Team picture of the Marquette Method Instructors who teach with Vitae Fertility

How to Become a Marquette Method of NFP Instructor

by | Getting Started with NFP

Are you thinking about becoming a Marquette Method instructor?

Do you have all the questions?

This page is for you.

I’m Bethany Smith—a master’s prepared registered nurse and one of the Marquette Method instructors at Vitae Fertility. When I was first considering becoming an instructor I did lots of research to discern whether or not to take the Marquette Method training. I want to provide one place to help connect all the dots.

So, here’s my first-person perspective on the Marquette Method training program.

(Want to just meet another instructor and talk about your options? If, after reading this post, you still have questions, you’re always welcome to get in touch with us via our Marquette Method free consultation form.)

The Marquette Method Training Program: Qualifications, Application Process, Cost, and Timeline

One thing that makes Marquette unique compared to other methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP), is that all Marquette Method instructors are healthcare providers trained by the Marquette Institute of NFP. To become a Marquette Method Instructor, you need to be a registered nurse (RN) with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, a physician assistant, or a physician, with your license in good standing. If you work in another field of healthcare and want to know if your profession makes you eligible to become a Marquette Method Instructor, contact the director of the institute, Dr. Mary Schneider.

Next, you’ll need to complete the application form (linked to below) along with a non-refundable $75 application fee. You’ll also be asked to provide documents such as a photo ID, an e-mail letter of intent on how you plan to incorporate Marquette into your practice as a healthcare provider, a copy of your professional licensure or national provider number, and a copy of your diploma.

The entire training program is online through a platform called Desire2Learn (D2L), the Marquette University online learning management system. The Marquette Method teacher training program is made up of two courses, the Foundations and Principles of the Marquette Method of NFP and the Practical Applications of the Marquette Method of NFP.

The Foundations and Principles of the Marquette Method of NFP course costs $750, has two start times per year, and lasts for three months. This course is in high demand, and so if you’d like to register for an upcoming class, you should make sure you apply before the application deadline!

Once you complete that course, the next course—also taught synchronously—is the Practical Applications of the Marquette Method of NFP. This course costs $1,000, also starts twice a year, includes monthly cohort meetings with your peers, and lasts for five months with additional follow-up. If starting this course in the fall cohort, the expectation is that you will complete your six-month follow-up by June 30th. If starting in the spring cohort, your six-month follow-up should be completed by November 30th. The cap on the class size depends on the number of available preceptors.

The Medical Applications Course is an optional asynchronous course to be taken along with the Practical Applications Course. The cost is $500 and is to be completed within six months of getting course access. This course is intended for advanced practice nurses and/or medical professionals/prescribers integrating Marquette into their medical practice. Nurses and other non-prescribing providers can audit the course instead of taking it for credit (auditing the course costs less than taking it for credit).

To secure a spot in the upcoming cohort, tuition must be paid at least two weeks before the start of the class. There are considerations if cost is a prohibitive factor and you need tuition assistance. A 15% discount is available for active students in an accredited program as well as active or veteran military and immediate family members. Some students have been able to receive scholarships through diocesan support. You can use grant money to pay for all or some of your program depending on the terms set forth by the granting institution.

Becoming a Marquette Method Instructor: Details of the Courses and Coursework

The Foundations and Principles of the Marquette Method of NFP course focuses on the theoretical, historical, and philosophical foundations of NFP. This class must be taken first and is a prerequisite to the Practical Applications of the Marquette Method of NFP.

The Practical Applications course is designed to set you up for success in providing a sustainable NFP practice. You will be taught to recognize and manage behavioral and psycho-spiritual family planning issues from menarche to menopause.

The optional Medical Applications course will teach you to apply evidence-based protocols to manage common women’s health conditions. You will analyze, apply, and critique case studies. The course emphasizes lifestyle changes, self-care management, and enhancement of normal fertility.

Courses are pass/fail and are evaluated through quizzes, discussion posts, assignments, participation in meetings, presentations, and case studies.

The Foundations and Principles course is comprised of 11 modules and 35 online credit hours. The typical amount of time spent per module is three to six hours. The Practical Applications course includes nine modules and 40 online credit hours. The Medical Applications course has five modules and totals 15 online credit hours.

Putting it all into Practice: Your Marquette Method Practicum

The Preceptor Experience happens concurrently with the Practical Applications of the Marquette Method of NFP. You will be assigned a preceptor who is a qualified, experienced Marquette instructor. This is your opportunity to learn from the best of the best.

For your practicum, you will be expected to recruit and teach clients while being supervised by your preceptor. Together, you will work through a checklist of tasks. You will teach 10 couples and follow at least four couples to the six-month mark, all to be completed within 10 months of beginning the Practical Applications course.

Your preceptor will help you gain knowledge of the Marquette Model protocols, support you throughout the course, and be available to answer any questions that you have along the way. Three of our own Vitae Fertility instructors serve in this role: Louise Boychuk, Ashlee Underwood, and Amanda Smith. I may be a bit biased…but seriously these ladies are a delightful wealth of knowledge!

