top of page

At Hopeful Tomorrows, we’ve seen this scenario many times and are equipped to help save your marriage. Hopeful Tomorrows is an intensive weekend retreat for couples in need of a breakthrough in their marriage. We make it our mission to ease communication, establish empathy, and create an understanding between couples – even when emotions are high and situations are complicated. We give you effective tools that you can apply to your marriage after the retreat weekend is over. We also offer continued support to help you integrate these skills into your everyday life.

Man in sweatshirt on beach
Does This Sound Familiar?

You and your spouse have a disagreement that quickly escalates. Things cool down but tension and a feeling of distance remains. After time, you reconcile on the surface and move on, but neither of you feels truly understood and the issue does not feel actually resolved. Over months, years, or even decades, the cycle is repeated and resentment builds. It becomes increasingly difficult to discuss hard topics or “hot topics” without escalation.

What We Do

Our Hopeful Tomorrows retreat offers a refreshing integration of faith and research-based methods to provide thorough and comprehensive help for your marriage. When a couple is really hurting, they need more than a scripture band-aid. They need to know what to do and how to do it in a way consistent with God’s word. Over the weekend, you will learn practical tools to help you heal past hurts, communicate effectively, and get and stay connected.

Outcome

Our retreat is extremely effective. After attending our Hopeful Tomorrows retreat, over 80% of couples recommit to their marriage. This includes couples who have already filed for divorce or are working through significant issues such as infidelity or betrayal, as well as couples who are generally stuck in a negative feedback loop. The Hopeful Tomorrows weekend consistently helps couples find hope and desire at the same time by giving them the tools they need to make their marriage work. We give couples hope for the future of their marriage, desire to make it work, and the tools to better their relationship.

Hopeful Tomorrows Retreat vs. Traditional Marriage Counseling

Compared to traditional marriage counseling alone, Hopeful Tomorrows retreats are considerably more effective. Our program places 20+ hours of therapeutic work into a single, intensive weekend, with the option of follow-up counseling to help keep improvements in the relationship in place.

For a couple in crisis, traditional marriage counseling often consists of one hour per week to work on the marriage, but then couples go home and accumulate more damage. When the couple in crisis returns to marriage counseling the following week, untangling disagreements that occurred since their last meeting could take up an entire session, and no progress is made. As time goes on, the couple is still hurting and now even more frustrated because what was supposed to help isn’t working.

Sometimes with traditional marriage counseling for a couple in crisis, it’s easy for the couple to conclude in their frustration that divorce is their only remaining option while telling themselves, “We did everything we could. We even tried counseling.” The weekend retreat provides the opportunity to set aside the distractions of life and focus solely on your relationship.  

 

At Hopeful Tomorrows, we give you the hope that your marriage can be fixed by repairing trust and strengthening your commitment to each other.

Our Founding Story

Get to Know Us

In 2013, Derek and Missy launched Better Together, a community initiative to unite churches to improve the lives of children by improving the marriages of their parents. Derek and Missy focused on enriching couples’ relationships through workshops and classes that equipped them with the skills every couple needs to feel appreciated, loved, and understood. Hundreds of people attended their Better Together classes.

As their success grew, their hearts were drawn to the couples most in need, those in crisis, and even on the brink of divorce. They knew it was a huge problem and that many marriages could be saved and flourish if couples could learn the skills needed for their marriage to thrive.

Derek, a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor, and Missy, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, became aware of the weekend-intensive model. They were impressed with its incredibly high success rate and the glowing testimonies of the transformative experiences of thousands of couples.

They knew this approach could transform lives and marriages. After years of experience helping hundreds of couples achieve healing and resolution using this model, they decided to apply their expertise to designing their own unique program.

Using proven methods, clinically-based research, and scriptural truths, Hopeful Tomorrows delivers a breakthrough experience for Christian couples.

