I. Pre-Marital Mentoring Program using PREPARE/ENRICH Dramatically Reduces Divorce Rate to Two Percent
Since 1995, South Hills Church of Christ in Abilene Texas, under the leadership of Pastor Robert Oglesby, has offered a premarital mentoring program based on PREPARE/ENRICH. They have developed a church policy that requires premarital preparation lead by marriage mentors. There are seven sessions, beginning with taking PREPARE and then sessions on marital expectations, communication, conflict resolution, budgeting, sexuality and wedding, honeymoon, and commitment. Over the 10 years, about 320 premarital couples were mentored by 35 married couples.
Only 4 out of 320 couples have divorced (success rate of 99%) and between 15- 20% (about 60 couples) of the couples canceled their wedding plans. The four couples that got divorced were the “Conflicted type” and they were encouraged to delay their marriage but they declined. The Marriage Mentors all took ENRICH and were trained on PREPARE/ENRICH. A positive outcome of mentoring was that the marriages of the Marriage Mentors also improved in the process of working with other couples.
Reference: Robert Oglesby, Director, Center for Youth & Family Ministry, Abilene Christian University, 242 Biblical Studies Building, Abilene, TX 79699