The Healthy Leadership Seminar Series is an opportunity for leaders across professions – pastors and religious leaders, school principals and superintendents, and business leaders – to enrich and expand their ability to apply principles of systems thinking to self, family, and organizations.

The Series is composed of eight one-day seminars that promote in-depth thinking about self, family, and organizational process through the lens of Bowen family systems theory. A Seminar day includes plenary presentations in the morning and application of systems theory through workplace application and small group coaching in the afternoon. Practical application of theory through working with a coach for an extended period of time is at the heart of systems thinking.

Distance Learning
Distance learning is being offered for the first time.  The distance learning component makes the Series accessible to anyone in the country via live-stream web cast and includes access to a family systems trained coach for the year.

2014-2015 Series

Space is limited! Reserve your spot now. 
icon_register_for_eventRegister Now
  • September 26
  • October 24
  • November 21

  • January 23
  • February 27  
  • March 27
  • April 24
  • May 22

Please view our previous series brochure for an example of what you can expect.
icon_pdf 2013-2014 Series Brochure


$900 for eight one-day seminars. An initial $100 deposit is due at the time of registration to reserve a place in the program. Additional installments of $350 are due on or before the first seminar and $450 on or before the January seminar. The deadline for registration for the 2014/2015 series is 9/26/14. Enrollment and attendance is expected for all one-day seminars. No reimbursement or credit for missed sessions. The initial deposit is refundable until two weeks prior to the first seminar.


Held under the auspices of Healthy Congregations, Inc. on the campus of Trinity Lutheran Seminary, 2199 E Main St Columbus, OH 43209.


Remember, the following rules apply for payment:
  • $450 is due at the January seminar



Broadening perspective through the lens of systems theory (Part 1)
Broadening perspective through the lens of systems theory (Part 2)
Lunch (onsite with video presentation available)
Workplace application
Family of origin group

The eight concepts of Bowen family systems theory will guide the process of learning. Responsibility for learning rests upon each individual.
  • Presentation and discussion of theoretical concepts of Bowen theory
  • Application of theory in one’s family
  • Application of theory in the workplace

Additional Resource Available

We are pleased to recommend "An Adventure in Differentiation."  The DVD includes presentations from Emlyn Ott, Peter Steinke, Ron Richardson, Larry Matthews, Larry Foster, and Mickie Crimone.

Required Reading (One from each category)

Introductory texts on Bowen theory

  • Gilbert, Roberta M. “How Successful Parents Think: A Synopsis of Bowen Family Systems Theory for Parents.” Connecting with Our Children: Guiding Principles for Parents in a Troubled World. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999. 59-123. Print.
  • Gilbert, Roberta M. The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory. Falls Church, VA: Leading Systems, 2006. Print.
  • Kerr, Michael E. Family Evaluation: An Approach Based on Bowen Theory. New York: Norton, 2003. Print.

Advanced texts on Bowen theory

  • Bowen, Murray. Family Therapy in Clinical Practice. New York: J. Aronson, 1978. Print.
  • Friedman, Edwin H. Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue. New York: Guilford, 2011. Print.
  • Kerr, Michael E., and Murray Bowen. Family Evaluation: An Approach Based on Bowen Theory. New York: Norton, 1988. Print.
  • Papero, Daniel V. Bowen Family Systems Theory. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1990. Print.

Seminar Series Facilitators

Rev. Emlyn A. Ott, D.Min.

Emlyn Ott is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served as a parish pastor, campus minister, pastoral counselor, leader, and seminary professor for over 25 years. She was named CEO and Director of Healthy Congregations, Inc. in 2005. She holds a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, a Doctor of Ministry from Phillips Theological Seminary, and is a Clinical Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. She has participated for nine years in postgraduate work at the Center for Family Process and the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. Dr. Ott currently serves as Assistant Professor of Ministry and Pastoral Leadership and Dean of Leadership Formation at Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

Rev. Robert I. Mathis, Ph.D.

Bob Mathis has studied Bowen theory at the Western Pennsylvania Family Center and at the Bowen Center in the Postgraduate Program. He is a facilitator for the Healthy Congregations workshops and serves on the board of directors for Healthy Congregations, Inc. He holds a Master of Divinity from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO, and a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Bowen theory from Union Institute and the University of Cincinnati, OH. Dr. Mathis is an ordained minister in the Church of God and has served churches in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. He has a pastoral counseling practice in Dublin, OH, as well as providing family systems coaching for leaders in business and non-profit organizations.

Rev. J. Michael Jupin

Michael Jupin, an Episcopal priest for almost 45 years, has served in urban, suburban, and small town congregations. He first met Rabbi Dr. Edwin Friedman at a clergy/clergy spouse gathering in Syracuse, NY in 1988 and studied with “the Rabbi” from 1992 until Ed’s death in 1996. Following early retirement in 1998, Michael has been a Healthy Congregations facilitator and trainer, a Bridgebuilder consultant, and an interim priest. Now in his fourth interim at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Charleston, WV, Michael says “I just cannot truly retire. I am challenged by, grow through, and enjoy congregational ministry. And I love to love and be loved.” Michael and his spouse Barbara, a fiber artist, live with their two dogs, Patches the Jack Russell and Barney the snoodle, in Lancaster, Ohio.

Special Presentation on May 23, 2014

Martin de Porres Center, 2330 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219

md_priscilla_07.11_cropPriscilla J. Friesen, LICS W
Priscilla J Friesen was introduced to Bowen family systems theory in l976 while studying for a Master’s of Social Work at the University of Kansas. The theory described her life experience. She moved to Washington, DC, after graduate school in l978 to study with Dr. Murray Bowen, the originator of the ideas. Working in numerous teaching, training, and administrative capacities, Ms. Friesen has been associated with the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family (formerly Georgetown Family Center) since that time. She is presently working with the Murray Bowen Archives Project and the National Library of Medicine to make the Bowen Archives available to the world.”In the fall of 2005, Ms. Friesen founded The Learning Space with Regina Carrick and Glennon Gordon.

The Special Presentation is included with Registration for the 2013/2014 Leadership Series.

icon_pdf Friesen Brochure

 icon_register_for_event $50 for the Morning 
 icon_register_for_event $75 for Morning and Afternoon Sessions
 icon_register_for_event $14- Buffet Lunch inlcuding sandwiches, fruit salad and beverages
 icon_register_for_event $60 for Livecasting -OR- Register as a member & Livecast FREE