Marriage Encounter refers to a retreat opportunity offered by a number of ecclesiastical traditions. Often conducted in a site away from the partners’ typical life context, Marriage Encounter uses prayer, bible study, worship, and guided conversation to explore the existing relationship and the couple’s readiness for marriage. Usually, a clergyperson credentialed and skilled in marriage counseling leads the Encounter. Couples are encouraged to be patient with the process and trust that the retreat process will strength the relational bond. Some denominations see Marriage Encounter a prerequisite to the church’s endorsement of the marriage.