Meet the Team

For 20 years, Derek and Missy Irvin have worked with couples to help build stronger marriages through couples’ counseling, interactive workshops, and faith and community initiatives. Derek is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Marriage Coach, and Missy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Together they bring an authentic, Christ-centered approach with practical research-based strategies that work. Click the links below to learn more about Derek & Missy’s stories.

Missy Irvin

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Missy Irvin

Missy Irvin is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, speaker, and advocate for healthy marriages. She founded the Marriage Center of Indiana, a private practice specializing in marriage counseling and trauma.

As a licensed therapist, Missy is passionate about helping people and giving them tools for a healthy marriage and supportive parenting. She enjoys every step of the process of helping individuals and couples achieve a peaceful and fulfilling life. It’s her goal to provide compassion, safety and direction for people who feel overwhelmed by life circumstances or have been hurt by others and need to find help, hope and healing. Missy is a woman of faith, and incorporates Christian doctrine into her sessions if desired by her clients. Missy has specialized training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) developed by Dr. Susan Johnson, the Gottman Method, Prep, Prepare Enrich, Peace Makers ministries and she is certified in Brainspotting.

MISSY IS ALSO AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF:

  • The Indiana Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (IAMFT)

  • The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)

  • American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)

  • The International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)

This involvement helps Missy learn the most modern practices, which she brings back to Hopeful Tomorrows and her counseling practice.

Missy has been married to Derek since 1995. Derek and Missy live in Noblesville, IN, and have three children and one grandchild. Missy enjoys reading historical fiction novels, shopping, hanging out with friends, date nights with Derek, going out to eat, movies and, especially, spending time with family.

photo_staff_derek_3-3-20-1.jpg

Derek Irvin

Board Certified Pastoral Counselor Derek Irvin

Derek Irvin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor with the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is also a marriage coach and conference speaker gifted in helping couples develop togetherness and intimacy in their relationships.

 

Additionally, Derek is a pastor leading groups, teams and marriage initiatives at Northview Church in Indianapolis across nine campuses. With specialized training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) developed by Dr. Susan Johnson, the Gottman Method, Prep, Prepare Enrich, SYBIS, and Peace Makers ministries – he brings an authentic approach integrating research-based psychological counseling with Biblical truths.

Derek’s passion for strengthening marriages is rooted in a belief that there is hope in even the most difficult of marriage circumstances. Most couples hurting in their marriage don’t truly want a divorce, but don’t know how to stop the pain or make the relationship work. As a child of divorce, Derek understands the impact of divorce on the whole family and is skilled in helping couples find their breakthrough and practical steps in creating a different kind of marriage.

Derek has been married to Missy since 1995. Derek and Missy live in Noblesville, IN and have three children and one grandchild. Derek enjoys gathering with friends and family, reading, running, golf, and a weekly date night with Missy.

Bright Clouds

“Our marriage had subtly slipped into a distant stalemate.” – 

Brent and Linda

“I had been unfaithful…They gave us tools to process wounds.”

Walt and Kathy

“We had tried multiple therapists…”

Shane and Kristen

“This retreat works because it puts Jesus back into the marriage.”

Mark and Christina

Find Out More About Us

Group Discussion

The Retreat

This intensive weekend can be the solution your marriage needs. Book a retreat space for you and your spouse here.

Retreat

Holding Hands

About Hopeful Tomorrows

We make it our mission to ease communication, establish empathy, and create understanding with effective tools that you can apply to your marriage long after our retreat weekends end.

Screenshot 2024-04-04 at 2.09.02 PM.png

Testimonials

Hear from couples who’ve found hope in their marriage and faith in the future through a Hopeful Tomorrows retreat.

