Relationships and Marriage

Courses for Relationships, Marriage Preparation, and Marriage Strengthening


The Bahá’í teachings refer to marriage as a “fortress for well-being and salvation” and as the foundation for a unified global society. Healthy relationships and marriages are the foundation for creating families. The process of creating and maintaining relationships requires knowledge and skills. Individuals and couples thrive when they are engaged in personal and couple growth and development founded on spiritual teachings. The Relationship and Marriage courses build capacity in the participants to make wise choices and create happy, unified marriages that are of service to those involved and outward to others.

The Wilmette Institute offers spiritually-based, practical, and participatory courses for:

    • Individuals wanting to understand friendship, character, dating, and courtship
    • Individuals and couples preparing for the possibility of marriage
    • Married individuals and couples who want to engage in marriage building and strengthening
    • Members of families and institutions wanting to support the relationships and marriages of others
    • Groups of individuals or couples wanting to study and discuss materials together, either in the same geographical location or over the Internet; groups may be organized with the assistance of a Local Spiritual Assembly

Course Content:
Courses include the Bahá’í Writings, relationship and marriage education materials, discussion questions and Forum, learning activities, skill-building opportunities, videos, articles, the arts, active faculty-mentoring (available by email, videoconference, or phone as needed), and more.

Course materials are in English, with Google Translate available for approximate translations. Each participant or couple in a course has a faculty mentor for interactive discussions and support. As needed, a mentor can be assigned based on a wish to interact about the content in a common language. Please specify Persian, Spanish, or Portuguese when registering to

Technical Requirements:
Internet access; devices capable of downloading and reading pdf documents, and email. Most of the readings, activities, and discussions are available on the course’s website, the Internet, or transmitted through email.

The Wilmette Institute provides discounts and scholarships as needed to groups, couples, youth, senior citizens, and pioneers. Please do not register for a course more than three months in advance, because course dates sometimes must change.

Parenting Section (new): For information and courses on Parenting, please visit our new Parenting Section.

Wilmette Institute Relationship and Marriage Booklist (a valuable free resource)


Engaging in Parental Consent for Marriage

FACULTY: Susanne M. Alexander, Leslie Asplund, Alex Blakeson, Hoda Kemp, Wendi Momen, Riaz Mostaghim, Fariba Vahdat

Engaging in Parental Consent for Marriage is a four-unit course centered in the Bahá’í belief that marriage is intended to be a unifying experience for a family. It explores the knowledge and skills needed during courtship as well as those that help build family unity throughout the process leading up to a marriage. The course covers the purpose and process of parental consent, a requirement for Bahá’í marriages; the couple’s responsibilities during courtship and before asking parents for consent to marry; parental responsibilities during courtship, consent, and engagement; and building a united family.

Dates: This is a Register-When-You-Need-It course. Participants (individuals, couples, families, and community groups) can register at any time 24/7/365. Study is self-guided, with faculty-mentors available for help as needed. The course includes links to additional materials on relationships and marriage.

Thinking of Relationships and Marriage? 

FACULTY: Susanne M. Alexander, Alex Blakeson, Wendi Momen

You may be uncertain about being in a relationship and also be thinking, “Why get married?” Come explore and learn new perspectives and ways of preparing for positive experiences. It can be a natural part of your life journey to establish a close connection with someone. Thinking of Relationships and Marriage? will help you navigate through a coherent process of building a friendship, assessing character, understanding male-female relationships, and being of service. Your learning will position you to make significant decisions about courtship and the broader horizon of marriage. This course is intended primarily for single individuals not yet in a relationship or individuals or couples in a relationship; others are welcome.

Dates: This is a Register-When-You-Need-It course. Participants (individuals, couples, families, and community groups) can register at any time 24/7/365. Study is self-guided, with faculty-mentors available for help as needed. The course includes links to additional materials on relationships and marriage.

Are We Ready for Marriage? 

FACULTY: Susanne M. Alexander, Leslie Asplund, Fiona McDonald

You are in a serious relationship and wondering whether you can be successful together in marriage. Come explore your shared vision of a possible unified future life together. Engage in a rich learning experience about friendship, communication, spiritual unity, being of service, equality, family life with children, money and work, marriage as a divine institution and foundation for world unity, uniting a couple’s families, and parental consent to marriage. Thorough preparation for marriage and certainty about your path forward helps couples establish a strong foundation.

Dates: July 21-September 17, 2017

Choosing a Potential Marriage Partner

FACULTY: Susanne Alexander, Marabeth Lum

Do you make a list for what you want in a partner? Pray the right person just shows up? Pick someone that reminds you of Mom or Dad? Rely on electronic matching services? Then, after you meet someone with potential, how do you tell whether they are going to be a good match for marriage? Come explore these questions and more to empower you to make a great choice.

Dates: October 31 – November 17, 2017


Linking Spiritual and Physical Intimacy in Marriage

FACULTY: Susanne Alexander, Riaz Mostaghim

Intimacy in the bedroom is a strong unifying factor in a healthy marriage. In Linking Spiritual and Physical Intimacy in Marriage, couples are invited to expand their understanding of some spiritual principles related to physical intimacy. Participants will learn about practical ways to enhance marital unity and move towards a rich, passionate, and enjoyable intimate relationship. Note: Personal privacy boundaries means there will be no requirement to discuss specifics about your relationship in the course Forum. All learners will have access to a wide range of marriage enrichment resources.

Dates: November 28 – December 15, 2017


Creating Unity with Friendship, Fun, Social Vitality & Laughter

FACULTY: Wendi Momen, Fiona McDonald

“…[L]augh, smile and rejoice in order that others may be made happy by you.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 218)

Come build unified friendships, relationships, marriages, and communities with this light-hearted skill-building course. Expand your ability to deepen friendships, have fun together, extend hospitality, share humorous stories, take a lighter approach to challenges, and more. Excellent preparation for couple dates, neighborhood and family activities, and social events. Please invite your friends!

Dates: December 26, 2017 – February 9, 2018


Relationship Department Chair: Susanne Alexander

Relationship and Marriage Faculty-Mentor Team: