unit 3, Lesson 3: Meeting with Individuals and Couples

    • Unit3-Lesson3-ConductingInitialMeetingswithIndividualsandCoupleswithMarriageProblems-5-8-21.pdf

    • Unit3-LSAReflectionandGuidingQuestions-Meeting-Ind-Couple-12-27-22.pdf

    • Unit3-TheArtofListeningfromMindfulMatrimony.pdf

    • Unit3-DevelopingtheSkillsofSendingandReceiving-MindfulMatrimony-Switzer.pdf

    • Unit3-Non-Violent Communication Method.pdf

    • Unit3-LSAWorkshop-Consultation-1.pdf

    • Unit3-LSAWorkshop-Consultation-2.pdf

    • Unit 3 - Scenarios for Breakout Groups

  • 5

    Unit 4: Couple Healing and Reconciliation

    • Unit 4, Lesson 1: Providing Encouragment and Hope

    • Unit4-Handout for Couples-Encouragement

    • Unit 4, Lesson 2: Resources for Accompanying Couples

    • Unit4-Lesson2-PreservingBahaiMarriagesMemoResearchDept1990.pdf

    • Unit4-Lesson2-PreservingBahaiMarriages2009.pdf

    • Unit 4, Lesson 3: Providing Referrals for Help

    • Unit4-Lesson3-Non-Bahai-Counselors-2-4-21.pdf

    • Unit 4 - Scenarios for Breakout Groups

  • 6

    Unit 5: Prevention - Building Marriage Strength in the Community

    • Unit 5, Lesson 1: Introduction to Relationship, Marriage, and Family Education

    • Unit 5, Lesson 2: Potential Actions for Individuals, Couples, and Assemblies

    • Unit 5, Lesson 3: Potential Lines of Action

    • Relationship-Marriage-FamilyEd-BahaiCommunity-12-6-20.pdf

    • Unit 5 - Scenarios for Breakout Groups

  • 7

    Unit 6: RESOURCES (See US NSA website for updates; Some materials also available in Persian)

    • Unit 6, Lesson 1: Introduction to Resources

    • To Set the World in Order: Building and Preserving Strong Marriages (PDF)

    • US Assembly Confidentiality-2013.pdf

    • Assemblies and Marriage - US NSA Guidelines - Oct 2021.pdf

    • Assemblies and Divorce - US NSA Guidelines - May 2022.pdf

    • Domestic Violence Guidelines - US NSA - 2011.pdf

    • Character-Courtship-ChoosingPartner-Compilation.pdf

    • Quotations-Family-InLaws.pdf

    • Pornography-Response-UHJ-3-9-23

    • A Mental Progression for Overcoming Hurt Feelings.pdf

    • Some Guidance for Spiritual Assemblies Related to Mental Illness and Its Treatment (permission MK Radpour).pdf

    • Open Circle Network

    • Alcohol/Addictions in Marriage and Family

    • Consultation Tool for Married Couples.pdf

    • BahaiMarriage Website

    • Intercultural Resources

    • Professionals-Bahais-June18-2023

    • ForNon-BahaiCounselors.pdf

    • Unit 6 - Scenarios for Breakout Groups

  • 8

    Ending Your Course; Course-Ending Survey

    • Thank You for Participating in a TLC.com Course! Please Provide Course Feedback

Ways to Approach This Course

  • You can take this course as an individual member of a Spiritual Assembly or as an appointed individual who is supporting marriages in the community on your own for personal development.

  • Your entire Spiritual Assembly or appointed marriage support team can take this course by one person registering and then contacting [email protected] for a 100% discount coupon for others connected to the Assembly or your study group. You can request a private version of the course that includes online discussions for a set-up fee.

  • Groups may request a private version of this course with regular meetings via Zoom with a facilitator who is a Bahá’í with expertise in marriage (Susanne or someone else). These are invoiced at an agreed hourly rate in addition to the course registration fee.

  • Arrangements can be made for a live course with members of various institutions where participants do self-study and then meet via Zoom at an agreed interval to consult about the content with a facilitator knowlegeable about marriage (Susanne or someone else)


“As Spiritual Assemblies are being asked by the Universal House of Justice to 'rise to a new stage in the exercise of their responsibilities as channels of divine guidance...', the St. Johns County Assembly feels blessed to have cultivated a relationship with you. Your dedication to develop and implement an educational program that focuses on empowering couples, Assemblies, and individuals, has transformed our local Assembly. Our study with you has increased our capacity to serve our community. This guidance and education we received is allowing our community to begin the process of shaping new patterns of community life that will promote healthy marriages, strengthen the family, and increase bonds of affection in the greater community. We look forward to working with you in the future.”

Spiritual Assembly of St. Johns County, Florida

Please Register Now! Self-Study: $50


Susanne M. Alexander

Relationship and Marriage Educator and Coach

Hi, I’m Susanne M. Alexander, your course creator and companion on this learning journey. While I am a Relationship and Marriage Educator and Coach, I’ve also had a lot of experience. I’ve likely walked in your shoes. I’ve been single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, and widowed (currently married). I am a child, stepchild, sibling, step-sibling, parent, step-parent, grandparent, and step-grandparent. All of this has given me a diversity of experience to share! I meet with clients globally via the Internet for relationship preparation and navigating, marriage preparation, and couple relationship or marriage strengthening. I coordinate the faculty team and am the lead instructor here at Transformation Learning Center (www.transformationlearningcenter.com). My company is Marriage Transformation®, www.marriagetransformation.com, where I am President and also the author and publisher of numerous books. Books authored or coauthored include Couple Vitality, Creating Excellent Relationships, All-in-One Marriage Prep, Marriage Can Be Forever--Preparation Counts!, and Re-Vitalizing Our Marriage. I am certified by Prepare-Enrich to offer a research-based assessment to couples at any stage and accompany them through learning about themselves and their readiness for the next stage in their relationship (www.prepare-enrich.com) I'm also certified to offer the Character Foundations Assessment and have Completed Level 1 Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. I'm a member of the National Alliance for Relationship and Marriage Education. Media and Writing Experience: Quoted as an expert in Upjourney.com, HerCampus.com, eHow.com, Washington Woman, Ladies Home Journal, Inc., and more. I'm also a journalist with a background in freelancing for Newsweek, SimpleMarriage, and many others. I have been creating and offering online relationship and marriage courses for over 10 years.