Marriage Skills Syllabus

This course will help you understand the foundational principles of successful marriages with application to strengthening marriages.


  1. Describe scholarly and doctrinal principles of successful marriages.
  2. Describe the impact of my family of origin on my current or future marriage.
  3. Demonstrate in my own relationships the application of correct principles pertaining to relationship success, particularly marriage.

Required Textbook

Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World That Pulls Us Apart, 2nd edition by William Doherty. (2013) New York, NY: Guilford Press.

The digital copy is available free in the course. A paper copy may be purchased through the University Store, but is not required.

Compare prices for your textbooks through the University Store Price Comparison site. They will show you all of the options from the University Store plus several online options to help you find the best price.

Optional Materials


Because I-Learn does not scale times to match your local time zone, please note that times are set at 11:59 PM Mountain Time (USA). You will need to be sure your I-Learn profile is set to your local time zone and check your Calendar to see when assignments are due for you. There are 1-2 deadlines to meet per week.

If you are in the Mountain Time Zone, these dates/times are:

If you are in a different time zone, check the course Calendar and identify the two recurring weekly due dates for you.

All postings to discussions, quizzes, activities, blog posts, etc. are due at one of these two times. You are encouraged to submit your work and complete the reading well before the time it is due. NO LATE WORK IS ACCEPTED. Quizzes will not be administered after the due date. There is no late work accepted for missed discussions.

All assignments in Week 07 are due by Friday at 11:59 (Mountain Time). See Calendar for exact time in your time zone.

Planning Your Time

Students taking a fourteen-week, one-credit class are expected to spend three to four hours per week. For a seven-week, one-credit block class, students must plan to spend six to eight hours a week on class work!

Learning Activities

Participation (25%)

Learning includes both preparation and participation; therefore this is a major part of your grade. It is expected that you will engage intellectually with the readings and the course work and then participate in a meaningful way. It is the responsibility of each of us to contribute in meaningful ways, including offering thoughtful questions and responses that facilitate learning among everyone.

Weekly Note Journal (10%)

To help ensure that what you learn in this course stays with you beyond the last day of the term, you will keep a note journal of all that you are learning regarding marriage, principles, and doctrines. You should record any insights you gain from your studies (i.e., reading alone, pondering, and discussing content with others).

You will report your completion weekly via a quiz.

At the end of the term, you will submit ONE of your journal entries, and describe why it is the most meaningful to you.

Family of Origin Paper (25%)

Week 02

Your experience in your family of origin will have a significant impact on your marriage. For this paper, you will seek to increase your awareness of the influences from your family of origin. You will analyze your overall family of origin and the negative/positive traits as you grew up.

Conflict Conversation Paper (10%)

Week 05

Learning to have conversations with people with whom we disagree is an important marital skill. In order to complete this assignment you will need to either resolve a conflict with another person or have a conversation with someone about something with which you disagree.

Live Class Session

Week 06

Your instructor will lead a live class meeting in Week 06. This experience will help you obtain answers to questions you and your classmates have asked about relationships. The meeting will be recorded for those who cannot attend in person. While there are no points associated with this activity, you may find this one of the most valuable experiences of the term!

Final Principles Paper (30%)

Week 07

This isn't a difficult paper. It can easily be built from the readings and your work in the class, if you keep it in mind while you read and do other assignments. For this paper, you will describe the seven most important principles you learned in the class. This paper will include 7 sections, one for each principle you choose to discuss, and will be at least four pages in length (double spaced).

Learning Model

This online course is structured using the Learning Model at BYU-Idaho. Students will prepare by reading and reflecting on the assigned reading material and by completing other assignments. Students will teach one another on a weekly basis by sharing their thoughts and insights through discussion forums and other learning activities. Students will have opportunities to ponder and reflect on reading material and insights of others and will record personal insights in a journal on a weekly basis. Students will prove what they learned by writing papers and other learning activities.

Late Work Policy

Procrastination is an unhealthy and inhibiting habit. Procrastination will also prove detrimental to your marriage. Therefore, late work will not be accepted. You are expected to complete your assignments on time. Contact your instructor with any questions or concerns.

Grading Policies

Percentage Range Letter Grade
100% – 94% A
93% – 90% A-
89% – 87% B+
86% – 84% B
83% – 80% B-
79% – 77% C+
76% – 74% C
73% – 70% C-
69% – 67% D+
66% – 64% D
63% – 60% D-
59% – 00% F


Your grade should reflect the grade description below. If while assessing and calculating final grades, it is deemed that your grade on I-Learn does not reflect the grade description from the university, I reserve the right to make a grade change based on the criteria below:

"A" represents outstanding understanding, application, and integration of subject material and extensive evidence of original thinking, skillful use of concepts, and ability to analyze and solve complex problems. Demonstrates diligent application of the Learning Model principles, including initiative in serving other students.

"B" represents considerable/significant understanding, application, and incorporation of the material that would prepare a student to be successful in next level courses, graduate school, or employment. The student participates in the Learning Model as applied in the course.

"C" represents sufficient understanding of subject matter. The student demonstrates minimal initiative to be prepared for class. Sequenced courses could be attempted, but mastering new materials might prove challenging. The student participates only marginally in the Learning Model.

"D" represents poor performance and initiative to learn, understand, and apply course materials. Retaking a course or remediation may be necessary to prepare for additional instruction in this subject matter.


To learn from and teach one another, regular participation is necessary. If you have a legitimate emergency that may affect your participation, contact your instructor ASAP. Keep in mind the principles found in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). You cannot cram in learning and becoming at the last minute!

University Policies

Please review the University Policies found in the course in the Student Resources module of this course.

Integrity & Honor Code: Above all else, students are expected to maintain integrity. Dishonesty of any kind undermines what we are trying to accomplish at BYU-Idaho and will not be tolerated. Dishonesty will affect your grade.

Department Policy Regarding Intellectual Property and Course Materials:

All of the materials in this course are covered by fair use and copyright law and are proprietary (intellectual property). Students are not permitted to sell, post, trade, share, distribute, or send any information contained in this course (including outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, lectures, audio and video recordings, or images of the same, etc. including your own work for this course) to any parties outside of this course (i.e., Course Hero, Quizlet, Google Docs, etc.) by any means (e.g., posting, uploading, attachments, etc.) without the express written permission from the creator of these works and the Department Chair.

Any of these actions violate the Academic Honesty policies of Brigham Young University-Idaho (please see CES Honor Code: Academic Honesty) and will be dealt with as such. The materials in this course are also intellectual property and taking any materials from the course and posting them outside of this course in any manner will be construed as theft and distribution of intellectual property. If you engage in any of these actions, or use any of these materials without authorization, the instructor has the right to impose an appropriate academic sanction (e.g., give you a failing grade for the assignment and/or fail you from the course). Additionally, the respective Course Lead, Program Lead, and/or Department Chair also reserve the right to impose appropriate academic sanctions regardless of any imposed by the instructor.


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place.