Preparation for Marriage Syllabus

This course highlights skills, attitudes, behaviors, and principles needed to prepare oneself for a strong marriage and to wisely select a marriage partner. Preparation for marriage is also emphasized by focusing on healthy practices related to dating, courtship, engagement, and the transition following marriage.

Course Outcomes

After completing this course, you should be able to:
  1. Describe and teach the doctrine, principles, and practices associated with effective marriage preparation as set forth in the scriptures, words of living prophets, and scholarly sources.
  2. Describe the present context of marriage preparation, including current trends, research, and common philosophies related to marriage preparation.
  3. Use a gospel lens to critically assess trends, philosophies, and research pertaining to marriage preparation.
  4. Critically assess my own strengths and weaknesses pertaining to marriage readiness, including the impact of my family of origin and other previous life experiences.
  5. Employ healthy practices pertaining to preparation for and transitioning into an eternal marriage, including healthy practices associated with dating, courting, engagement, and the transition following marriage.
“Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself.” (2 Nephi 2:16)

A vital principle to learning is to "act for [yourself] and accept responsibility for learning and teaching" (BYU-Idaho Learning Model). To become engaged learners, you must prepare yourself by studying the assigned material, writing in note-journals, asking questions, sharing insights, and thoughtfully complete the assignments. Moreover, you have a responsibility to contribute to our learning community by "loving, serving, and teaching one another.” Keep this in mind as you review the course assignments and requirements. In other words, it’s pretty difficult (if not impossible) to be lazy and learn.

Learning Model

What It Means To Be An “Agent” (Rather than an object) Learner:

Learning Model Principles
  1. Exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a principle of power;
  2. Understand that true teaching is done by and with the Holy Ghost;
  3. Lay hold upon the word of God - as found in the holy scriptures and in the words of the prophets - in all disciplines;
  4. Act for yourself and accept responsibility for learning and teaching;
  5. Love, serve, and teach one another.
Learning Model Processes
  1. Prepare carefully and thoroughly for each assignment;
  2. Seek opportunities to teach one another, both in and out of the course;
  3. Take time to ponder and prove teachings presented in the text and class discussions.

Required Textbook

Van Epp, J. (2007). How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk. New York, NY: McGraw Hill. This book is available as a paperback and as an e-book.

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.

Learning Activities

My Marriage Prep Plan, Progress, and Final (25%) - Students will discuss a number of issues relative to preparing oneself for marriage physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Students will develop areas in which they need to grow in preparing for their own marriage, including specific skill deficits and concrete plans for overcoming those deficits. This will include an assessment of your experience in your family of origin and other previous experiences (e.g., prior romantic relationships). You will need to demonstrate that you are making progress toward some of those objectives before the end of the course. This assignment will be completed in “waves” beginning with identifying opportunities for growth and culminating with demonstrating progress and refining plans for future growth.

Discussions (28%) Discussion Boards usually begin with a reading assignment or a task that you must complete first. You are then asked to teach one another as you share your experiences and findings with a group of students or the entire class. For each discussion board you are required to post and respond to at least 2 other students.

Assignments (21%): You will be asked to reflect upon your experiences in four written assignments that you submit to your instructor.

RAM Paper (25%) - You will learn about a theoretical model that can help prepare for marriage and mate selection. It is called the Relationship Attachment Model. You will write a paper describing each aspect of the RAM, identify supporting gospel sources for each aspect of the RAM, and how you plan to apply (or, if you are married, teach someone else to apply) the principles of the RAM.

Quizzes (1%) - There are two short quizzes.

Due Dates

Due dates for specific activities are indicated on the activity page, modules page, calendar and other places in the course. It is very important that you update your Canvas Profile to be sure the time zone is set to your local time zone. This will ensure that the due dates in the course display using your local time zone.

Regularly check the Calendar and the To Do list to see when your assignments are due. Use the calendar to plan for upcoming assignments.

Due Date Pattern

If you are in the Mountain Time Zone, you will have these due dates

If you are NOT in the Mountain Time Zone, your due dates will be adjusted to your time zone if you have updated your Canvas Profile. Once this is done, you may use the Calendar and your To Do list to see the exact due dates and times for your location.

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 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.

Late Work Policy

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

What Is This Grade Really Going To Mean In 10 Years? (Be Sure To Learn Something Too!)

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

What Does Your Grade Mean?

In assigning final grades for this course, the instructor will use the BYUIdaho Standard Grade definition criteria listed 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 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.


Please review all University Policies found in the Resources folder.

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.