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Certified MARRIAGESTRONG & RELATESTRONG Leaders around the country

Use the map to locate MarriageStrong leaders in your region!

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A group is a psychoeducational small group that most commonly meets weekly for an hour and a half over nine weeks. A trained professional leads the participants through sessions focused on:

  • constructive conflict resolution
  • connecting past experiences to the present relationship
  • personality differences
  • spiritual gifting
  • learning healthy boundaries




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Lance Ahl, MS IMF#71849, is currently working towards licensure in Marriage Family Therapy in the state of California, supervised by Sharon May PhD #39408 at the Safe Haven Relationship Center. Lance earned his BA in Business Management from James Madison University in Virginia and then earned his Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. After serving as a pastor, Lance returned to Fuller to earn his MS in Marriage and Family Therapy so that he could work more intentionally with individuals and couples. Jennifer Ahl is an ordained Christian minister and currently serves as Pastor of Equipping Ministries at Mount Soledad Presbyterian Church in San Diego. Jennifer earned her BA in psychology from Boston University and earned her Master of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. In her work with adults and teenagers, Jennifer is particularly passionate about helping people experience freedom and healing by working through past hurts, ending cycles of shame and insecurity, and discovering meaningful purpose for their lives. Jennifer and Lance Ahl are married and enjoy working together in ministry and therapy settings. They pastored a church together in New Mexico for three years, with Jennifer ministering to adults and Lance focusing on local and global outreach. They share a passion for seeing Christ's healing bring wholeness and purpose to people's lives. They are currently looking to develop MarriageStrong programs with church pastors, educational institutions, and the Southern Baptist Association in the San Diego area.


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Sheila Bost, LMFT #47175, is a licensed marriage and family therapist who practices on the west side of Los Angeles. She sees families, couples, and individuals in all transitions in life. Her therapeutic interests include grief and loss, depression, chronic illness, post-abortion, sexual abuse, trauma, marital issues and family issues. She is certified in PREPARE/ENRICH and FOCCUS for premarital work. Sheila also is a member of the Marriage Friendly Therapists movement which is dedicated to making marriages succeed, if at all possible. Currently, Sheila is leading MarriageStrong groups at Pepperdine University. Outside of working as a therapist, Sheila has worked with churches in marriage mentoring programs, sex education programs, and has led numerous classes and workshops focusing on family and relationship issues. She readily partners with clients and churches to integrate a faith perspective. Raising their children in Los Angeles has supplied Sheila a wealth of experience with people from a variety of cultural, ethnic and faith backgrounds reflecting the nature of Southern California. Sheila is married and she and her husband have four children and a growing number of grandchildren.



Pepperdine University
Malibu, CA
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Dusty and Cecily started dating while completing their undergraduate work at Pepperdine University. After moving away and spending their first year of marriage living in Kenya, the Breedings moved back to Malibu, where Dusty now works as the youth minister at the University Church on campus at Pepperdine. In addition to student ministry, Dusty and Cecily are working towards their M.A. in Religion. Thanks to great mentorship and a solid church community, the Breedings love married life and think that a great marriage is not just a beautiful aspiration—it’s kingdom work.



Rancho Cucamonga, CA
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Elizabeth Campbell, MS, IMF#81768, is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, supervised by Judy McGehee, LMFT, MFC#32546. Elizabeth has a small private practice in San Dimas, CA and works for Covina-Valley Unified School District as a School-Based Clinician. Elizabeth received her MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary. Her husband, Rob is an Adjunct Math Professor at Azusa Pacific University. Rob and Elizabeth started dating as undergraduate students at Azusa Pacific University and have been married since 2012. They are both passionate about seeing couples thrive in marriage. Their experience in attending a MarriageStrong group inspired them to walk others though this life-changing experience. Rob and Elizabeth have launched a MarriageStrong group through their home church in Rancho Cucamonga, CA and hope to continue to develop and expand the program through the Marriage Ministry.


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Barbara Chandler, LPC #4813, is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado. She has worked in Colorado for 6 years at Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care as a grievance counselor-working with families and patients as they work through the process of the impending loss of a family member. She is planning to lead MarriageStrong groups in the Colorado Springs area. Barbara is married and has three children and two grandchildren.


