Course Summary

The formation of a wholesome marriage and a strong family

The key to a healthy marriage and family lies in the foundation on which the marriage rests. The course falls within the limits of the discipline of "sociology" but assumes a Christian perspective.  It demonstrates how that perspective can contribute to a sense of contentment and fulfillment. The course is divided into five modules: (1) The Marriage Ideal, (2) The Husband, (3) The Wife, (4) The Children, and (5) Freedom and Fulfillment.  Each module follows a similar pattern: cultural expectations, Christian expectations, and practical considerations. Not open to students with credit for BRS 12 or Soc 1.  3 semester undergraduate credits.


1. Summarize the forces that shape the dynamics of family life

2. Differentiate the different family roles

3. Appraise family member relationships with other people, institutions, and events

Credit. Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on each of three multiple choice examinations, a paper devoted to the analysis of a family situation, and an analytical paper that compares two family situations.  Each graded element is valued at 20% of the final grade. A sample multiple-choice exam problem follows.

A person who experiences no discipline in childhood will likely (A) become disciplined in adulthood, (B) enjoy a full life unimpeded by restrictions, (C) never learn the art of self-control, (D) over-discipline his/her children.


The books listed below are recommended, but students normally choose to read the two e-books in the Electronic Collection at no cost.

Balswick, Jack O. and Judith K. Balswick.  The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Christian Home. 4th ed. Baker Academics, 2014. 416 pages. $22.01. ISBN: 978-0801049347

Witte, John, Jr. and Eliza Ellison. Covenant Marriage in Comparative Perspective. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005. 356 pages. $37. ISBN: 978-0310242826