School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Church Growth, Evangelism, Premarital Counseling, Weddings
Christianity | Liturgy and Worship | Other Religion | Practical Theology | Religion
Anderson, David, "Before God and These Witnesses: An Evangelistic Guide to Weddings" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1441.
Every year, according to the Center for Disease Control, an average of 2.3 million couples wed in the United States, while nearly 900,000 divorces occur. One fourth of couples marry outside of a church. Though most ceremonies take place in a church building, the church’s presence is small. An opportunity exists to reach receptive engaged couples and provide needed counseling services to those marrying outside of the church. Premarital counseling reduces the risk of divorce approximately 30 percent. To impact marriages and see growth, the church must take a proactive and evangelistic role in providing premarital counseling and weddings services for unchurched engaged couples. Quantitative Research will analyze national marital, counseling, and divorce statistics. Qualitatively, the author will interview thirty-eight former clients who have received premarital counseling. This research also surveys a cross-section of thirty-eight ministers about their practices, policies, and beliefs concerning weddings and premarital counseling. It generates an evangelistic program for reaching unchurched, pre-married couples as a practical outcome.