Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Robert Matthew Lytle


Religion, Culture, Arranged Marriage, Asian Indian, Christian, Dominance


Christianity | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Marriage is an institution designed by God to fulfill the creation mandate and represent Christ and his bride in this world. Marriage is a universal social construct fulfilled in diverse ways across cultures and societies. In Asian Indian culture, marriages are mostly arranged where parents customarily choose a spouse based on the caste/ethnicity, religion, social and economic standing of prospective spouses and their families. Many Christians in India and those of Indian origin living in the United States adopt the cultural norm of arranged marriage. This DMIN action research project will explore the breakdown of harmony in Christian arranged marriages due to culturally induced male dominance. The action research project includes a four-part Marriage Seminar with a mono-ethnic Asian Indian para-church group in eight consecutive sixty-minute lectures. The seminar addressed culturally induced male dominance by teaching the biblical truths about marriage centered around, understanding culture and arranged marriages, the complementarian model, biblical manhood and womanhood, and biblical male headship. Quantitative data were collected from the seminar participants completing pre-seminar and post-seminar marriage enrichment surveys. In addition, qualitative data were gathered by interviewing seminar participants. The results indicated an internal transformation in the para-church group. Therefore, para-church/church groups of Asian Indian origin are encouraged to provide similar Marriage Seminar lectures on household codes prescribed in the Scripture and address the breakdown of harmony in marriage.