An Adventure in Differentiation:
Bowen, Friedman, Congregations and Clergy

The Adventure was exciting! Thanks to all who presented and attended. The DVDs are available now Here.

Wesley Seminary - Meeting Room KG-01
4500 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington D.C. 20016

Through the years many people have found Bowen Theory helpful in dealing with various factors affecting one’s work and personal life. For those working with the theory, differences in the manner in which practitioners think about and apply theory are apparent. This leads to the question: using the framework of Bowen Theory, how can these differences be addressed?
The hypothesis being offered by the Voyagers is that holding "differences - together" offers a marvelous possibility for learning, growth, creativity and adventure. The Voyagers have invited six leaders who work with Bowen and Friedman perspectives to participate in an event described as an 'adventure.' In the work with Bowen Theory and Rabbi Friedman’s applications of the theory – in particular to congregations and leadership – there is an awareness of a number of individuals who share these interests and teach others. There are, however, differences or variations between these individuals in their use of Bowen Theory. The adventure being proposed is a meeting of leading individuals – a conference during which leaders in the field of Bowen Theory, Rabbi Friedman’s work, and congregations are invited to define themselves and their work.
You are invited to a conference in which leaders in the application of Bowen Theory to congregations and clergy come together to "define self and stay in touch." Presentations and presenters include
  • “Bowen Theory and Leadership--What I've Learned in 15 Years” Roberta Gilbert ("Extraordinary Relationship," "The Cornerstone Concept," etc.; faculty member of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family
  • “The Importance of Theory for Ministry” Ronald Richardson ("Creating a Healthier Church,""Becoming a Healthier Pastor," etc.),
  • " The Seven Deadly Sins of Leadership" Mickie Crimone, Center for Family Process Faculty (Rabbi Friedman's faculty)
  • "Differentiation of Self and Direction in Life" Peter Steinke ("Healthy Congregations," "Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times,", etc.)
  • "Thinking Out Loud About the BFST Future: Challenges and Possibilities" Larry Matthews, (Founder of Leadership in Ministry)
  • “Healthy Congregations: The Next Generation” Emlyn Ott (Director of Healthy Congregations.)
Online registration is now closed. You may register at the door on Friday, March 9. Registration fee is $100, cash/check only please. Registration cost includes lunch at the seminary.
Attention Students
A limited number of spaces are being held for full-time students enrolled in theological education at Wesley or other institutions of theological education. The cost is $50. Also, there are two full scholarships available for Wesley students who volunteer to assist with the day (set-up, registration, etc.). For the student rate and/or scholarship, please email the Rev. Michael Jupin at
Mickie W. Crimone, M.S., APRN has coached hundreds of church leaders, including pastors, lay ministers, board members and staff of many denominations. Her consultations focus on self-defined leadership, challenge and change. Ms. Crimone is a co-founder of The Center for Family Process in Bethesda, Md. and was associated for 25 years with the late Edwin Friedman who pioneered the application of Bowen Theory to congregational leadership. As a leader herself, she served as the director of a wide range of public and private organizations, and has conducted workshops and given seminars on family systems theory nationwide)) She is a nurse psychotherapist in private practice in the Washington, DC metropolitan area specializing in family therapy and organizational consultation.
Roberta Gilbert, MD is a psychiatrist. She is on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family where she was trained by Dr. Bowen and the Bowen Center's faculty. For 15 years she has directed the Extraordinary Leadership Seminar, mostly attended by the clergy of various denominations and faiths. It meets at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA, Roslyn, VA, and Falls Church, VA. Her books are:Extraordinary Relationships, Connecting With Our Children, Extraordinary Leadership, The Eight Concepts and The Cornerstone Concept.
Rev. Dr. Lawrence Matthews --A pastor for 42 years, Larry was fortunate enough to read "Generation to Generation" and join a coaching group with Ed Friedman 10 years before his first retirement in 1998. While serving as a faculty member of Friedman's seminars, he founded a similar training program for lay and clergy congregational leaders. He coordinated the Leadership In Ministry workshops for 20 years in four retreat sites across the USA until his second retirement in 2011.
Rev. Emlyn Ott is an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Pastor currently teaching senior M.Div. students and is the Director of Supervised Clinical Ministry at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and oversees the work of Healthy Congregations, Inc. She co-directed the Stillwater Interfaith Counseling Center, served as one of its staff counselors and continues to work with congregations and judicatories of many denominations in consultation around the development of emotional systems understanding. She is a Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and is in her 5th year of the post-graduate program at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family following four years at The Center for Family Process.
Ron Richardson was the Executive Director of North Shore Counseling Centre (now called Living Systems) in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the only pastoral counseling centre in North America fully dedicated to Bowen family systems theory. He held the highest accreditation in both AAPC and AAMFT. He is the author of six well-known books on the application of Bowen theory to the church, to ministry, and to counseling. They have been translated into six languages. In retirement, he mostly plays and moves around a lot.
Rev. Dr. Peter Steinke has been a church consultant for more than twenty years. Having studied Bowen Family System Theory under the tutelage of Edwin Friedman, he has attempted to incorporate the theory in his work. He has authored four books with an eye on Bowen Theory. He has developed the Bridgebuilder and Healthy Congregation programs and now is initiating New Visions, a system-based project for leadership in congregations. He resides in Austin, Texas.

Questions – please contact: Carol Jeunnette ,

Copyright, ¿ 2011, Clergy Voyagers