Matt and Amanda live in the High Country of North Carolina, where Matt serves as the Senior Regional Director for Africa with Operation Christmas Child at Samaritan's Purse. He holds a BA in Business Management from Appalachian State University and a MA in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. Amanda earned her BS in Psychology and MA in School Counseling from Appalachian State University. She is a licensed school counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Currently, she is a stay at home mom to their daughter and volunteers with the Samaritan's Purse Family Support Ministry. Matt and Amanda have been married over six years and serve the Samaritan's Purse staff and their spouses through the MarriageStrong program in Boone, NC.
Katie Gohde is a licensed professional counselor in Atlanta Georgia. She received her masters in counseling psychology from Northwestern University in 2005. After a brief stint as a family therapist at an inner city ministry in Chicago, she and her husband relocated to Atlanta where she joined LifeGate Counseling Center. She enjoys a diverse caseload at LifeGate and sees clients ranging from adolescents through young adult women, pre-marriage couples and young families. In addition to her therapy practice, she leads a MarriageStrong group at Columbia Theological Seminary and co-leads a quarterly preparing for marriage seminar with her husband, Steve. She and Steve have been married for 10 years and enjoy raising their 3 children (2 human and 1 canine).
Dr. Edward A. Gray, Professor of Counseling at Harding School of Theology, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He is an approved Supervisor and Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and has been a marriage and family therapist for over thirty years. His wife, Rhonda, has had a variety of careers as a science and math teacher, general contractor, and photographer. She currently travels with Ed conducting marriage enrichment weekend seminars. Ed and Rhonda have been married for thirty-eight years and have three adult sons.
Fletcher McClelland, LPC is owner of Christian Counseling of Athens, Georgia, a private practice specializing in marriage and family issues, addictions, and mood disorders. He does intensive marriage counseling with the National Institute of Marriage and also offers classes for inmates on Dialectical Behavior Therapy. His wife Julie does preservation architecture and together they have raised three boys.
Bonnie Wallace, LPC #1823, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia. She works as a staff counselor at LifeGate Counseling Center in Atlanta. Prior to joining the counseling team at LifeGate she worked with individuals and couples in private practice for over 20
years. Currently she is leading a MarriageStrong group at Columbia Theological Seminary. Her approach to counseling is both integrative and
interpersonal. She holds to the belief that growth and change happen within relationship and works toward helping couples build healthy and strong marriages that reflect their love for God, self, and each other. Bonnie has two children and two grandchildren.
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.)