Us Against Them? Ministry in an Age of Polarization
Date: Thursday, January 17, 2019
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, At-door registration begins at 8:30 AM
Location: George Mason University Arlington Campus, Founders Hall, 3351 Fairfax Drive (Classroom #113), Arlington, Virginia 22201
Polarization is everywhere. It is in our society, in our families, in our politics, and in our congregations.
Author, pastor and pastoral counselor, Ronald W. Richardson, brings his experience with Bowen theory to the challenge of polarization. The conference will look at how a leader’s work on differentiation of self can help a group avoid polarization and when it does occur, help to manage it. Staying thoughtful, clear, and connected, leaders can embody a principled call to ministry with others in a polarized environment.
“By enlarging the picture of what is involved when these heated debates arise, we can discover new avenues for approaching them.”
— Ronald W. Richardson, Polarization and the Healthier Church
Ronald W. Richardson MDiv, DMin
Ronald W. Richardson is an accredited Marriage and Family Therapist and Pastoral Counselor (retired). He was the Executive Director of a large, metropolitan-wide counseling agency in Vancouver, Canada. The agency was exclusively focused on the application of Bowen family systems theory in its clinical work and training. He trained therapists and pastors in Bowen theory for over 20 years. He is also a Presbyterian pastor and served churches for 10 years (in Wilmington, DE and Rochester, NY) before receiving his DMin degree. He has published 12 books, half of which offer applications of Bowen theory to congregational life and leadership. His book Polarization and the Healthier Church is the suggested reading for this one-day conference. It gives his theoretical understanding of Bowen’s 8th concept — the Societal Emotional Process — and also gives four extended case studies from his own ministry around good outcomes in polarized situations.
Carol P. Jeunnette MDiv, PhD
Carol Jeunnette, a retired Lutheran pastor, has spent her career in ministry, study, and in the connection between Bowen theory and congruent theological perspectives. Currently, her focus is on writing, presenting, consulting, and expanding opportunities for clergy and faith leaders to connect to Bowen theory.
Edward J. Henley, MDiv
Edward Henley’s clergy experience includes interim service in nine congregations, as well as a pastorate of sixteen years. This service included the merger of two congregations, sale of properties, and the building of a new campus. He continues his service in the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.
Theoretical Considerations for Understanding Polarization
Edward J. Henley, DMin
Us Against Them?
Ronald W. Richardson, MDiv, DMin
Exploring Peace: A Case Study
Ronald W. Richardson, MDiv, DMin and Carol P. Jeunnette, MDiv, PhD
Ministry in an Age of Polarization
Ronald W. Richardson, MDiv, DMin
Dialogue and Discourse: Presenters, Colleagues and Participants
George Mason University Arlington Campus
3351 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia 22201
Public Transportation and Driving Directions
George Mason’s Arlington Campus is located two blocks from the Virginia Square/GMU station on the Orange Line.
Please visit George Mason’s Arlington Campus directions page for details on public transportation and driving directions.
Visitor parking is available in Founders Hall Garage on a first-come, first-serve basis. The full-day rate is $15 M-F, and $8 on weekends.
- Google Directions to Founders Hall Garage
For further information, please email The Bowen Center.
Continuing Education Credits
The Georgetown Family Center is approved as a(n):
- Independent provider of continuing education credit by the Maryland State Board of Social Work Examiners and the District of Columbia Board of Social Work.
- Approved provider of continuing education by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work for licensed social workers #SW-0419.
Georgetown Family Center/Bowen Center for the Study of the Family has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6225. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Georgetown Family Center/Bowen Center for the Study of the Family is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
Each conference day provides a maximum of 6 hours of Category I continuing education credit for social workers and for counselors.
If you plan to participate in the CEU/CE process, it is necessary to:
- Pay the CEU/CE fee of $15 per conference
- Sign CEU/CE registration form each day of conference
- Prepare to stay for the entire conference
- Submit a completed evaluation at day’s end
Return policy: Return policy: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 12:00 PM is the last day to receive a refund for the Faith Leadership Conference.
Participants will be able to:
- Increased ability to identify common symptoms of anxiety in self, families, and communities – especially as it manifests in the reactivity described as “polarization.”
- Increased ability to see the reciprocity involved in relationship patterns.
- Decreased focus on the functioning of others; increased focus on self when tension rises in a relationship or group.
- Increased ability to see the emotional patterns described by Bowen Theory and one’s part in them.
- Increased imagination for responsible engagement of family, work and faith community when tensions manifest in the emotional processes of conflict, distance, triangulation and over/under-functioning – common components of polarization.
- To develop a better understanding of how Bowen theory conceptualizes the process of polarization in families, churches, communities, and society, and how individuals can address their part in that process.
Georgetown Family Center, Inc.
ACEP No. 6225