Marriage and Family | Syllabus

Marriage and Family

Marriage and Family Syllabus


PSY 211Marriage and Family (3 Credit Hours)

At Ohio Valley University, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community that integrates higher learning, biblical faith, and service to God and humanity.

Class days/times: Tuesday and Thursday 12:30 pm-1:45pm

Location: ISOM 269

Instructor: Dr. Justin Imel


McDonald, Cleveland and Philip M. McDonald (1994). Creating a Successful Christian Marriage. 4th ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Faulkner, Paul (1995). Raising Faithful Kids in a Fast-Paced World. Monroe: LA: Howard Publications.

Because this course serves as a Bible requirement, you will need to bring a Bible to class with you. The instructor will mainly be using the New International Version, but feel free to use whatever translation you prefer.

Course Description

A study of dating, marriage, and family relationships with emphasis on building mutual Christian responsibilities. This course examines the biblical model of marriage and family through the use of scriptural study and Christian worldview development. Fulfills Bible requirement. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.


At Ohio Valley University, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community that integrates higher learning, biblical faith, and service to God and humanity. This course will seek transform the lives of the students by helping them prepare for a God-honoring marriage. We will accomplish this task by examining the biblical view of marriage and family relationships. We will also spend time examining the Christian worldview and critiquing modern family models in light of the Christian worldview.

Integrating Faith and Learning:

The integration of faith and learning closely follows the rationale for this course. In fact, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to think of the family in a biblical context not grow in both faith and learning. I pray that as we study together, you may understand God’s design for the home and determine to model your own home upon biblical principles. This course will bring to the forefront of our consciousness the biblical teaching on marriage, child rearing, divorce, and a myriad of other issues confronting modern families.

Course Objectives:

  • Students will explore the nature and function of marriage and the family as revealed in Scripture.
  • Students will examine and evaluate current competing views of marriage and the home in light of Scripture.
  • Students will examine common problems faced by married couples and families with an emphasis on both
    prevention and coping skills.
  • Students will refine and broaden their understanding of the spiritual, interpersonal, and practical components which contribute to a successful marriage and home.

Course Requirements and Evaluation:

Assessment that the objectives have been met will be based on the student’s performance on homework and tests assigned by the instructor. Primary academic abilities assessed include the student’s ability to read and understand the texts assigned as evidenced by homework grades, the mastery of the material learned as evidenced by the two exams, and the synthesis of the material as evidenced by the writing of a paper.

Your grade for the class will be based on two exams, homework, and a paper. Additionally, you may earn five points extra credit (as described below).

All work is expected to be turned in on time. If you do not turn your paper or extra credit in on time, you will be penalized 10 (ten) percent for each day it is late. You must take the quizzes by the due date. I will not allow you to make up late quizzes, so please don’t ask! If you know you are going to miss, please turn the work in early. You have the option of turning in your paper and extra credit either in class or to my e-mail address. Material turned in to my e-mail address MUST be turned in by 11:59 on the due date.

Homework Instructions (25 points)

You will be expected to read both textbooks in their entirety. To establish that you have, in fact, read both texts, you will have multiple-choice questions over specific chapters. These questions will be on Sakai as “quizzes.” Simply read the assigned chapter(s) and then go to Sakai and answer the questions over the chapter. There will be a total of ten (10) quizzes. These quizzes will NOT be difficult; as long as you do your reading, you should have easy points on these quizzes. In the course plan below, you will find the date by which you need to complete your quizzes.

Paper Instructions (25 points)

You will write a ten (10) page paper for this course. This paper will include a “family tree” extending from your great-great grandparents to the present. It will include a description of the following:

    • Your parents’ perception of the homes in which they were reared.
      • Include the following: the nature and quality of their relationships with their parents and siblings, type and nature of discipline, occupation of their parents, socio-economic status, physical surroundings (geographical location(s), type(s) of neighborhood, any geographical moves), educational attainments, physical health, family spirituality, major events which impacted the family, and what they see as the key strengths and weaknesses of their family of origin.
      • If your parents can be interviewed, use that technique. If your parents are deceased or unavailable, interview other family members and use your own memory/perception to discuss the items above.
      • If you were reared by someone other than your biological parents, read “parents” as “those who functioned as my parents.”
    • Your perception of the home in which you were reared. Include the aspects listed above as well as discussion of how and why your parents married. Especially note what you consider to be the key similarities and differences between your upbringing and the way(s) your parents were reared.
    • Your perception of the home in which you now live (if different from the home in which you were reared). Include the aspects above. Again, note the key similarities and differences between your family of origin and your own family.
    • What is good about these families? What can you do to emulate these families in your current family (or future family)? What should have been differently in these families? What can you do in your current family to keep from repeating these same mistakes?
    • This paper will be due on April 17.
  • This is NOT a research paper, and you do not need to spend time in the library researching for this. Simply talk to your parents, synthesize the material, and write a reflection paper.
  • You do not need to share anything which will make you uncomfortable. ONLY share with me what you feel comfortable sharing.

Exams (25 points for Mid-term and 25 points for Final)

You will have two (2) exams in this course, a mid-term and a final. The mid-term will be given on Thursday, February 21, 2008. The final exam will be given on Tuesday April 29, 2008. Both of these exams will include the following: multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank, and essay questions. Both exams will have an extra credit question. You will have a study guide for both exams at least two weeks prior to the exam.