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Sharon Hargrave, MFT CA #47921/MFT TX #4459, is the Executive Director for the Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in both California and Texas. Her secondary role is as Director and Founder of MarriageStrong at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California where she also teaches as an adjunct instructor for the Marriage and Family Therapy Department. Sharon loves her work with couples in ministry and believes strongly that what we learn about ourselves in our marriages transforms who we are and how we interact with others in the work place, as parents, as ministers, in our families or any other relationship context. Sharon travels with her husband and speaks nationally and internationally on issues pertaining to couples in ministry, marriage, intergenerational relationships, parenting and the Restoration Therapy model. She has written a group leader guide for MarriageStrong and also for the Five Days to a New Marriage material. Sharon is also employed by The Hideaway Experience located in Texas and works with couples in crisis using the marriage intensive model. Before moving to California, Sharon was in private practice for over 18 years. She specializes in working with couples and intergenerational issues. She is married and has two adult children.


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Rick Jackson, MS IMF#73774, is currently working towards licensure in Marriage Family Therapy. He is supervised by Leonore Cash, MA, LMFT, MFC#38052 and works with individuals and couples at La Vie Christian Counseling Center in Pasadena and Santa Monica, CA. He has received extensive training in Restoration Therapy, is a certified facilitator for Prepare/Enrich Premarital and Marital Assessment, and is an instructor in Family Wellness. Rick has over 30 years of experience in pastoral ministry with churches in Texas and Hawaii. Rick and his wife, Vickie, have owned a destination wedding company based in Maui, Hawaii for the past ten years. They themselves have been married for over 38 years, and have three adult children.


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Sarah Jin, LMFT # 37912 is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. For the past 17 years she has been at Foothill Family Service where she has worked with children and families and currently supervises therapists and oversees programs. She also has a private practice in Pasadena. She enjoys working with diverse population especially clients who deals with cultural, spiritual, and family of origin issues. She facilitates MarriageStrong groups with Korean students at Fuller. Sarah's husband, Dave is a high school drama teacher who often finds himself helping young students who are in need of good set of ears.


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Esther Lee is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT 80114) in private practice in Pasadena, CA. She received her MA in Theology and MS in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller. During her clinical training, Esther has worked at a community mental health agency and also at Cancer Support Community-Pasadena. She is currently in private practice, working with women, couples and families to foster emotionally healthy relationships. She is passionate about bringing a greater awareness of mental health issues to the Asian American community, and working with leaders in ministry and business. Esther has collaborated in the development of the material for Asian and Asian American students at Fuller Theological Seminary. She also leads groups for MarriageStrong at Fuller. 



Pasadena, CA
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Megan Lundgren is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in marriage and relationship therapy at her practice in Monrovia, CA: Relationships for Better. Megan and her husband, Daniel, have been married for 9 years and both earned their Masters degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Seminary. Megan is currently writing a book about Christian  marriage and regularly posts articles at her website, Megan and Daniel are passionate about strengthening relationship dynamics with couples through MarriageStrong groups for Fuller Seminary students, staff, and alumni.


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Adelle Morse, M.A., M.S., is working toward licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California. She is supervised by Gayle Samples, PhD, LMFT and Terry Hargrave, PhD, LMFT. Her work focuses on college and post-college young adults; she also works closely with adolescents, families and couples. Adelle has worked in college ministry, which led Fuller Theological Seminary, where she earned an MS in Marital and Family Therapy and an MA in Theology. Adelle has launched a MarriageStrong program at Life Pacific College where she continues to train new leaders each semester. She hopes to develop this program at Christian colleges in southern California in the coming year. Adelle and her husband Bart have two energetic young daughters (and one on the way).



Fuller Theological Seminary, Arizona Campus
Phoenix, AZ
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Tom and Gayle attended Princeton Theological Seminary together, and are both ordained pastors in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). Tom has directed Fuller Theological Seminary's regional campus in Arizona for over 25 years, where he has also taught Old Testament/Biblical Languages. Over four years ago, Tom and Gayle helped plant a church in Tempe, near ASU. They know that marriage is one way that Christ's love is reflected in this world. As they have seen many marriages fail, they understand the need for strong marriages.


