Marble Retreat Summary of Research

Joann Nishimoto

More than 1200 alumni who had attended Marble Retreat during the preceding 25 years were surveyed during 2001. More than 700 alumni (a 57% response rate) revealed that:

    • The Marble program is effective for many types of problems:
      Participants came to Marble with a broad range of problems that spanned marital, emotional, sexual, addictive, and ministry problems.
    • Those in ministry may be struggling with serious issues:
      The top issues addressed by participants were: communication problems (64% of attendees), lack of emotional intimacy (37%), burnout (41%), depression (46%), self-concept (39%), anger (43%), stress (49%), and infidelity (22%).
    • The Marble program is able to meet the counseling needs of both marital partners:
      Men and women both ranked the program as equally effective.
    • Clergy and spouses who attend Marble often have deeply felt needs:
      Prior to the Marble program, 57% of participants said that they were functioning in the “Very Poor” to “Poor” range.
    • The Marble program can help even when other counseling had failed:
      60% of participants had tried counseling for their problems before attending Marble, but most felt that it had made “no change in my problem” or only “made things a little better.”
    • The Marble Retreat program was highly effective:
      Regardless of the issue(s) for which they came, 60% of the participants ranked the Marble program as “made things a lot better” regarding the problem(s) for which came.
    • Participants reported real change:
      Marble participants reported that the impact of the Marble program had a long-term impact in their lives, and more than 95% indicated that they sustained or kept the positive emotional gains that they made while in the program.
    • Extensive group and individual therapy are central to the Marble program:
      The two most important features of the Marble program were endorsed by those surveyed as group and individual therapy. “Acceptance by the Marble staff and fellow participants” ranked 3rd.
    • Clergy struggles span every denomination:
      Marble Retreat has successfully helped clergy from more than 60 separate denominations. The program was rated as equally effective regardless of denominational background.
    • Participants may combine more than one funding source:
      In order to meet the financial costs, many participants combined 2 or more sources of funding from the following: self-pay, scholarship from Marble, health insurance, and contributions from one’s church/mission organization, friends, and family.