Leadership in Ministry

Registration for workshops is open. Click on your preferred location below to register.

2021 Sessions

Atlanta, GA:  March 8-10, 2021 and November 15-17, 2021.

Kansas City MO: April 12-14, 2021 and October 4-6, 2021

Lynchburg, VA: April 19-21, 2021 and September 20-22, 2021

Boston: May 10-12, 2021 and September 27-29, 2021

Portland: May 17-19, 2021 and September 13-15, 2021

Online: September 1-November 30, 2021, monthly meetings TBD


Registration still open for fall sessions. We will be meeting in person following COVID precautions put in place by each host location. This includes but is not limited to wearing a mask, social distancing in public spaces and daily temperature checks.

Monthly Webinars

September 10, 2021, 3 PM ET. Israel Galindo “Predictability in BFST”

October 22, 2021, 3 PM ET. Keith Harder, “Pastoral Reviews and Bowen Theory”

November 12, 2021, 3 PM ET. TBA

February 11, 2022, 3 PM ET. TBA

March 11, 2022, 3 PM ET. TBA

April 22, 2022, 3 PM ET. TBA

Leadership in Ministry (LIM) Workshops are on-going, cohort experiences to help clergy apply Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) to their ministry settings. 

The post-graduate Leadership in Ministry workshops integrates pastoral and organizational leadership with Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) as a theory of practice. Workshop participants learn how the concepts of BFST can be applied to ministry through this peer-learning, theory-based leadership program. Participants gain insight by learning with others who share their unique vocational challenges and joys.


BFST offers a way of thinking that affects every aspect of leadership in ministry. By exploring the relationships and patterns in the ministers’ three families (the minister’s own personal family (nuclear and extended) congregation member families and the congregation as a family) in each of the program’s two three-day sessions, LIM Workshops help participants reduce their own anxiety to confidently lead their congregations. Sessions focus on each of the minister’s three interlocking “families”: the ministry setting, families in the congregation, and the minister’s own family of origin.

Purposes of the Workshops

*Teach how the concepts of family emotional process can be applied to all aspects of ministry

*Explore the theological implications of these concepts

*Provide opportunities for reflection upon one’s own ministry through small group case study presentations.

*Guide and encourage participants’ work on genograms and family of origin issues.

*Provide a peer group setting for continuing education focusing upon specific ministry issues

Who Should Attend

Workshop participants have included: pastors, rabbis, other congregational staff members, interim pastors, chaplains, lay leaders, denominational workers, pastoral counselors, public school counselors and early childhood educators. Over 300 men and women from 14 denominations and 28 states and the District of Columbia have participated. Participants have received Continuing Education Units (C.E.U.’s) for both denominational and professional accrediting bodies as well as graduate credit for Doctor of Ministry and other degree programs.

Experience has shown that family systems thinking cannot be learned from a book or a single seminar. Ed Friedman’s oft-repeated statement was: “It takes years of mentoring by someone who has internalized family systems theory and intentional work in your family of origin, for this way of thinking to become your own.”

We hope you will join us for this exciting learning opportunity! Explore the links below for more information on the Leadership in Ministry Workshops.

Save the dates!

Lynchburg: March 21-23 and September 19-21, 2022

Boston: May 16-18 and October 3-5, 2022

Portland: May 9-11 and September 12-14, 2022

Kansas City: April 4-6 and October 10-12, 2022

Atlanta: March 14-16, and November 7-9, 2022



Locations, Fees and Sample Schedule

Upcoming Leadership in Ministry Workshops

Event Feed

Nov 15
Leadership in Ministry: Atlanta Fall Session


The Leadership in Ministry Workshop at Atlanta is a twice a year, peer-based clergy leadership development program and is part of the Pastoral Excellence Programs of the Center for Lifelong Learning.  The fall session will be held in person...

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