Extra Credit

You may earn five (5) points extra credit by completing one of the following assignments:

  • Write an interactive review of six articles on marriage and the home from at least three different journals. Each review should be one to two pages in length. It should include the full bibliographic citation for the article, a brief summary of the article, and your reaction (positive and/or negative) to the article. Students may use articles from the attached bibliography.
  • Read and review one major book in the marriage/family field. The review should include a brief summary of the book and your evaluation of key strengths and weaknesses. It should be a minimum of five pages in length.
  • Create four new sermons (or a Bible class) on marriage and the home. Submit either a full outline (sufficient for the instructor to understand your thought flow) or a manuscript of each.
  • The extra credit is due no later than April 17.

Note: Because professionals in all disciplines must utilize correct oral and written communication, points will be deducted on all assignments that contain oral or written errors. Therefore, begin now to correct any oral language errors and proof/correct all written work before submitting for a grade. I will deduct points from assignments for spelling or grammatical errors.


The final grade will be based on your work in the following way:

  • Homework 25%
  • Midterm Exam 25%
  • Final Exam 25%
  • Paper 25%
  • 90% – 100% = A
  • 80% – 89% = B
  • 70% – 79% = C
  • 60% – 69% = D
  • Below 59% = F

Academic Integrity Policy:

Because Ohio Valley University expects students to follow the highest standards of honorable conduct in all areas of life, it is essential that students maintain high standards of academic integrity. Cheating, plagiarizing (whether intentionally misrepresenting another’s work as one’s own or failing to follow appropriate requirements of documentation), and helping others to cheat or plagiarize are all violations of these standards. Students who engage in these behaviors will face appropriate consequences, which could include failing the assignment in question, failing the course, or being dismissed from the University. A student who believes that he or she is being treated unjustly may file an appeal with the Provost; the student must initiate the appeal within 48 hours after receiving notification of the consequence. Appeal procedures are available in the office of the Provost.

Attendance Policy

OVU Handbook:

Regular class attendance is most important, whether face-to-face or online. Instructors are responsible for recording and reporting attendance in each of their classes. Attendance at 75% of the scheduled class meeting is required to receive credit for a given course; in other words, if a student misses 25% or more class sessions including both excused and unexcused absences, the student will fail the course.

If you miss 8 (eight) class sessions, you will be dropped from the class.

Therefore, attendance will be taken at each class meeting. If you are going to be gone on university business, please let me know.

Please be on time for class. It is rude and disruptive to arrive late on a habitual basis. There are times when we have problems getting anywhere on time, and I understand that perfectly. However, to do so on a regular basis is unacceptable. Three (3) tardies will equal one absence.

Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the Provost before or immediately after your first scheduled class meeting. After your disability has been verified, your instructor will work with you and the Office of the Provost to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

Cell Phone Policy

Please turn all cell phones to vibrate while in class. If you need to take a call, please do so outside the classroom.

Tentative Course Calendar

Midterm Exam Date: Thursday, February 21, 2008

Final Exam Date: April 29, 2008

Course Plan

The course schedule provided below is tentative and may be changed as needed.

January 8: Introduction to Course

January 10: God’s Creation of Marriage

January 15: God’s Creation of Marriage, continued

January 17: Damaging Influences on the Home

January 22: Damaging Influences on the Home, continued

HOMEWORK: Quiz One on McDonald & McDonald (chs 1 and 2) and Faulkner (chs 1 and 2). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on January 24.

January 24: Dating

January 29: Mate Selection

HOMEWORK: Quiz Two on McDonald and McDonald (chs 3 and 4) and Faulkner (chs 3 and 4). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on January 31.

January 31: Roles of Husband and Wife

February 5: Roles of Husband and Wife, continued

HOMEWORK: Quiz Three on McDonald and McDonald (chs 5 and 6) and Faulkner (chs 5 and 6). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on February 7.

February 7: Communication

February 12: Communication, continued

HOMEWORK: Quiz Four on McDonald and McDonald (chs 7 and 8) and Faulkner (chs 7 and 8). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on February 14.

February 14: Conflict Resolution

February 19: Conflict Resolution, continued

February 21: MID-TERM EXAM

February 26: Sexuality

February 28: Sexuality, continued

March 4 and 6: Spring Break

March 11: In-laws

March 13: Finances

HOMEWORK: Quiz Five on McDonald and McDonald (chs 9 and 10) and Faulkner (chs 9 and 10). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on March 18.

March 18: Finances, continued

March 20: Divorce and Remarriage

HOMEWORK: Quiz Six on McDonald and McDonald (chs 11 and 12) and Faulkner (chs 11 and 12). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on March 25.

March 25: Divorce and Remarriage, continued

March 27: The Birth of Children

HOMEWORK: Quiz Seven on McDonald and McDonald (chs 13 and 14) and Faulkner (chs 13 and 14). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on April 1.

April 1: The Role of the Father

April 3: The Role of the Mother

HOMEWORK: Quiz Eight on McDonald and McDonald (chs 15 and 16) and Faulkner (chs 15 and 16). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on April 8.

April 8: Raising Moral Children

April 10: Raising Moral Children, continued

HOMEWORK: Quiz Nine on McDonald and McDonald (chs 17 and 18) and Faulkner (chs 17 and 18). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on April 15.

April 15: Discipline

April 17: Discipline, continued

HOMEWORK: Quiz Ten on McDonald and McDonald (chs 19 and 20) and Faulkner (ch 19). Must be completed on Sakai by 11:59 pm on April 22.

April 22: The Future of the Family

April 24: Review for Final Exam

This course was originally taught by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr. at Ohio Valley University.

Share with Friends: