Leadership in Ministry

newton-maLeadership 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.

The LIM Workshops were founded in 1992 by Dr. Lawrence Matthews, who served as Coordinator through 2010. Dr. Israel Galindo is now Coordinator. Israel and other faculty members have received extensive training in Bowen Family Systems Theory and the leadership concepts of Dr. Edwin Friedman.

Purposes of the Workshops

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 200 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.


Locations, Fees and Sample Schedule

Site Schedules and Registration