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Hannah Parmelee, MFT, received a BA in Psychology from Pepperdine University and a MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary. She directs the Relationship IQ Program and the Family of Faith Network Conference at Pepperdine University for the Boone Center for the Family. Hannah is certified in PREPARE/ENRICH, Christian PREP, and is a Family Wellness, PICK a Partner, and MarriageStrong group facilitator. Her presentations are highly interactive, engage the audience, and are centered around practical skills and faith based material. In addition to her work with college students and young adults at Pepperdine, Hannah is also a guest speaker at churches and schools, and a conference and workshop speaker for couples, families, parents, counselors, and ministers. Hannah is currently leading the MarriageStrong group at Pepperdine University. Hannah is married and has three daughters.


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Pisey Sok, IMF #76319 is a Marriage and Family Intern at Pacific Asian Counseling Service working with the Cambodian community in Long Beach, CA. He received his MDiv and MSMFT degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary and is certified in Restoration Therapy, Seeking Safety, and Care for Our Families. He has worked as a youth pastor, a spiritual formation coordinator, and a pastoral intern. His wife, Rebecca, works at the Thrive Center for Human Development at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. Rebecca and Pisey have a passion to empower couples to discover their unique strengths and gifts to further God's Kingdom. They have been married for 9 years.


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Pam Solem-Weser, LPC AZ #10669 is a Licensed Professional Counselor and certified as an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist and Supervisor in a private practice in Scottsdale, AZ. Additionally, she has worked as an adjunct teacher at Phoenix Seminary and a Bible study leader and volunteer professional counselor at Scottsdale Bible Church. Her husband, Jim Weser, is a middle school science teacher with a passion for God and helping married couples. Jim and Pam have co-led marriage classes and volunteered in the Marriage Ministry at Scottsdale Bible Church. They have been married for over 27 years.



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Melinda Talley, LMFT #50807, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California. Melinda spent the last few years working with children and their families at a community clinic in Los Angeles and the LA County/USC Hospital. Melinda is passionate about emotionally healthy marriages and families, particularly among ministry and missionary families. Matthew Talley is a student affairs professional currently working at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. He particularly enjoys the pastoral and mentoring aspects of his work with graduate students who are preparing for ministry. The Talleys share a keen passion for nurturing thriving couples and families in ministry and believe that dealing with one’s own pain is an essential step towards healthy relationships. The couple is married with two sons.


Pepperdine University
West Los Angeles, CA
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Jaclyn is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California (MFC51810). She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame with minors in Theology and Gender Studies before completing her MA in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. Jaclyn works with individuals and couples at her private practice in West Los Angeles under the premise that the best route towards more satisfying interpersonal relationship starts with developing and nurturing a healthy relationship with yourself. In addition to seeing clients, Jaclyn is an Adjunct Faculty member in Pepperdine University’s and Antioch University’s graduate psychology programs. Jaclyn is married and is excited to be facilitating MarriageStrong groups at Pepperdine.

Presentations & Trainings

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Valerie Johnson, MA

Christian Association For Psychological Studies

Annual Conference, Portland Oregon

Sharon Hargrave, MA; Valerie Johnson, MA; Judith Cho, MS

Introduction to the MarriageStrong Program and its Cultural Applications:

Studies on marital enrichment programs have identified the positive impact of psycho-educational programs on relationships. However, few studies have assessed a program tailored to clergy spouses who face unique relational stressors. This study examined clergy and seminary couple reactions to marital satisfaction, trustworthiness and positive feelings toward spouse, before and after participation in the MarriageStrong program, using the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (RDAS), the Relational Ethics Scale (RES) and the Positive Feelings Questionnaire (PFQ). Results indicated significant increases in trustworthiness and positive feelings toward spouse following participation in the MarriageStrong program. Significant increases in marital satisfaction were not demonstrated. Probable explanations for findings and implications for the program are discussed.

(note: the following documents refer to MarriageStrong by its former name, Strong Marriages Successful Ministries.)

We are excited to announce

a name change for MarriageStrong and RelateStrong.

Same programs, new names...

Please visit our new site at the Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University