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How to Choose a Marquette Method Teacher

Updated: Dec 11, 2023



It can feel a little overwhelming trying to find a Marquette Method instructor who will be a good fit for you. You can sift and muddle through the myriad options of location, cost, virtual, personality, etc, etc, etc……. Or read through this guide and maybe it will address a few of your concerns!


Do you want to learn NFP like yesterday and want the absolutely simplest option from here? Go to our Individual Class scheduler and select “No Preference” for the instructor. This class is personalized so it works if you have regular cycles, need marriage prep, are postpartum, perimenopause or super complicated: whatever. You can self-schedule a class session at a time that works for you! Done.


Prefer to listen to advice while you wash the dishes? Check out episode 16 of Managing Your Fertility, “How to Make Sure You Don’t Choose a Crazy Instructor” Listen on Spotify.


Our Guide to Choosing a Marquette Method Teacher


Find your main concern below and click to navigate to the topic, or scroll on to read through all the options!

 

Cost


Why do you even have to pay for NFP instruction? Well… because it’s worth it. It’s lifelong knowledge presented in a simplified way with a healthcare professional walking you through the details to make it work for you and your real life.


We know that the monitor costs money, and the test sticks are an ongoing expense, and you have all of the regular expenses of living in the 21st century. We try to keep our costs reasonable, considering all of those variables. We also weigh the time each instructor spends per client teaching, following-up, completing administrative tasks, as well as other tech support expenses. NFP instruction is a weird combination of healthcare service and Catholic ministry, and we promise we are trying to do our best!


Do a little internet searching, and you’ll find classes ranging anywhere from $0-$300+ USD depending on the level of experience of the instructor and the quality of the classes and materials.


With every class from Whole Mission (with the exception of Cycle Basics) unlimited one-on-one follow-up with your instructor for at least one full year is included in the price. That means you pay once, and can contact your instructor 1 or 100 (you won't need 100) times in that year. If you're postpartum or have irregular cycles, we'll follow you through 6 full cycles, even if it's beyond one year. For everyone, you'll also have livetime access to our online resources (incluing charts, printable instructions, and more).


Here is a summary of the class options at Whole Mission, with links to the registration:

Class Options

Would be good for:

Price*

Anyone who wants the privacy of a one-to-one class.


Best for: Irregular cycles. Postpartum. Breastfeeding. Perimenopause. PCOS. Otherwise medically complex.

$225

Regular cycles (22-42 days from one period to the next). Postpartum women who are not breastfeeding. Breastfeeding women who have had 4 or more periods since their baby was born. Engaged couples.

$150

Women who are breastfeeding, and have had 3 or fewer periods since their baby was born.

$175

Women and couples who previously learned the Marquette Method from a Whole Mission instructor or a MMCP**

$100 (or less)

Women and couples willing to participate in ongoing research.


Irregular cycles. Postpartum. Breastfeeding. Perimenopause. PCOS. Otherwise medically complex.

$325

Young adult (ages 18-35) women who want to chart their cycles for health, but do not need family planning instruction.

$40

* We do not want cost to be the reason you don't learn NFP. If you're in financial need, submit an application for financial aid. (Last year alone we were able to give financial support totaling over $3000 thanks in part to generous donors.)


** MMCP: Marquette Method Certified Professional. MMCPs have completed additional certification requirements by the Marquette Method Professionals Association. You can find a list of MMCPs at www.marquettemethod.com.


 

In-person vs. Virtual


Depending where you live, this option might choose itself.


If you don’t have a local instructor, then you can choose any online option that fits your other needs. You might consider finding an instructor who is at least in the same time zone as you: this can make scheduling follow-ups a bit easier. One of the benefits we’ve seen of online instruction is the ease of scheduling. Many couples will have a baby in their lap during the class session, meeting from the comfort of home.


If you do have a local option, it’s such a joy to meet in real life. Many of our instructors offer in-person instruction in addition to their online options. You can find all of the local options here.

 

Ease of Scheduling


Look no further than your friendly neighborhood Whole Mission scheduling system. It was literally my dream when we first started that we would have a system in place where you could look at a calendar with a wide array of available times, book a class, and be registered seamlessly in a matter of minutes. With our fabulous group of instructors spanning five different time zones, we are able to offer classes basically any day of the week at convenient times for you.


Can't find a time that works? Contact us. I can almost guarantee we can find you a time that works. Even in Australia, or Brazil , or Philippines, or South Africa, or Japan, or Sweden, or... you get the idea.




 

Charting Needs


You can use the Marquette Method to avoid or achieve pregnancy, so whichever your intention, you'll benefit from a class. That being said, the VAST majority of the couples who learn the Marquette Method are initially using it to avoid pregnancy. There are some seriously robust studies supporting the effectiveness of the Marquette Method for avoiding pregnancy, so this isn't surprising. Some couples switch from a different method, others are new to NFP and like the idea of hormone testing. Here are some of the most common types of clients that have found the Marquette Method helpful (though certainly not an exhaustive list):

  • Breastfeeding women

  • Postpartum women

  • Women with continuous cervical mucus patterns

  • Woman who have recently had a miscarriage

  • Women in perimenopause

  • Couples with a high need to avoid pregnancy (such as serious medical reasons)

We also offer certificates of completion for couples who require an NFP class for marriage prep, so that's a big group of clients learning with us as well.


