LIM Workshop Faculty

The Rev. Dr. Joel Alvis joined the faculty of LIM in 2016. Joel is the Mission Coordinator and Stated Clerk for Cherokee Presbytery of the PCUSA. From 2004 to 2019 he served eleven congregations in ministry transition settings, aka as “interim pastor.”

A family friend gave Joel a copy of Edwin Freidman’s Generation to Generation upon his ordination to ministry in 1989. He has been learning from this and related sources of family systems theory ever since. He first attended an LIM Workshop in 1998 and joined the faculty in 2016. His most recent LIM presentation was “Becoming a Real Pastor: A Report from the Laboratory of Church Leadership Transition.”

The Rev. Andrew J. Archie is the rector of St. Michael and St. George Episcopal Church in Clayton, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Prior to moving to Missouri, he served for twelve years as rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Purcellville, Virginia. He began his studies with Ed Friedman in 1991 in his Post-graduate Seminars in Family Emotional Process. Since Friedman’s death, he has continued to study at the Center for Family Process and, more recently, with Roberta Gilbert, MD. He joined the LIM Workshops faculty in 1999. A graduate of Washington and Lee University, the Virginia Episcopal Seminary, and the eldest child of two oldest children, he has worked hard at understanding the Church and himself in terms of emotional systems and to remember, in the words of Friedman, “there are no issues, only emotions.” His workshop presentations include: “Dumbledore As A Non-anxious Presence”, “The Blessed Virgin Mary: What Do the Presence of the Past and Cutoff Have to Do With Jesus’ Mother?” and “Self-Regulating in the Face of One’s Wife’s Family of Origin”.


Elaine Boomer, M.S.W., is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Vienna, Virginia. Prior to becoming a therapist, she worked in the corporate marketplace as a Bank Marketing and Training Officer. Her first exposure to Family Systems Theory was through personal coaching from Ed Friedman from 1989 to 1991. After receiving her Masters in Social Work in 1994 from Virginia Commonwealth University, she studied with Ed Friedman until his death in 1996. As an over-functioning eldest, her work in understanding emotional systems has “changed her life!” In addition to serving as a LIM Workshop faculty member since 1996, she often presents seminars and workshops on systems thinking to various community organizations.


Dr. James Boyer, DMin, LMFT, PC, a native of Portland, OR started ministry as an associate pastor in Rochester, NY. After completing a D.Min. in family counseling at Colgate Rochester Divinity School he finished his clinical training in Scottsdale, AZ. He has facilitated Bowed Theory study and supervision groups in Portland since 1985. Jim has incorporated neurofeedback in his practice since 2010. Jim is a clinical fellow and approved supervisor in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and an Oregon State Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.


Dr. Michael Lee Cook, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist and pastoral counselor in private practice at Micah Counseling Services, a parish-based counseling center at St. Andrew’s in the Pines Episcopal Church. In this ministry, he engages in the therapeutic practice of helping individuals, couples, families, and groups deal with and find effective solutions to the transitions and complexities of life that impact their mental and spiritual well-being and overall functioning. Michael has extensive clinical training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, family systems theory, and the use of spiritual resources in counseling. He holds an optimistic view of human nature and resists the urge to pathologize clients by supporting the idea that problems are not in people, but rather people struggle against problems.


Vanessa Ellison MSW, MDiv, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Richmond, Virginia. She currently works as a therapist. Vanessa has clinical experience providing individual, couples, and group psychotherapy and community-based services and ministerial experience serving local congregations, local missional settings, and non-profit organizations. She first learned about Bowen Theory while attending Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, learned how to apply it clinically while working on a master’s degree at VCU’s School of Social Work, and has attended workshops at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in DC. She began participating in the LIM workshops in 2006 and joined the LIM Workshop Faculty in 2018.


The Rev. Dr. Israel Galindo is the Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA, Executive Director of Educational Consultants, and the current director of LIM. He has been a private school principal and hospice chaplain. Prior to moving to Georgia, he served as the Dean and Professor of Christian Education Formation and Leadership at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, and a Pastoral Associate at the Vienna Baptist Church, Vienna, Virginia. He began participation in the Leadership In Ministry Workshops in 1993 and joined the LIM Workshop faculty in 1997. A frequent conference and seminar leader, he is the author of numerous articles and several books, including: The Craft of Christian Teaching, Let Us Pray, The Bible, Live! The Tree of All Hearts: Modern Parables for Teaching Faith, El Arte de la Ensenanza Cristiana, 10 Best Parenting Ways to Ruin Your Child, 10 Best Ways to Ruin Your Teenager (co-author), A Family Genogram Workbook (co-author) The Hidden Lives of Congregations and Perspectives on Congregational Leadership: Applying Systems Thinking for Effective Leadeship.


The Rev. Dr. Keith Harder has been involved in clergy pastoral leadership training throughout his career. He served as Director of Ministerial Leadership Services for the General Conference of the Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church USA. He has served as adjunct professor of the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary where he taught on Bowen Family Systems Theory and pastoral care. For several years Keith led clergy coaching groups using BFST. He joined the LIM faculty in Kansas City in 2018. 


