plan your happily ever after

Build Intimacy.

Communicate Clearly.

Shape your story.


Grow your Groove.  Avoid the Ruts.

Starting Well is a creative, confidential, and customized Pre-Marital course that sets couples up for lifelong love.

Don’t become ‘that couple’:

distracted at dinner,

miserable over money,

and unwilling to dance.

This pre-marital counseling work will set you up for lifelong love.

The Main Course

The 6-week course includes:

  • 3 counseling sessions with Pat Ward in Oxford, Tupelo or online.
  • The research-backed SYMBIS Marriage Assessment
  • A Copy of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts
  • The blueprint for 3 essential date nights


3 Pastoral Counseling Sessions ($132 each),
plus a 50$ fee for the Assessment and Book.

The Extras

The Long-Distance Relationship

A videochat version for couples far from Oxford or far from each other

The Second Chance

We’ll explore the unique challenges and opportunities for second marriages.

The Early Bird Special

Get prepped before you get engaged to answer your questions and visit your future.

Getting Started is simple

1. Fill out the registration form below.

Call/Text me with any questions at ‭(662) 709-7714

2. Fill out your SYMBIS assessment

3. Schedule our first session

Reach out to me:

All communication is private and confidential.

hear from others:

"If you're looking for someone to talk with that can help walk alongside you, look no further than my friend, Pat Ward. I give Pat my highest recommendation."

-Katie Heckel

"I refer folks to Pat who need more in-depth counseling than I am qualified to provide. I trust him to provide the most professional and helpful support for each situation. I've only heard wonderful things from people who have used his services."

-Keith Keeton

"Ever needed someone to listen to you without an agenda, without giving unasked-for advice? Ever needed someone to help you discover your own solutions to your questions from deep within? Pat can help with these things and then some. I highly recommend his wise counsel and Spirit-led discernment!"

-Colby Cuevas

Frequently asked Questions

What is marriage prep/pre-marital counseling?

Marriage Prep - also known as Pre-Marital Counseling - is an intentional way for couples to set themselves up well for lifelong love. In addition to learning practical skills for communicating effectively, managing money, and cultivating intimacy, we'll also take a look at any expectations, hesitations, and parts of your story that you may be bringing down the aisle with you.


How do I begin?

Click here to begin. After that, we will reach out to you via email with the next steps.

How much does Starting Well cost?

My six-week Marriage Prep Course includes the cost of three counseling sessions ($132 each), plus $50 to cover the marriage assessment and book.

Note: I do offer some sliding scale slots for couples in need of pre-marital counseling but facing financial hardship.  Please let me know if that would be helpful.

Is this a Christian counseling course?

As a Pastoral Counselor and Pastor, my default framework for growing healthy marriages is helping engaged couples build their entire relationship upon the Gospel. For those who have a religious background, they will find plenty of help integrating their marriage with their faith.

At the same time, I also realize that there are many people without a religious background who desire a healthy and happy marriage. This course is also designed to meet them in that pursuit and offer helpful tools in an encouraging and confidential environment.

Is this Christian counseling?

I’m a person who tries to be more like Jesus every day.  Many of my Christian clients have said that my counseling style has helped them find a deeper understanding of the Gospel and a closer walk with God, in addition to helping them overcome their personal challenges.

I also recognize that people of all faiths (and no faith) can struggle with life’s burdens.  Everyone interested in being my client will be treated with empathy and respect and offered research-backed tools to help them take make the changes they desire, regardless of their background.

When should we begin pre-marital counseling?

You can begin the Marriage Prep Course at any time during your engagement. I would suggest scheduling it so that the sixth week is still at least three weeks away from the wedding. That way you can focus on the work you are doing in your relationship before the busyness of the wedding begins.

Couples often ask if they can do Marriage Prep before they get engaged. The answer is an emphatic YES! In fact, I believe that counseling and discernment should be sought before the engagement pictures end up on Instagram. Even if you aren't ready to kick off the full course, you can schedule a session to discuss the big decision together.

Are our conversations and communications private?

Yes. Your privacy and confidentiality are extremely important to me. You can be sure that everything discussed during this course is held in the strictest confidence.

About Me

In my counseling practice, I get excited when I see people walk away from struggle and shame into the life that God has for them. I integrate the skills I learned in pastoral ministry, from my work with over 250 clients, and from research-based counseling techniques from my Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health. Every day, I work with individuals and couples just like you to help them overcome obstacles, repair their relationships, and shape their story as they move on to the next chapter.

I also love to help people work through issues associated with grief, depression, anxiety, addiction, as well as marriage and relationship conflict. I’m a big fan of pre-marital counseling too.

I’ve been married for 15 years.  I have 3 kids and I’m trying to get better at the New York Times crossword puzzle.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to see clients under the supervision of Dean Worsham, LPC-S and alongside my colleagues at Restore Counseling Group, LLC.