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What is Healthy Congregations, Inc.?

An ecumenical and interfaith not for profit focusing on the relationship between emotional process and vitality within communities of faith.

How can I find someone to lead a Healthy Congregations workshop in my area? 

Workshops are conducted by Healthy Congregations facilitators. To get in contact with Healthy Congregations facilitators in your area of the country, please contact us.

Who runs Healthy Congregations? 
Healthy Congregations has an Executive Director and CEO of the organization who is responsible for leadership of the overall and everyday operations. The Executive Director and CEO serves on the Board of Directors. The principles of the organization are stated in its purpose statement, and it is the responsibility of the Board to create programs and policy that remain consistent with the organization’s purpose.

How is the organization financed? 
Healthy Congregations began as a pilot program with substantial funding from two Lutheran benevolent associations. That financial commitment was completed in 2005, and Healthy Congregations is a financially independent organization that reinvests its income back into research, resources, and materials available for the program.

What about Bridgebuilder? 
We have received many questions about “Bridgebuilder.” As of 2006, Healthy Congregations, Inc. and Bridgebuilder are separate entities, with a common perspective and theoretical base. 

What are the differences between Healthy Congregations and Bridgebuilder? 
Healthy Congregations focuses on the foundations and proactive approaches to dealing with the development of healthy interaction in communities. Bridgebuilder is a process to be used in situations where congregations are stuck or in conflict. Trained Bridgebuilder facilitators walk a congregation or organization through a structured process lasting from 5-7 months.


Can you recommend any books about family systems thinking and emotional process? 

Yes, check out the Books We Recommend section of our website. 


What does it mean to be trained as a Healthy Congregations facilitator? 
Training involves an intensive focus over a two or three day period (approximately 15 hours of didactic and interactive experience.) All trained facilitators are entitled to videos, the facilitator’s manual and a copy of the workshop study guides. Trained facilitators are eligible for participation in the annual Healthy Congregations National Gathering which is designed for additional training, resources, networking and evaluation. It is the responsibility of the facilitator to use the Healthy Congregations material as it was intended-for the growth and learning of congregational leaders. Healthy Congregations, Inc. reserves the right to refuse to sell materials to anyone who is not using them as intended, or who is misrepresenting the program or the product. There is no “certification” process attached to this series. Facilitators are asked NOT to make claims that they have been certified as Healthy Congregations specialists. Any questions related to rights and responsibilities should be directed to Healthy Congregations, Inc. and Executive Director Rev. Dr. Emlyn Ott.


What does it take to be a Healthy Congregations facilitator? 
Training to lead the six workshops is conducted throughout the world by trained “trainers” who conduct a program of 15 hours. This training provides a person with access to the materials from the workshops for use in organizations and congregations.


Can I be certified as a Healthy Congregations facilitator? 
We do not offer “certification”—only training and access to use the material. A letter of continuing education can be provided by the trainer offering your particular program.


What is the difference between a "facilitator" and a "trainer"?
Healthy Congregations facilitators have participated in a 15-hour training focused on being able to lead the six workshops. A trainer is a person who has extensive experience leading workshops and has made a commitment to on-going personal coaching/consultation work as well as taken the special “training of trainers” offered by Healthy Congregations which enables them to provide facilitator training workshops.


How can events be listed on the Healthy Congregations calendar? 
We are happy to publicize training events by facilitators and family systems theory events across the country. Just contact us with the details.


How do I find out about the facilitator training opportunities? 
We have over 3,000 facilitators of workshops that are independent providers of workshops throughout the world. As we are given the information about facilitator training opportunities led by our “trainers”, they are posted on the “Events” section of the website. If you are interested in contacting people in your area who provide training, please contact the Healthy Congregations office.


Why don't you list facilitator names and contact info on your website? 
We value the privacy of our facilitators’ contact information. Placing that information online could subject facilitators to spam mail or identity theft.


Who and what does one look for in a coaching/consulting relationship? 
A person (1) with experience in their own work of defining a self, who (2) encourages clearer thinking, (3) challenges for the purpose of greater clarity and (4) encourages persistence.


What form does coaching and consultation take? 
An individual, couple, or family may make arrangements with a family systems coach for work that involves a focus on family of origin relationships and processes, as well as looking at connections between family, work, and world. One of the best ways to work within a relationship of coaching is to find a family systems theory group that meets on a regular basis, including a coaching component. Some of the groups are structured to meet several times a year for concentrated work blocks of 2-3 days. Some groups meet on a monthly basis. Healthy Congregations offers a theory/coaching experience through its Healthy Leadership Seminars.


Can coaching apply to community organizations and congregations? 
Healthy Congregations has a network of committed professionals with experience in working with larger systems, including hospitals, school districts, businesses, and non-profits as well in churches, parishes, and judicatories. These coaches and consultants also have made a commitment to their own ongoing family of origin work. They are available to work with leaders and communities who desire to examine their mission, deal with current or past challenges, and determine next steps in the process of clarifying the purpose and direction of the organization.

How can I find resources? 
Certainly searching the web for resources is one way to see what is available. It is important to note that family systems coaching and consultation from a Bowen family systems perspective is unique. The Healthy Congregations office has a list of individual coaches that meet the criteria stated above. We also have connections with theory groups and their sponsors throughout the country. Contact us for more information.


What are your Shipping and Handling charges?
DVDs ship via USPS for $4.99 per DVD. 
Workshops ship via UPS. The Workshop price includes shipping. Facilitator Training Manuals (FTM) ship via UPS for $19.99 per manual. Rush and/or international orders are subject to an additional fee to cover expedited and/or international rates. Rush orders are any order received less than 7 business days prior to the scheduled workshop or training. International orders are any order outside the continental U.S. For any questions, please contact our office.

What is your Return Policy? 
If you have a question regarding materials to be returned or replaced please call (740)803-2417. All orders are to be checked for accuracy and inspected for damages within 7 days of receipt. Returns and exchanges must be made within 30 days of shipping. Only unused Facilitator Manuals and damaged materials may be returned. Facilitators are responsible for the cost of returning unused facilitator manuals. Materials returned are expected to be in the same condition in which they arrived. No refund will be given for materials damaged in the return process. Please do not return individually sold DVDs.

All returns are to be shipped to: Healthy Congregations, Inc., 6580 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center, OH 43035

Terms & Conditions

This website is owned and operated by Healthy Congregations, Inc. These Terms set forth the terms and conditions under which you may use our website and services as offered by us. This website offers visitors educational resources and leadership development material designed with the purpose of encouraging healthier, clearer, and deeper individual and community left based on the contributions of leaders in the field of Bowen Theory and congregational life. By accessing or using the website of our service, you approve that you have read, understood, and agree to be bound by these Terms.

Privacy Policy

When you conduct a transaction on our website, as part of the process, we collect personal information you give us such as your name, address, and email address. Your personal information will be used for the specific reasons stated above only.

Our organization is hosted on the platform. provides us with the online platform that allows us to sell our products and services to you. Your data may be stored through’s data storage, databases and the general applications. They store your data on secure servers behind a firewall. 

All direct payment gateways offered by and used by our organization adhere to the standards set by PCI-DSS as managed by the PCI Security Standards Council, which is a joint effort of brands like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. PCI-DSS requirements help ensure the secure handling of credit card information by our store and its service providers.

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