If you're struggling with the burden of subfertility or infertility, a Marquette Method instructor can give you tips for caring for your natural fertility, and refer you to medical providers who can diagnose and treat medical issues.


Scroll back up to the Class Option table above to see if we have a class that would be ideal for your particular charting needs!

 

Learning Style


In-person classes will likely look pretty similar as far as lecture style with slides, some conversation, and printed materials to support your learning. Different instructors may offer different print resources locally!


Online classes are going to offer you more variety when it comes to how you engage with your instructor. Some options out there include self-paced pre-recorded classes, printed books and handouts, one-to-one live classes, and group meeting classes.


At Whole Mission we've decided to stick with live online classes for individual women/couples and for groups. The live class affords your instructor the opportunity to assess your needs, clarify cloudy teaching points in the moment, and help you deepen understanding through conversation.


If you take an individual class, you have the added benefit of being able to focus on the instructions you need right now, and skip over content you don't need. This is particularly helpful if you have a lot of things going on that might affect your cycles, like medications or irregular cycles. Your healthcare professional teacher can assess your needs and tailor the class to you!


For those who'd rather sit back and have the opportunity to hear questions from the peanut gallery (I'm looking at you, fellow introverts), the group class format may work better. There's still the opportunity to ask questions, but the focus won't be solely on you.


In either case, you'll have individual follow-up with your instructor, so you needn't worry about having to ask intimate questions in a group! These follow-ups will also be where you learn any instructions you didn't review in your initial class, as you encounter different scenarios through the reproductive lifespan (Hi, postpartum).


We also include lifetime access to our online resource database. This includes beautiful printable instructions for a quick reference, paper and spreadsheet charts, downloadable slides from the class, discounts for charting apps, and plenty of external resources (books, podcasts, mental health professionals, etc.).


 

Instructor Personality


Finding an instructor you can just jive with is probably the trickiest part of this search. You're going to be chatting about some pretty significant stuff that impacts your marriage, spiritual life, physical health, and mental well-being. It can feel a little weighty!


If instructor personality is a big deciding factor for you, here's where I encourage you to do a little legwork before picking...


...and where I also encourage you that if you don't love your instructor, it's 100% OK to switch!


No one is offended if you just connect better with someone else. I'm pretty sure every instructor out there would agree that we want you to be comfortable with your instructor, even if that means finding a new one.


You can peruse our instructor directory, and take a gander at the interests and backgrounds of the Whole Mission instructors. Communication preferences, like call, text, or email, are highlighted there, and all Whole Mission instructors are committed to a 2-business-day turnaround time on emails (usually much less!). Additionally, you can find Facebook groups that have instructor reviews, or you can email instructors individually to ask about your concerns.


All Marquette Method instructors are healthcare professionals, so you can be assured that we are dedicated to your holistic health with an evidence-based approach.


Some physician instructors have also completed a Medical Applications course. This can give them added information to pass along to you if you have more medical issues going on. That being said, unless your instructor is also your medical provider, they cannot prescribe or treat medical conditions when acting as your natural family planning instructor. We absolutory cannot go outside of our scope of teacher-client relationship!


In addition to completing the Teacher Training program through the Marquette University Institute for Natural Family Planning, some teachers have completed the certification process through the Marquette Method Professionals Association. These teachers are designated Marquette Method Certified Professionals, or "MMCP," and are dedicated to additional continuing education requirements. This helps to keep us a bit more up-to-date on the latest NFP happenings!


 

Previous NFP Experience


IDK, NFP?: Never Used NFP Before


If you're totally new to natural family planning, any Marquette Method intro class is going to give you the details of human fertility and how to apply it for practical purposes. You'll know the basics of how to avoid or achieve pregnancy after the first class, and the ultimate goal is for you to become autonomous in applying the method instructions. Because we know it can take time to become proficient in a new skill, we include your follow-up with the cost of your intro class at Whole Mission!




TL;DR: Have Used One or More Methods of NFP


Maybe NFP is old news, and you've used a method (or a few). Most likely, the Marquette Method intro class will STILL be the best fit for you. It's not that the science is any different, but the language and technique vary enough that we want to give you the opportunity to review the nuances. I've had enough clients come from other methods asking about "double peaks" and "basic infertile patterns" and "phase 3" (I applaud your knowledge!) but not have any idea the purpose behind an algorithmic start of fertility for the first 6 cycles to obtain 99% effectiveness for avoiding pregnancy.


MM is my JAM: Have Used the Marquette Method


Many couples come back for NFP instruction and follow-up to use the Marquette Method when things are a little dicey and old rules no longer apply. This might be after having a baby, when starting the irregular cycles of perimenopause, or after a new medical diagnosis that may affect fertility. For this, we offer ongoing consultation! We do ask that you provide some proof of instruction, and to ensure we're all on the same page with previous knowledge, this option is only for women or couples who learned from a Whole Mission instructor, through the Marquette University Institute for NFP, or from a Marquette Method Certified Professional.

 

I hope this guide was helpful for you as you discern your use of the Marquette Method! While we tried to cover the most common questions we receive about classes, there's no way we can cover every tiny individual detail and question you might have in one post, so never hesitate to reach out to us! info@mmnfp.com


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