Leadership Series

Leadership Series

Healthy Leadership Seminar Series

The Healthy Leadership Seminar Series is an opportunity for leaders across professions (pastors, religious leaders, educators, administrators and health professionals) 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 to workplace and family in 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.

The eight concepts of Bowen family systems theory will guide the process of learning. 

  • Presentation and discussion of theoretical concepts of Bowen Theory
  • Application of theory in one’s family
  • Application of theory in the workplace

Responsibility for learning rests upon each individual.




  • 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Broadening perspective through the lens of systems theory (Part 1)
  • 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Broadening perspective through the lens of systems theory (Part 2)
  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Break
  • 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Lunch (onsite with video presentation available)
  • 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Workplace application (small group coaching)
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break
  • 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Family of origin group (small group coaching)

2017/ 2018 Dates

  • 22 September 2017
  • 27 October 2017
  • 10 November 2017
  • 26 January 2018
  • 23 February 2018
  • 23 March 2018
  • 13 April 2018
  • May 2018

*Special May Leadership Series


The 2017-2018 Healthy Leadership Series will be located at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO). MTSO is easy to find, located on U.S. Route 23, 10 miles north of I-270. Click here for a Google Map for reference. We are excited about this new partnership and some of the exciting opportunities that come with it. While MTSO is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, their student’s represent 20 different faith traditions and mirrors Healthy Congregations’ desire to build ecumenical relationships. MTSO is also home to Seminary Hill Farm, a certified organic farm that is committed to providing and educating people on sustainable farming practices. In-Person participants to this year’s Leadership Series will be provided with a true farm-to-table lunch (and you can actually visit the farm!).
More information on MTSO
More information on Seminary Hill Farm


In Person – $1,050 – This includes lunch from Seminary Hill Farm
LiveCast – $900

Both options include full participation in the nine month program as well as access to a systems coach either in small group or individual sessions. An initial $100 deposit is due at the time of registration to reserve a place in the program. Additional installments of are due by the September and January seminars. Registration deadline is September 15th. 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.


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 Location – MTSO.  Livecast opportunities are available throughout the country.

Seminar Series Facilitators:

ott1Emlyn 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 and is currently part of Research Group at the Bowen Center. Dr. Ott currently serves as Associate Professor of Ministry and Pastoral Leadership and Dean of Leadership Formation at Trinity Lutheran Seminary.


RevMathisRev. 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 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 provides family systems coaching for leaders in business and non-profit organizations.



RevJupinRev. 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. Having completed a fourth interim, Michael says “I just cannot truly retire. I am challenged by, grow through, and enjoy congregational ministry.” Michael and his spouse Barbara, a fiber artist, live with their dog, Barney the snoodle, in Columbus, Ohio.