United Marriage Encounter

The information on this page was last updated 2/8/2022. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


United Marriage Encounter is a worldwide non-profit organization dedicated to improving marriages by introducing practical, ongoing communication tools over the course of an entire Weekend starting on Friday night and ending on Sunday night. A UME Weekend combines practical methods, Christian values, and personal experiences, shared by trained leadership couples, to improve communication between husbands and wives.

The Weekends are hosted by leadership couples, all volunteers, who teach and demonstrate methods that improve communication, by sharing experiences from their own lives. The Weekend is presented in a conference-type setting with approximately 30 couples. After initial introductions, no other group sharing is required. Each couple is given enough time to talk privately, free from the distractions of everyday life.

You and your spouse will focus on each other throughout the Weekend. You're given plenty of one-on-one time as a couple to share with each other, trying out the communication tools and ideas presented. It's an opportunity to learn new ways to communicate and also to connect deeply or even re-connect with your spouse on an emotional and spiritual level.

Contact information

Mailing address:
United Marriage Encounter
2610 Park Ave.
Muscatine, IA 52761-0069

Website: www.unitedmarriage.com

Phone: (866) 483-8889

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 222164348

CEO/President: Mr. Steve and Pam Chapman

Chairman: Mr. Steve Swallow

Board size: 20

Founder: Len & Colleen Pagland and Rev. L.D. Baize

Ruling year: 1977

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1995


Our vision is to start a transformation in one man, one woman marriages that leads to stronger Christian families and stronger Christian communities.

Mission statement

In response to our call, we offer our Weekend experience and a community of caring couples who are committed to having a stake in other marriages. We will create an environment that can help transform marriages around the world. By following our mission and proclaiming God's plan for marriage we believe we CAN influence the world for Christ.

Statement of faith

United Marriage Encounter uses the following to express its statement of faith:

  1. We believe the Bible is the only, complete, inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  2. We believe that there is only one God, eternally existent in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe in the deity and humanity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of God the Father, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return to judge in power and glory.
  4. We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female in His image and to reflect His glory, but that as a result of sin, mankind is alienated from God, and is helpless to remedy this lost condition apart from the grace of God, through the blood of Christ.
  5. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential, and that salvation is the gracious gift of God, received by faith alone, in Christ alone.
  6. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the believer is enabled to live a godly life.
  7. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people; those who believe in Christ, to eternal life with God, and those who do not believe in Christ, to suffer eternal separation from God.
  8. We believe the institution of marriage to be God inspired as the union of one man and one woman.
  9. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, with equality across racial, gender, and class differences.
Supporting Scripture References are as follows:
  1. II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20; Revelation 22:18-19
  2. Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:18-19; II Corinthians 13:14
  3. John 1:1-18; Galatians 4:4; Luke 1:35; Hebrews 4:15; John 2:1-11, John 6:5-13; Romans 3:21-25, Romans 5:8-10, Ephesians 1:7; Luke 24:5-7; Mark 16:19; Matthew 16:16-18, Ephesians 1:22-23; II Timothy 4:1
  4. Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:12-13
  5. John 3:16-18; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5
  6. Galatians 5:16-25
  7. John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:12-15
  8. Genesis 2:18-25; Mark 10:6-9
  9. Romans 12:5; I Corinthians 12:12-14, Ephesians 4:3-6

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Transparency grade


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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Christian Growth

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating847 of 102461 of 74
Fund acquisition rating307 of 102721 of 74
Resource allocation rating995 of 102771 of 74
Asset utilization rating850 of 102457 of 74

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$7,811$7,671$24,983$20,315$17,987
Short-term investments$7,396,210$210,929$180,733$184,198$173,541
Other current assets$23,822$0$24,535$27,382$38,433
Total current assets$8,003,310$327,547$332,159$347,430$298,445
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term assets$0$42,858$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$0$42,858$0$0$0
Total assets$8,003,310$370,405$332,159$347,430$298,445
Payables and accrued expenses$13,947$1,004$5,455$1,284$0
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$13,947$1,004$5,455$1,284$0
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total liabilities$13,947$1,004$5,455$1,284$0
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$975,056$255,108$243,618$231,936$203,223
With donor restrictions$7,014,307$114,293$83,086$114,210$95,222
Net assets$7,989,363$369,401$326,704$346,146$298,445
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$112,750$123,921$113,892$216,364$116,432
Program service revenue$103,125$104,145$97,541$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$247,497$30,197($3,465)$10,761$6,344
Other revenue$47$1,033$252$2,287$703
Total other revenue$350,669$135,375$94,328$13,048$7,047
Total revenue$463,419$259,296$208,220$229,412$123,479
Program services$264,927$216,599$227,662$181,711$152,032
Management and general$187,243$0$0$0$0
Total expenses$452,170$216,599$227,662$181,711$152,032
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)$11,249$42,697($19,442)$47,701($28,553)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$11,249$42,697($19,442)$47,701($28,553)


Steve ChapmanExecutive Director$124,977

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2020

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 2/8/2022. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


In 1974 a group of Protestant couples in the Rochester, New York area who had attended Worldwide Catholic Weekends began planning for a United Protestant Expression of Marriage Encounter (UPEME). Len and Colleen Pagnard and the Rev. D.L. and Marilyn Baize were co-founders and early leaders.

Couple Power, Inc., the Rochester branch of Worldwide (Catholic) M.E., actively helped UPEME to get started, paid the cost of training the first four UPEME Team Couples, and provided Weekend supplies, and much other support. The first UPEME Weekend was presented in Rochester, NY in February 1975. It was originally contemplated that UPEME would be part of Couple Power, Inc. and Worldwide M.E. It was expected that UPEME would primarily serve Protestant couples and Couple Power, Inc. would primarily serve Roman Catholics. However, from the beginning, the Weekends of both groups were open to couples of all faiths.

Worldwide M.E. decided that UPEME could not be formally affiliated with Worldwide because UPEME did not (and chooses not to) meet two Worldwide M.E. criteria for its affiliated groups. Worldwide required and still requires that all Team Couples and a large percentage of Weekend couples come from one church denomination. UPEME welcomes Team Couples and Weekend Couples from all Christian traditions.

In 1977 UPEME, Inc. was incorporated as a New York nonprofit corporation. In 1988 the name, United Protestant Expression of Marriage Encounter (UPEME), was changed to United Marriage Encounter (UME) to be more inclusive, and UME was incorporated as an Iowa nonprofit corporation.

Program accomplishments


United Marriage Encounter invites volunteers to join them in expanding the reach of the ministry. Additional financial resources would allow the ministry to accelerate its expansion in new areas.