About Relationship Builders Knoxville

A stable, healthy relationship is strongly linked to physical and emotional health and is a fundamental building block of a healthy community. However, Tennessee is one of ten states with the highest divorce rates, and broadly accessible programs for strengthening couple relationships have been nonexistent in Knoxville.

Statistically, 80-90% of couples seeking divorce never seek professional counseling, and by their second year of marriage, 50% of newlyweds seriously doubt their marriage will last. A majority of couples experiencing unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their relationships can turn this around with help from the right resources.

Healthy Connections 2022 Annual Report
Relationship Builders has been in existence since 2014, starting as the Knoxville Marriage Initiative and then transitioning to Healthy Connections Knoxville in 2018. Finally, in 2023, we’ve renamed ourselves to Relationship Builders Knoxville. Download our 2022 Annual Report to find out about our work supporting healthy couple relationships. 

Relationship Builders Knoxville aims to grow a network of church and community organizations that provide effective and accessible relationship assistance to citizens of Knoxville and surrounding counties. We believe that church and community organizations can provide research-proven relationship assistance to help couples grow healthy, stable relationships.

We train clergy, community volunteers, and practitioners to provide research-based Marriage/Relationship Education (MRE) designed to strengthen the relationships of all couples.

MRE prevents marital breakdown, improves relationship quality, and provides couples with necessary tools to maintain higher marital quality across time.

Relationship Builders Knoxville was originally developed in 2014 by Dr. Clark Stevens of Fellowship Church, along with consultation from Dr. Kristina Gordon from the University of Tennessee. In 2022, Relationship Builders Knoxville moved under the Office of Community Engagement in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) and became a University of Tennessee initiative in continued partnership with churches and community agencies. 
The development and continued growth of Relationship Builders Knoxville is made possible by support from the University of Tennessee, grants from the Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee, the Cornerstone Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Boyd Foundation, the Bill and Crissy Haslam Foundation, and the Knox County Community Development Funds, along with donations from Ebenezer Counseling Services, Healing Hearts Counseling, and private donors. We truly appreciate all of the support that we have received!