Chaplain leads retreat for committed SMU couples

Perkins Chapel
Many SMU couples choose to get married in Perkins Chapel.
Photo credit: Avery Stefan


In today’s western society, it is safe to assume that the average college student is not married. In fact, marriage counseling on campus is a somewhat foreign idea. But take a moment to consider the number of students who are in serious relationships and perhaps even embarking on a path headed toward future matrimony. What in the way of couples counseling is made available to them on campus?

SMU’s “Growing a Healthy Relationship” retreat will aim to address this dearth of resources in a two-part event held in Hughes-Trigg Ballroom Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, and at an off-campus location Feb. 27.


Betty McHone, Assistant Chaplain and Coordinator of Religious Life, is facilitating this year’s “Growing a Healthy Relationship” retreat through the Office of the Chaplain, and believes that it provides a truly needed service to couples.

“The event filled up within about three or four hours of sending out the e-mail,” McHone said. “That tells me there is a real need and desire for this kind of information on campus. We just don’t normally think about it because traditionally our undergraduate students are not all getting married.”

This year, about 20 couples from the SMU community will participate in the seminar.

The “Growing a Healthy Relationship” retreat is sponsored by Center for Relationship Enrichment via a grant awarded to the Office of the Chaplain. The Office of the Chaplain is hosting the seminar for the second year in a row to guide couples, whether married, engaged or seriously dating, and give them the tools to grow as a team. During the retreat, speakers, activities and a follow-up event will aim to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to build loving, satisfying and ultimately lifelong relationships.

Although the retreat is based on Christian values, it is open to any SMU affiliate — students and staff alike — seeking an opportunity to grow a “healthy relationship” with his or her significant other. The focus of this year’s retreat is “Conflict Management: The Power of Healthy Conflict.”

“I think this is something we will continue to do because of its success in truly catering to the needs of members of the SMU community,” McHone said.

Although registration for
the event is already closed, exceptions may be made. Contact Betty McHone at for further information.

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