Passionate about marriage and want to help couples build vibrant marriages?

Eager to strengthen and enrich your own marriage?

Want to build a better world for your children and their future families?  

SPONSOR AN ENGAGED COUPLE!

If you are in a valid Catholic marriage, married more than five years and would like to support young couples in your parish, become a Sponsor Couple!

As a Sponsor Couple there is no formal training: you simply enroll as a participant in the Sponsor Couple course and make your way through it. The sponsor meetings take place after each lesson where you use the discussion guide provided to spark dynamic conversations with the engaged couple.

All Sponsor Couples have access to our Sponsor Hub – a member only area where you can access additional resources, training and our sponsor forum.

You work collaboratively with your local parish leaders and other Sponsor Couples for supervision and support.

Have a question? Email us here: [email protected]
DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

Watch Info Session for Sponsor Couples 

(this session was recorded on the 9th of December 2020)

What Sponsor Couples are Saying

“We loved our marriage seminar and got so much out of it. It was so good, we didn’t think it could be topped. Then we started mentoring engaged couples and we’ve been blown away by how much more we’ve got out of it. It’s brought us so much closer.”

Belinda & Mark

“We knew the theory of being a sacrament, but we didn’t really experience it until we became Sponsors. Seeing how those young engaged couples respond, week after week, to our personal sharings allowed to experience our sacrament having a direct impact.”

Simon & Gabrielle

“We’ve been running marriage preparation for years and were reluctant to switch over. So glad we did. This is a brilliant course, and it’s really easy to get up to speed on the new content.”

Celine & Richard

All The Facts

 

So you’ve been asked to accompany an engaged couple through the SmartLoving course. Thank you for your generosity – you will make all the difference in your engaged couple’s experience. You also will get a great deal out of it yourselves and you can check out some of the testimonials from mentor couples on the SL website.

You’ve probably got quite a few questions so let me explain how it works. Click any tab below.

From the Sponsor course information page select ‘enrol now’. This will add the course to your cart. You only need one account per couple.

If you already have an account with SmartLoving, you can login and then go through the checkout. This will unlock your access to the Sponsor course, as well as the Sponsor Hub.

Your engaged couple may have already purchased workbooks for you, but if they haven’t, you may wish to purchase print copies of the workbooks. Add them to your cart and go through the checkout as normal.

Enrol in Sponsor Course
 

Once you go through the checkout, you will have an account on our platform. You’ll already be logged in at this point, so just select “My courses” on the menu to go to your dashboard. From here, you can see all your courses. Access any member hubs from the menu.

If you want to access the platform in the future, there is a ‘login’ button at the top right of the SL site.  Login

 

SL Engaged was first developed as a face to face course designed to be delivered by a trained mentor couple to one engaged couple at a time. The curriculum can also be adapted for use with groups many dioceses and parishes around the world have done this. Run over 6 sessions of 2-2.5 hours each, the course includes approx. 20 mins of DVD content in each session. Mentors are trained to present additional content not covered on the DVDs.

In 2016 we adapted the curriculum for a fully online delivery. We redistributed the content over nine lessons of approx. 1.5 hours each and incorporated the unit on fertility management (run as a take home activity in the face to face version). We used the same content and videos, and made additional videos and audio explanations to cover the material in the course that is usually presented by the mentor.

The addition of these video and audio files means that sponsors do not need to be trained in order to sponsor an engaged couple as the online course is completely self-contained. Navigating the course is fairly intuitive and thousands of ‘students’ have already successfully completed the course. We call these couples ‘sponsors’ to differentiate them from the trained ‘SL Mentors’ who run the face to face course.

 

Your purchase gives you access to the Engaged Hub and the Sponsor Hub. The Engaged Hub has articles and extension activities that are referenced throughout the course. The Sponsor Hub contains specific materials for Sponsors. You will also receive regular emails from us as you progress through the course with tips on how to get the most from your discussions with the Engaged. Take a browse sometime to explore the material available there.

 

From the ‘my courses’ page, select your course to see an overview of the lessons. Lesson 0 has introductory notes and a registration form. Please complete this so that we can keep in touch with updates to the course. Lessons 1-9 are the course itself and this is exactly the same as the Engaged couple version of the course with a few minor differences: the engaged version has a progression lock so that couples are required to do the course in order, time locks so that they are required to spend a minimum of 1 hour active in the platform before the lesson quiz activates. An 80% pass in the quiz is required to unlock the next lesson.

