Trainer of Leaders

Becoming a Trainer of Leaders through IDEALS for Families and Communities

Prerequisites to Enter the Trainer of Leaders Program

shutterstock_41876471.         Document that you have completed a 16 hr Mastering the Mysteries of Love RE Program for Couples, Mastering the Mysteries of Sacramental Love Program for Couples, Mastering the Mysteries of Stepfamilies RE Program for Couples, Love’s Cradle RE Program for Couples, traditional RE program, Relationship Enhancement for Refugees and Immigrants, or Ready for Love RE Program for Singles and Solos.

And that you (1) attended a 2 day Leader/Facilitator Training in that program

Or (2) that you have completed a 3 day training to become a Leader/Facilitator in one of the programs.

Documentation may be registration of program completion at IDEALS, Certificate of Completion, or written documentation by your program Teacher/Trainer.

2.         Document you have taught an RE based class (MML, RFL, MMSL, LC) at least 3 times.

3.         Complete the written application and sign the agreement to use approved materials in your training and to follow all copyright laws.

4.         Submit a video on DVD of at least 2 hours of your class leadership.  These two hours should  include your teaching and demonstrating at least one RE skill.

5.         Submit a video or audio demonstration of at least 30 minutes of your personal use of RE skill in a dialogue.  This demonstration should be a real dialogue about a real concern of yours or a concern someone has with you.  During this dialogue, demonstrate your use of empathy, expression, discussion, and problem solving skills.

6.         Send the application, along with a $25 enrollment fee to:

Mary Ortwein

IDEALS for Families and Communities

813 Hillwood Avenue

Frankfort, KY 40601

Your materials will be reviewed carefully.  You will receive feedback on your materials and will know if you have been accepted into the Trainer of Teachers program within a month.

Your individual supervision will begin immediately upon acceptance.  Group training begins in March and October each year.  Once you begin group work, expect the full training process to take a year.


Overview of the Trainer of Leaders Program (TOL)

IDEALS Trainer of Leaders Program is a comprehensive program that takes about a year to complete.  In the program you will enhance your skills to teach classes, use the skills yourself, coach dialogues, set up and conduct trainings, effectively present materials, and provide community leadership. Once you have finished the program, you will be certified to train new leaders and facilitators in your selected RE based program.

Components of the TOL Program include:

1. Enhancing Your Skills to Teach: Individual, video or live observation-based supervision of your work teaching a 16 hour class.

As your video or live presentation (where possible) is reviewed by an MML supervisor, you will get feedback and have opportunities to discuss each segment of your chosen program.  All supervisors are experienced program teachers.

2. Enhancing Your Ability to Use the Skills Yourself: 6 phone or live 30 minute coached dialogues of your use of the RE skills

Hone your own dialogue skills while being coached by the best RE coaches.

3. Enhancing Your Ability to Train Others:  Plan and Co-lead a two or three day Training of Leaders with Mary Ortwein in your community.

Learn how to set up a training of leaders and conduct one with Mary Ortwein, co-author of the MML series.

4.      Enhancing Your Ability to Coach Others:  Coach 6 phone or live 30 minute dialogues under supervision.

Get supervised practice of helping others dialogue.  This is coaching of your coaching!

5. Enhancing Your Training Leadership: Plan, conduct, and video a two day or three day Training of Teachers in your community.

Your final project is to complete a two or three day training in your community.  Video it, and have your video reviewed by Mary Ortwein.


Enhancing Your Skills to Teach:

Individual Supervision of Your Work Teaching a 16 hour Class

Good training is founded on good practice!  The first component of the TOL program is to enhance your skills as a program leader.  This component centers around observation by an IDEALS supervisor of your presentation of MML or other RE based program.

If possible, this can be a live observation.  A supervisor will attend your class and give you feedback.  Or video the class and record it on a DVD to be reviewed by IDEALS supervisors.

Supervisors will use the MML Observation Checklist for your program to organize feedback to you.  When you enter the TOL program, you will receive a copy of this.  We encourage you to use it for self-assessment and evaluation.

This supervision process typically takes about 20-22 hours of a supervisor’s time.  This includes time watching the class, organizing notes, and discussing the observation with you.

This feedback process will identify strengths and help you work through difficulties.  It  often includes supervisor modeling, role play practices, processing, your questions, and an opportunity to discuss your experience of teaching.  It is done at your shared convenience.

It is necessary to complete this portion of the TOL Program before you schedule a co-led session with Mary.


Enhancing Your Ability to Use the Skills Yourself:

Coached Dialogues of Your Use of the RE Skills

Over time we have discovered that good Trainers in MML regularly use the RE skills themselves.  They use them at home, at work, and with friends.  The second component of the TOL process is for you to be coached through eight 30 minute dialogues.  These dialogues must be done with someone with whom you have a close relationship.  They should be real dialogues about real issues between you (not role plays). If you are teaching a couple program, these dialogues are best done with your mate.

The dialogues may be observed live or by phone.  If you received phone coaching as part of your participation in an MML class in California, those coached dialogues may count toward this requirement.  If you practice the dialogues as part of a community group or AFREM chapter, you may count those dialogues for this component.  Once you are accepted into the TOL program, you can decide how to meet this coached dialogue requirement.  IDEALS can provide coaches or you may find one in your own community.


Enhancing Your Ability to Train Others:

Plan and Co-lead a Training of Leaders with Mary Ortwein

The third component of the TOL program is to plan and co-lead a Training of Teachers with Mary Ortwein in your community.  Training others to teach MML is different from doing it yourself.  In this component you learn how to teach others to teach and how to conduct a training.  In this component, you set up a Training of Teachers in your community.  Often people work with local Marriage Initiatives, agencies, or churches to identify future program leaders and to host the training.  You work on brochures and other advertising, facilities, registrations, funding, agendas, evaluations, and follow-ups.  This is true learning by doing!  You then co-lead the training with Mary Ortwein, co-author of MML.  Mary will work with you for about 3 months before the training and a month afterwards.  She will help you with each step in the process.  As you co-lead together she will help you hone your presentation skills.


Enhancing Your Ability to Coach Others:

Coach Dialogues under Supervision

Just as you learn from receiving coaching, you also learn by providing it.  Once you have completed being coached, you are eligible to coach others-under supervision.  This is coaching dialogues beyond what is done as part of MML classes.  This is concentrated coaching of a couple for 30 minutes at a time.  You coach the couples.  Someone listens to you coach (and their dialogue), then adds feedback and/or additional coaching.  This may satisfy this requirement through phone coaching, live coaching in class or training follow up sessions, one-on-one with a couple, or perhaps some other creative way.  The stipulations are that these are real dialogues about real problems of people in real relationships-not role plays.  Experience coaching prior to entering into the Trainer of Leader process, when documented, can count for this requirement.


Enhancing Your Training Leadership:

Your Own Training in Your Community

The final requirement to become a Trainer of Teachers is to conduct a two or three day leadership training in your own community.  This is a replication of co-leading a training-except this time you are totally on your own.  You set up and present everything!  Video this training and record it on a DVD.  Mary Ortwein will review your video, provide you with feedback, and provide any final support, supervision, or training needed before you are certified as a Trainer of Leaders.



IDEALS Trainer of Teachers Project has no grant or foundation funding.  Costs are kept as low as possible because our goal is to get one Trainer of Leaders out there working for each million people in the US.  That means we need 303 of you!  At the same time, we won’t compromise on quality.  We believe that we provide both a phenomenal training program and reasonable costs.  We try to give our best to help you give your best to give couples and families the best of chances to live lives of love.

For current costs, contact Mary Ortwein at