The School of Theology. Sewanee: The University of the South

Family Process in Congregational Life and Leadership

Identity, Integrity, Community, Mission: Family Process in Congregational Life and Leadership [3]
The Rt. Rev. Joe G. Burnett

This course will undertake an in-depth review of Edwin Friedman’s approach to family process, and how its wise employment as a pastoral tool can enhance congregational ministry and mission. In so doing we will also engage Friedman’s teaching in such a way as to examine some significant biblical parallels and theological implications that heretofore neither he nor many of his interpreters have discerned or articulated.

The readings listed below will serve as primary texts. We will also make use of a variety of other resources, media, brief ministry studies, and class member contributions designed to simulate reflection and surface new insights with regard to how we love, lead, form, and guide healthy missional communities.

Edwin H. Friedman, Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue (New York: The Guilford Press, 1985).

A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, New York: Seabury Books, 2007

Friedman’s Fables, New York: The Guilford Press, 1990

Roberta M. Gilbert, Extraordinary Leadership: Thinking Systems, Making a Difference, Falls Church, VA: Leading Systems Press, 2006

Peter L. Steinke, Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What, Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2006