About Us


The Marriage and Religion Research Initiative (MARRI) is dedicated to delivering robust social science data on the impact of marriage and religious practice on the lives of adults and children, and on the future of the nation.  MARRI contributes to the social discourse through original research based on the federal survey system, and through research synthesis that consolidates peer-reviewed studies.

Rigorous interdisciplinary research solidifies the insight that marriage and religious worship are the very foundations of society.  The data seems to say, repeatedly, that from marriage and worship springs the greatest strengths in society and that on them depends optimal social functioning. If this be true, then nothing is more vital to the happiness and well-being of children, nor to the common good, than society-wide marriage (for all), and regular worship (for those who believe).  MARRI pursues an educational strategy that is both bottom up through families, schools, and churches, and top down through policy makers, journalists, and academia.

MARRI is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.


Dr. Pat Fagan

Dr. Pat Fagan has been a grade school teacher, a clinical therapist specializing in child, family and marital therapy. During his career he as been Executive Director of the Free Congress Foundation, a member of the staff of Senator Dan Coats of Indiana, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Social Policy at HHS under President George Herbert Bush, the Senior Fellow on Family and Culture at the Heritage Foundation, then as founder and director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at Family Research Council. Fagan now directs MARRI at The Catholic University of America. He is also the publisher and editor of Marripedia.org. He has authored over thirty synthesis papers and has commissioned dozens of original research projects in marriage, family, child development and religious practice. He and his wife Theresa have eight children and twelve grandchildren.

William Deatherage

William Deatherage manages web development and mailing lists for the Marriage and Religious Research Institute. He is a senior at The Catholic University of America, studying Politics and Theology for his double major, as well as his Philosophy minor. William has interned for Congress, Oregon Right to Life, the Knights of Columbus, the Archdiocese of Portland, and several other institutions relating to policy and religion. In addition to his role at MARRI, William is the editor of the Sacred and Profane Love podcast, run by the Institute for Human Ecology and is the Digital Marketing Manager for the Catholic University of America School of Theology and Religious Studies. He is also the Executive Director of Clarifying Catholicism, a social media project for teens and young adults to express their faith.