Chaplains Dick and Karen Beckman, Founders
Dick and Karen have had a healed marriage since 1995. They led The Third Option for eight years in Cincinnati and repeatedly saw the tremendous impact of sharing their own story with hurting couples. The Beckmans founded The Marriage School, Inc. in 2014 before moving to Arizona to be with their children and grandchildren. They continue their ministry to marriages in Arizona and serve as president and vice president of the board of The Marriage School, Inc.
Daniel and Rachel Sachs, Executive Directors
As a classical concert pianist and opera singer, Daniel and Rachel worked together first as a musical duo before falling in love and marrying in 2005. After experiencing a transformation of their own marriage through The Third Option, they discovered a shared passion to see God build strong marriages and healthy families. When Dick and Karen Beckman approached them about assuming directorship of the Cincinnati region, it confirmed a calling to this ministry. They have 3 sons and still enjoy making music together.
Kim and Pam Terry, founding board members
Kim and Pam were married in 1977 and raised two children. They founded and pastored Living Word Fellowship in Loveland, OH from 1980 to 2002. Having experienced a miraculous transformation in their own marriage, they share their story of hope and healing as facilitators for The Third Option.
Don and Mary Dudrow, Board Members
Don and Mary Dudrow met through friends at church and married in June 1987. Don runs his own architectural business while Mary works as a payroll/benefits administrator for him. They are members of Montgomery Community Church and served as facilitators for The Third Option. They enjoy watching individuals being transformed and marriages restored while learning how to grow in their own marriage.
Jeff & Phyllis Atkinson, Board Members
Jeff & Phyllis Atkinson were married in 1979 and have 2 married children and 5 grandchildren. Jeff is a Financial Advisor and Phyllis works as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. They feel called to share how God has redeemed and restored their marriage.
John Brewer, Board Members
John & Danita Brewer have been married for 37 years. They attended The Third Option when their marriage hit rock bottom. The skills they learned in the program helped them to turn things around and revitalize their marriage. Ever since that time they have been active volunteers and supporters of The Marriage School.
Lisa Durr, Board Members
Lisa began her involvement with The Marriage School in 2016 as an accountant and recently transitioned to the board as treasurer. She married her husband, Michael Durr, in 2015 after collaborating for 7 years as co-workers in the same office. During their engagement, they attended The Third Option in order to enhance communication skills and lay a firm foundation for their marriage. Lisa is the Director of Administration for a local IT company while Michael is a CPA. They are members of Whitewater Crossing Church.
The Volunteer Staff
We have approximately 50 volunteers on our staff and they are the lifeblood of the ministry. They are a committed group of people who have overcome difficulties in their own marriages and are progressing toward mature love. They rotate throughout the sessions as discussion and teaching facilitators and as sharing couples. Their stories, insights and transparency will encourage and inspire you.
The Marriage School Inc. was established in 2014 as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit public charity in order to provide ongoing practical programs to strengthen marriages and families.
The tools of the current program, The Third Option, are fundamentally practical and are useful for any couple from any religion or background. All are welcome regardless of beliefs.
Although the primary focus of The Marriage School is practical and skill-based, we believe that the skills needed in marriage are intricately linked to the innermost workings of the heart. We often see that the practice of these skills pushes us to the limit of our human will, determination and character. And that is exactly why marriage is not easy. Our number one goal is self-change.
Our programs are volunteer led in keeping with Paul's model for ministry in Eph. 4:12: "Equipping God's people to do his work and build up the church.” (NLT) Our volunteers are spiritually gifted, humble, transparent, trained, accountable, mature, and still growing.
Statement of Faith
1. We believe that marriage was created by God. (Genesis 1 and 2)
God created everything. The creation of marriage concludes the creation narrative in the Bible: a man and a woman are given to each other as perfect complimentary counterparts for the purpose of intimate lifelong companionship and procreation.
2. We believe that everyone encounters problems in marriage. (Genesis 3)
It is not hard to see that our world is broken. It is really us humans that are broken and so are many of our relationships. Two imperfect people in close proximity are going to encounter difficulties. All of us have been wronged and all of us have wronged others.
3. We believe that God’s desire is for reconciliation with Him and one another. (Genesis 3 to Revelation 22)
Our marriages are embedded in a much bigger marriage story, namely the redemption of the world: In the end, God unites His people with His Son in a glorious relationship with Him and one another forever (Revelation 21). The reconciliation of people with God is the ultimate story of lost and restored intimacy. God is still proposing, and we can still say yes to Him. This is great news!
With regards to earthly marriage, God does not only command us to be faithful, loving, forgiving, compassionate, sacrificial spouses in our marriage covenant, He also wants to enable us to that end in a transforming relationship with His Son Jesus and through His Holy Spirit. This is the testimony we share.
We hope that you join us in the journey of God’s redemption of the world. It starts in our homes, our close relationships, our marriages, our parenting, our workplaces, and communities.