The Rev. Dr. Margaret (Meg) B. Hess received her BA from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She also graduated from Andover Newton Theological School, where she received a Master of Divinity degree in 1981 and Doctor of Ministry degree, with honors, in Pastoral Counseling in 1994. She is ordained by the American Baptist Churches, USA, where she served pastorates for twenty years in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Her favorite pastime is baking artisan breads. She is married to Peter Lacey, and they live in Nashua with their daughter Keziah. Adjunct faculty in preaching at Andover Newton Theological School since 1983, Dr. Hess is a Pastoral Counselor with The Emmaus Institute in Nashua, NH, and a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Meg also facilitates Labyrinth retreats and workshops.


The Rev. Dr. Paul “Skip” Johnson is Associate Pastor at Cannon United Methodist Church, Snellville GA. He was  Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology and Care at the Columbia Theological Seminary. Dr. Johnson’s interests focus on pastoral theology as embodied and lived within congregational care and liturgical experience. This includes reflections upon evil and the demonic as traditional, phenomenological categories of Christian religious experience. He is also interested in storytelling, narrative theory, and post-Freudian theorists whose theories offer rich opportunities for integrating an understanding of cultural and religious expression. He has regularly taught Bowen Systems Theory to seminarians, including a D.Min. seminar on the theory applied to congregational leadership. Skip serves on the Atlanta LIM faculty.


The Reverend Dr. Julie M. Josund is a native of the Pacific Northwest, the first-born daughter of first generation immigrant parents. She has been a pastor and teacher in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) for more than 25 years. Her MDiv is from Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, MN. She completed four units of CPE in Seattle, and received her DMin from San Francisco Theological Seminary in Systems Theory and Pastoral Leadership. Julie directed the Institute for Clergy and Congregational Renewal at Pacific Lutheran University and worked in Contextual Education for Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkley, CA and Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. She studied family systems for pastoral leaders and congregations with Dr. Peter Steinke, and was coordinator of the Healthy Leaders, Healthy Congregations Initiative for the Northwest Washington Synod (ELCA). She is a Level II Coach with the ELCA, and adjunct faculty at the School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University, teaching systems courses in the DMin program since 2005.


The Rev. Lance King is Senior Pastor of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church, Earlysville, VA. A long time participant of LIM he joined the faculty in 2018. 


The Reverend Dr. Dan Koger is Pastor of Churchland Baptist Church in Chesapeake, Virginia, a congregation he has served since 2003.  He transitioned from the Associate Pastor to Pastor in September, 2016. A native of Virginia, he has previously served congregations in North Carolina and Kentucky, all in “second chair” or associate staff roles.  He entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1980, where he received both his MDiv and EdD degrees. Dan was first introduced to Bowen Family Systems Theory in 1995 while serving in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  He heard Ed Friedman speak at Wake Forest University on Bowen Theory was introduced to Generation to Generation.  He began his participation in the LIM workshops in 1996. Dan has served since 2005 as Adjunct Professor in Christian Education Formation and Leadership at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, where he teaches the course, “Leadership in Context,” which is framed around BFST.  He joined the LIM Workshop faculty in 2015.


The Rev. Dr. James Lamkin has been the Senior Minister of the Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He retired in December 2020 after serving 23 years as the church’s pastor. A native of Louisiana, he has also pastored congregations in Louisiana and Virginia, served as a hospital chaplain and been the director of a regional medical center’s Department of Pastoral Care.  A  Master of Divinity graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he did his CPE training at Baylor University Medical Center and received his Doctor of Ministry degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. James began participation in the Leadership In Ministry Workshops in 1993 and joined the LIM Workshop faculty in 2002.


The Rev. Rebecca Maccini has been in pastoral ministry for 30 years.  She has been a pastor of young adults, co-pastor, bi-vocational pastor, solo pastor, and designated pastor. She has studied Bowen Family Systems Theory for 20 years and for the past four years has been on the faculty of Leadership in Ministry Workshops. She has made presentations applying Bowen Family Systems Theory to congregational settings at symposiums of the Vermont Center for Family Process, and the Vermont and New Hampshire Conferences of the United Church of Christ.  She currently leads a newly called clergy group in New Hampshire. She has been part of the Boston Leadership in Ministry Workshop faculty since it commenced in 1999.


Rev. Margaret Marcuson helps ministers do their work without wearing out or burning out, through ministry coaching, presentations and online resources. Margaret is the author of Leaders Who Last: Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry and Money and Your Ministry: Balance the Books While Keeping Your Balance. An American Baptist minister, she served as a pastor for 15 years. She was a student of Edwin Friedman, and joined the LIM Workshop faculty in 1999. Her website is


The Rev. Dr. William T. Pyle recently served as Interim Pastor of Hope Valley Baptist Church in Durham, NC. He has taught previously at Campbell University Divinity School, North Carolina Wesleyan College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is trained as an Intentional Interim Minister through the Center for Congregational Health and is challenged to understand congregational dynamics from a systems perspective. A participant in the Leadership in Ministry Workshops since 2002, he joined the LIM Workshop faculty in 2007.

Carla Toenniessen, MFT
, a native of Northern Virginia, serves as a lay leader at Vienna Baptist Church in Vienna, Virginia. For 31 years, Carla worked in public schools as a teacher and school counselor. Working with both school and congregational systems has provided fertile ground for learning about the importance of Bowen Family Systems Theory and family of origin work as resources for leadership when navigating complex systems and everyday life.  She considers coaching to be an invaluable asset for the lifelong journey of working at differentiation and participates in a monthly coaching group. A participant in the LIM Workshops since 1998, Carla joined the LIM Workshop faculty in 2008.