Center for Marriage and Relationships counsels students, community

The Center for Marriage and Relationships gives couples the opportunity to seek advice that is scripturally based.

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Center for Marriage and Relationships counsels students, community

| Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

| Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

| Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

| Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

Morgan Dworak, Writer

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Dr. Chris Grace serves as the Center for Marriage and Relationships director. The first of many events and services held by the CMR is the Relationship Retreat on Oct. 10 and 11.  | Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES

 

After Colby and Christine Gilmore’s first visit to the Center for Marriage and Relationships, they felt confident that the center openly addressed and encouraged them through the relationship concerns of a brand-new marriage.  

“It doesn’t feel like you are going to see a psychiatrist or anything like that, but just that you are meeting with the coolest people in the world,” said Colby, a senior business accounting major.

The Gilmores, married since last August, express appreciation for the wisdom and encouragement that the center provides.

“It was really easy to talk to them. They ask really good questions that kind of figure out what the root causes are,” said Christine, Biola 2013 alumna.

The Center for Marriage and Relationships opened on July 1. The center develops rapidly as it hires for new positions, prepares to host conferences and strategically finds ways to provide an integrated approach on relationships to students of Biola and the surrounding community.

CONTRIBUTING VOICES

Dr. Chris Grace, director of the Center for Marriage and Relationships, is joined by a group of others who share his passion for relationships. Grace’s wife and former Biola faculty member Alisa Grace plans to serve as a consultant and assistant for the CMR.

Additionally, Tim Muehlhoff, professor of communication studies, will serve at the center by helping plan events and writing resource material to make it accessible to people outside of the university. The purpose of the center is to discover how the blending of communication theory, psychology and Scripture can help relationships flourish, Muelhoff said.

Carolyn Kim, head of the public relations department, will serve at the center in a volunteer position to participate in discussions about public relations strategies.

“The center is designed to have such an impact, so a really important piece is how the public relations and communication roll out,” Kim said. “They will have someone who is working for them on that, but I have just got to have a seat at the table and to be a part of that conversation.”

A new full-time communications coordinator will take on the launch of a new website, social media sites and informing the public of how to use the resources that the center provides, Grace said.

FUTURE GOALS

"Currently, the CMR is located in the right wing of upper Metzger Hall, but the goal is to gain a more permanent residence on campus within a year," Grace said.  

Since opening the Center for Marriage and Relationships, Grace has spoken at conferences at various universities and churches about dealing with complications within relationships.

In the future, Grace plans to speak for a conference at University of California Los Angeles, through an organization like Campus Crusade that encourages an integrated perspective on relationships. This fall and upcoming spring semester the CMR will partner with various organizations on campus and host multiple conferences. The first of these is the Biola Relationship Retreat, which will occur in October 10 and 11.

When the center emphasizes the timeless and cross-cultural qualities of scripture combined with the best of science, it brings great things, Grace said.