In marriage, oppression occurs when one spouse seeks to control and dominate the other through a pattern of coercive, controlling, and punishing behaviors. Abuse is not a marriage problem. As a result, traditional marriage counseling will likely cause us to do more harm than good. In this course we will seek to understand the distorted and dangerous beliefs of an oppressor that require us to have a distinctive counseling approach. To minister and care wisely for people ensnared in abusive relationships we must understand abuse biblically, know what God says about it and how he calls us to participate in his rescue. In Counseling Abusive Marriages a biblical counseling model will be presented that will conceptualize abuse and provide guidance for how to wisely minister in these difficult and overwhelming situations. You will study physical, spiritual, sexual and emotional abuse and how each uniquely impacts a victim and their children.
You will walk away with tools for assessing the extent and severity of abuse, ways to discern the deceptive behaviors of an oppressor, plans for providing protection, strategies for church engagement as well as practical counseling approaches for both the oppressor and the oppressed. Lectures and readings will provide the essential conceptual elements for organizing and understanding oppressive & abusive elements and how the gospel penetrates and applies. Through the use of written work, discussion and case studies you will learn how to connect the gospel to these overwhelming and complex dynamics.
Counseling Abusive Marriages is designed to train helpers (pastors, elders, counselors, and friends) to care for victims of abuse and oppressors. Some students who have taken Counseling Abusive Marriages have had a history of an abusive marriage or are currently in one. However, if a victim is still greatly affected while going through the class, some material might be too difficult, as this class and its instructors cannot provide needed personal support. If you are currently a victim who desires personal support, we are happy to connect you with a counselor and also recommend to you Professor Strickland’s book, Is it Abuse?.
*Enrollment in this course requires additional approval from SBC Administration. Students who enroll will receive a follow-up email with additional steps and instructions for enrollment within 5 days of registering. Course enrollments will be held as “pending” until the enrollment is approved.
*Dynamics of Biblical Change is a prerequisite to this course.