  • Is there anything we need to do before we come?
    After you sign up, we will send you a confidential questionnaire which you and your spouse will fill out individually so that we have an understanding of your issues before you arrive. We ask that you not share your answers with each other.
  • Do you offer care after the weekend is over?
    Yes, we do offer options for after care. Like any new skill, the tools taught over the weekend take some practice to fully integrate into everyday life. As the saying goes, “It works if you work it, but you have to work it.” We are committed to helping couples achieve a new dynamic in their relationship that lasts.
  • I live close to my retreat location. Do I have to stay in a hotel?
    We recommend it for the whole weekend, but it is only required Saturday night. If you can stay in the hotel both nights, it provides an environment where you can be away from your normal routine. You will need to stay in the hotel on Saturday night because the marriage coach will meet with you in your room for an hour to help you with your project.
  • Will I have to share in a group setting?
    No. There is no expectation or requirement for people to share in front of the group, nor do we do group counseling. Instead, the focus will be on the two of you as a couple learning how to communicate in different ways to work through the issues that have held you back.
  • Are there cases when you would not recommend a couple take part in an Intensive Marriage Retreat?
    Yes. If a spouse is currently addicted to a substance or if there has been any physical violence in the last year, we will need to further evaluate if it is the right time for a couple to attend the retreat.
  • Will my insurance cover an Intensive Marriage Retreat?
    Typically, insurance companies do not cover the cost of retreats.
  • My spouse refuses to come. What do I do?
    Keep in mind you are only asking them about this specific weekend. You are not asking them to make decisions or commitments about the coming years, months, or weeks. You are simply asking them to give this weekend a try before making life-altering decisions. Also, acknowledge where your spouse is currently in the relationship. For example, you might say, “I know that you are no longer sure that you want to be in this marriage. And maybe we ultimately won’t be able to make it work, but could we please give this weekend a try and see where we are after it is over?”
  • Do the weekend retreats include food and lodging?
    The cost does not include food and lodging. We intentionally host the retreats at affordable hotels with group rates when possible. We will take breaks for lunch and dinner and provide options for local restaurants.
  • Who should attend a Hopeful Tomorrows weekend retreat?
    Hopeful Tomorrows is a weekend for couples in need of a breakthrough in their marriage. For many couples, this weekend is their last-ditch effort to try to save their marriage. For others, they simply have a deep sense that their marriage was made for more than what they are experiencing. Some couples are even looking for preventative feedback on how to have a long-lasting and loving relationship. Whether you are dealing with the aftermath of an affair or betrayal, are living separate or detached lives, are generally stuck, or simply want tools to establish trust and togetherness – this weekend will provide practical tools, hope, and a path forward to create the kind of marriage you have always longed for.
  • What is the schedule for the weekend?
    The weekend begins on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and concludes on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. The speakers present in a workshop-style format, with frequent breakouts to interact individually as a couple with the content. Throughout the day on Saturday, core skills are taught for a transformative project which couples do on Saturday night. Each couple will have a marriage coach to work with them in their room on Saturday night for an hour to make sure that they are able to effectively utilize the tools to get the breakthrough they need. Sunday continues with high-impact content to help couples maximize the gains achieved and to create a plan moving forward.
  • Do you offer payment plans or scholarships?
    We do not offer payment plans or scholarships.
  • What sets our program apart from other Intensive Marriage Retreats?
    The Hopeful Tomorrows weekend retreat specializes in a Biblical approach to healing marriages integrated with researched-based solutions that are truly effective. Couples come away with tools to be able to work through even the most challenging conflicts, and are able to communicate with each other in a way that makes each person feel understood. Many couples would describe their weekend experience as nothing short of a miracle in their marriage.
  • Will the weekend be effective even if my spouse doesn’t really want to be there?
    For many, it is. It’s quite common that at least one person is not enthusiastic about attending the conference. Even couples who agree to come only to “check it off the list” often experience a transformative breakthrough. Ultimately, willingness to engage in the weekend is a decision that each individual has to make, but the weekend creates an environment that helps to facilitate a new marital beginning.
Holding Hands

Fishers, IN

May 17-19, 2024

Hopeful Tomorrows Marriage Intensive Weekend

Couple by the Sea

Fishers, IN

July 19-21, 2024

Hopeful Tomorrows Marriage Intensive Weekend

bottom of page