Becoming a Marquette Method Certified Professional (MMCP)

The Marquette Institute of NFP awards you a certificate of completion as a Marquette Model Teacher once you have mastered your regular cycles and breastfeeding presentations, successfully met your teaching requirements of the ten couples for your practicum, and completed all assignments (including submitting at least two case studies).

The MMPA (Marquette Method Professionals Association) is a different entity from the institute. The MMPA certifies you as a teacher and changes your credentials from MMT (Marquette Method Teacher) to MMCP (Marquette Method Certified Professional). To become an MMCP, you must pass the MMPA certification exam. The MMPA certification exam is offered twice a year. It costs $150 and is comprised of 100 questions with a two-hour time limit.

Upon becoming an MMCP, you are eligible to be listed at the Marquette Method directory. All Marquette Method Teachers are encouraged to seek certification through the MMPA to ensure that teachers remain in the loop on new research as it’s published, protocol changes, and can tap into our lovely community of Marquette Method instructors!

Renewal of MMPA certification requires that you have 25 continuing education hours in the field of NFP in the past five years, you’ve presented at least three case studies over five years in the MMPA community, and that you have taught at least 35 couples (including 6 months of follow-up) over the five years. Annual membership to the MMPA is $150.

There are different levels of membership through the MMPA, including a student membership which gives you access to the MMPA community online where you’ll find tips and tricks from experienced instructors and view past educational event recordings. (Your first-year membership as a student is 50 % off.)

Ongoing Professional Development Opportunities for Marquette Method Instructors

As is the case with most professions, you are never completely “done” learning.

Taking advantage of ongoing professional development opportunities and staying current on standards of practice will be instrumental to your growth as an instructor.

The MMPA offers a monthly virtual coffee/tea/wine group (you get the idea, choose your beverage of choice). This event is open to all MMPA members. You’re invited to come as you are with messy hair and kids in the background, all with the mission to foster connection amongst the Marquette community.

We also meet in-person each year, along with the Marquette researchers, for a fun few days at the Marquette Method of NFP Research Summit.

The MMPA strongly supports continued research in the field of NFP and fertility. As a member of the MMPA, you will have the opportunity to participate in and conduct research. Recent studies include determining the accuracy of quantitative methods of hormonal monitoring. It is fascinating to see science happening before our own eyes. The MMPA also hosts a webpage which includes an extensive annotated bibliography of relevant natural family planning and fertility research papers.

Waiting for the course to start? Here’s a recommend reading list.

If you are still reading this blog, you are likely still considering applying. So, for my closing thoughts, I would encourage you to take a deeper look before you dive in. Does the material truly interest you? Is being a Marquette Method instructor something you can see yourself doing for the foreseeable future? If you’re waiting for a course start time, take this time to start preparing—there’s lots to read while you wait!

In addition to the research articles above, go ahead and purchase the required course textbook “Living with Your Fertility: The Marquette Method of NFP.While I wish we were neighbors and I could lend you my copy (which if you are in the Tulsa area, I am happy to), it can be found on Amazon. I highly recommend it and even gave it a 5-star review: “This was a helpful resource when studying for the MMPA exam. I appreciate the content and the organized format.”

Other recommended readings that you will find valuable for your coursework, include The Complete Guide to Fertility Awareness and Humanae Vitae: A Challenge to Love (also available on Amazon).

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Marquette Method Instructor

Do you have to be Catholic to become a Marquette Method Instructor?

Here comes an honest answer from the jokingly branded “Protestant Instructor.” No, you do not have to be Catholic to become a Marquette Method Instructor, but you do need to be willing to abide by the USCCB Ethical Directives and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.

The education experience is based on the standards for the diocesan NFP ministry of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The teachings of the Catholic faith are upheld in all matters, particularly on matters of sexuality, marriage, and family life. It will be expected that you hold these teachings regardless of religious affiliation.

Do you have to use the Marquette Method and/or Natural Family planning to become a Marquette Method Instructor?

You have expectations that your personal trainer is going to be fit, that your nutritionist is going to eat healthy, and that your professor is educated on the subject matter. While it’s not a formal requirement that you personally practice the Marquette Method in order to teach it, having some hands-on experience does make it easier to teach the method—and your clients will certainly appreciate it.

Once you’ve finished your training, what are your options?

Fairly limitless. The course will teach you how to create and sustain structure for your own fertility instruction business should you choose to go that route. Women in need of reproductive education are literally e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Want to teach teenage girls cycle prep education? Incorporate the material into a classroom setting? Offer services in your circle of influence at a hospital, church, or community center? Partner with a birthing center and offer perinatal education to mommas?

Want to chat with a current Marquette instructor about becoming a Marquette instructor? Do get in touch!

<a href="" target="_self">Bethany Smith</a>

Bethany Smith

Marquette Method NFP Instructor, Vitae Fertility Education

Bethany Smith (RN, MA, MMCP) is a Marquette Method instructor teaching with Vitae Fertility Education. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband and two boys.

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