And at the end of the course, in Lesson 10, the couple has an online assessment which they both complete which generates their completion certificate and a report with their answers for their celebrant.

Your Sponsor version of the course has no progression lock, no time locks, and no final assessment. We left the quizzes in place so that you could have some fun with them, but you don’t need to get an 80% pass to move on (phew!).

 

You and your engaged couple simply do the course in parallel in your own time and in your own homes, meeting up to discuss what you have learned using the discussion guides provided at the end of each lesson.

We recommend that you meet the first time to do lesson 1 together. This will give you all more confidence and a better insight into how much time you might need to leave between meetings. We recommend to pace the course at one lesson per week so that the course can be completed within 2-3 months allowing for a few skipped weeks with illness or travel.

As the course has practice tools to do between lessons, it is not practical for couples to do more than one a week without compromising the learning experience.

What’s the difference? 

The two courses are identical in content and structure. The Sponsor course however has no time locks or progression locks and no assessment at the end of the course. Nor do Sponsors need to gain 80% to pass the lesson quizzes – phew! 

As there is NO completion certificate for the Sponsor course, it is not suitable for engaged couples and may not be used as a substitute for the Engaged course.

 

While this is an online course, the workbooks are essential and each participant will need his/her own copy to do the activities. You can download and print a PDF of the activities or purchase a print copy from the SL store.

Buy Workbooks
 

The ideal is to meet up after every lesson, in the mentor’s home with just the two couples. However, you can also meet less frequently covering two to three lessons at once if time is scarce.

You can also meet in a different location such as at the parish or in a café.

For couples who live remotely or are travelling, these meetings can also be done over Skype, Facetime or What’sApp or other VOIP service if necessary.

And some parishes prefer to meet in groups with several engaged couples at once, perhaps with the priest also in attendance.

The point is, the meetings are completely flexible in terms of your scheduling and format.

 

Make sure that the engaged couple has completed the lesson before getting together. If they haven’t, we recommend you reschedule as they won’t be prepared for the discussion.

When you get together, after the usual catch up and sharing in hospitality, say the prayer together from the Lesson. Then simply use the ‘Discussion Questions’ at the end of the Lesson to stimulate discussion. Be prepared to share meaningfully of your own life and experience and encourage both fiancé’s to share their thoughts and discoveries. Allow about an hour for this discussion, more if you are covering more than one lesson.

A detailed guide to the meetings is listed below and in the Sponsor Hub. You’ll also get an email from us each time you complete a lesson with tips and insights for you to use in your discussions.

 

This happens to us all at some stage and it’s perfectly ok to simply say that you don’t know. For technical problems with the platform, get them to use the ‘Help Centre’ on the course platform.

For questions that relate to the content of the course, they can also use the forums, or send us a question from the Help Centre. You can also do some research and come back to them with a response or refer them to your parish priest.

 

If serious issues surface it’s important to remember that it is not your role to be a counselor to this couple. Even if you have counselling qualifications, we recommend that you be clear that you are not in a professional counselling capacity.

If you are not sure how to handle a situation, there are a couple of things you can do. Please refer to the Pastoral Care guidelines in the Sponsor Hub and if appropriate, confidentially consult your parish priest, or contact us via [email protected]

 

At the conclusion of the course, your couple will complete their final assessment which generates a certificate and report with their answers. This is emailed as a PDF to them and to their celebrant. The celebrant may want to meet with all four of you, or with just the engaged couple.

Although it is not required, we recommend that you follow up with your engaged couple after the wedding to make sure that they know they have someone they can turn to if they experience difficulties.

 

For now, you’re done. But if you’ve enjoyed the journey, there’s nothing to stop you from sponsoring another engaged couple. Or you may be interested in training to become one of our SL Mentors. There are also other online courses on the SL platform that you may be interested in such as The Marriage Kit, BreakThrough or Fertility.

In addition, many parishes use SL to build a parish marriage ministry using the course to renew the marriages of parish couples and build a support network for the newlyweds and indeed for all couples. SmartLoving has additional resources to support parish groups who want to meet regularly to support each other and grow even more in their relationship.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about a course, its presentation, delivery or administration, ​​​please use this form to ask our friendly team.

Ready to Start?

FREE
  • Enroll now and get instant access!
  • Includes access to the Sponsor course, Member Articles and the Sponsor Hub.