MarriageStrong Leader Training | Programs | Boone Center for the Family | Pepperdine University

MarriageStrong Leader Training

Sharon Training


Both mental health professionals and lay leaders facilitate MarriageStrong groups within academic institutions, churches, and Christian organizations around the world. The groups are educational (not therapeutic) by design, so while leaders benefit from a psychological background, it is not a requirement. Some leaders co-facilitate with their spouse, which is encouraged.

MarriageStrong Group Leader Training

Those interested in leading MarriageStrong groups participate in a two-day training at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Participants learn the curriculum in an interactive and interpersonal format, working through the key learning objectives themselves to experience firsthand the benefits of the program for their own relationships.




Training Schedule

The weekend training schedule is Friday from 8:30am - 4:30pm and Saturday from 9:00am - 3:00pm.

Each day includes 2-3 short breaks and a lunch. A light breakfast and lunch is provided each day of the training and is included in the cost of the training.


The total cost for the MarriageStrong Group Leader Training is $300 per individual or $350 per couple. Student rates are available for those who qualify. Your acceptance into the training is confirmed upon application approval and receipt of payment.


Travel Information

For those flying, the nearest airports to Malibu are LAX or BUR. Please schedule your departing flights after 6:30pm on the Saturday evening of the training.

If you would like to stay on campus during the training, you can make a arrangements at the Villa Graziadio. Click here for additional hotels in the area. We recommend booking your accommodations as soon as possible.


Certified MarriageStrong Group Leader

Certified MarriageStrong Group Leaders are qualified to teach and facilitate the MarriageStrong 9-week curriculum in a small group format within the context of their own organization, academic institution, or church.


Requirements to become a Certified MarriageStrong Group Leader

Completion of a MarriageStrong Group Leader Training, which includes a minimum of 13 hours of training on the topics of:

  • conflict/conflict resolution,
  • personality differences,
  • spiritual gifting, and
  • boundaries.

Note: Though many Certified MarriageStrong Group Leaders hold advanced degrees in psychology, counseling, and/or theology, this is not a prerequisite for certification.

CE Information

We offer CE hours for a portion of our MarriageStrong Leader Training.

Educational Objectives:

Restoration therapy is a new approach to assessment, treatment and healing in individual, marital and family therapy. It utilizes techniques and theory that help individuals gain clear insight about their identities and perspectives on relationships as well as giving the therapist a cadre of intervention techniques that move individuals into responsible change of persistent and long standing patterns. Coming from a tradition of Contextual Family Therapy, the Restoration approach provides the therapist with clarity of assessment of individual and relational issues yet utilizes sound mindfulness strategies to produce real and long-lasting systemic change. Based on the recent book, Restoration Therapy: Understanding and Guiding Healing in Marriage and Family Therapy by Terry D. Hargrave and Franz Pfitzer and over 25 years of therapeutic practice, the training opportunity offers a unique blend of teaching and consultation. This training opportunity is designed to give participants background information foundational to the approach and training in the primary therapeutic techniques of Restoration Therapy.
As a result of the training, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic theory of love and trustworthiness.
  2. Explain and assess emotional pain from relational violations.
  3. Describe the emotional process of peace.
  4. Utilize the technique of "re-parenting."
  5. Utilize the "Four Steps" in organizing change strategies.

Target Audience:

Participation in this training requires a minimum of a master's degree in psychology, counseling, marriage and family, social work or closely related field. Training is designed for staff/faculty of Pepperdine University and MarriageStrong who are interested in increasing their skills in clinical therapeutic practice with individuals, couples and families.

Schedule & Format:

  • 9:00am to 10:15am- Training in the basic theory of love and trustworthiness, understanding emotional pain. Group involvement in analyzing case example.
  • 10:15am to 10:30am- Break
  • 10:30am to 12:15pm- Training in emotional peace, technique of re-parenting, understanding and utilizing the "four steps" in producing change.

Cost & Refund Policy:

Total fee for 3 CE units is $15, payable in person via cash, check, or credit card. All sales are final.

Faculty Credentials:

Terry Hargrave, Ph.D. (Marriage and Family Therapy, Texas Woman's University) is nationally recognized for his pioneering work with inter-generational families. Dr. Hargrave has authored numerous professional articles and eleven books including Restoration Therapy: Understanding and Guiding Healing in Marriage and Family Therapy (co-authored with Franz Pfitzer) and The Essential Humility of Marriage: Honoring the Third Identity in Couple Therapy.
Dr. Hargrave has presented nationally and internationally on the concepts and processes of family and marriage restoration, aging and is known for his clear and entertaining presentations. His work has been featured in several national magazines and newspapers, as well as ABC News 20/20, Good Morning America, and CBS Early Morning. He has been selected as a national conference plenary speaker and as a Master's Series Therapist by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
He is a Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California and is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and Texas (MFC #47906, CA; MFT #364, TX).

Number of CE credits offered:

Total of 3 CE units will be offered for this 3-hour training. Contact the Boone Center for the Family for more information on specific agency approval.


To request reasonable accommodations for disabilities please contact Disability Services at Phone: 310.506.6500 or Boone Center for the Family at centerforthefamily@pepperdine.eduor 310.506.4771

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