Unification News for September 2002

U.B. to Promote Marriage Education in New Online Program

by Michael Giampaoli

Earn a Certificate in Marriage Education on-line through University of Bridgeport's new program for students and professionals! The first of its kind in the world, this program has generated tremendous interest among those looking to promote marriage in a culture where the "m" word is an endangered species.

Whatís marriage education? Itís a growing movement that prepares individuals, couples and community leaders in the knowledge and skills needed to support resilient marriages and other good relationships. Marriage education helps to cut through the illusions about love, marriage, and sexuality that cause unnecessary suffering and family breakdown. It gives couples the tools that help to resolve tensions, enhance closeness and increase mutual understanding and support.

Research by foremost marriage and family therapists is leading today's marriage educators to be more concerned with prevention than simply helping couples manage crisis. Professionals from diverse fields recognize that sustaining love through a lifetime of trials requires competency in fundamental emotional and relational skills.

Who can be a marriage educator? Anyone with a passion to help and a willingness to learn. The obvious candidates are clergy, therapists, social workers, teachers, guidance counselors, lawyers and human resource specialists, but many good marriage educators are just concerned individuals who have a ready audience in their church or other group.

The Certificate in Marriage Education from the University of Bridgeport is designed to help students and professionals develop their skills as marriage educators. Students learn about marriage education's leading practitioners, extensive research base and most effective programs. The instructor led courses show practically how to design, implement and promote programs in a variety of contexts.

"Educating for lasting love is both art and science. The college years are a perfect time to study what makes marriage work and its role in society and culture," observes Dr. Josephine Hauer, program developer and director, "This initiative continues University of Bridgeportís tradition of innovation in the human services and education." Hauer graduated from the Unification Theological Seminary in 1990 after completing a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School. Interested in synthesizing values and education, she pursued doctoral research in moral education and has been writing books and other educational texts with others from the International Educational Foundation (IEF).

"Marriage education is also a crucial yet neglected part of encouraging young people to avoid unhealthy romantic and sexual involvements," says John R. Williams, of IEF in New York City. "For our kids to remain pure until marriage means they have to believe they can be happily married. Yet many kids doubt they can. Marriage education can give them enough understanding and practical skills to sustain that hope. Then purity and the Blessing become more realistic options."

"One of my hopes for the CME program at UB is for Unificationists interested in doing marriage education for second generation or Christian ministers may have an accessible way to get more training," reflects Hauer. "It's important to think through the details of any program so that it fits well with a particular audience. learning is great for building networks of marriage and blessing educators."

Interested students can learn anytime from anywhere. Course credits may be applied to elective requirements or transfer credit in a Bachelors degree program or CEUís for educators and human service professionals. Courses may also be taken for non-credit.

For more information about the Certificate in Marriage Education and other programs, contact:

School for Continuing and Professional Studies

University of Bridgeport

Toll Free: 800-470-7307

Email: ubonline@bridgeport.edu

Website: www.bridgeport.edu/scps

Michael Giampaoli is the Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at University of Bridgeport and formerly the Director of Distance Education.

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