The Development Center

Learning Groups

Developing and Using Your Pastoral Authority
A Small Learning Group for Clergywomen

Do you wish that you could:

This leaning group is for clergywomen who want to develop and use their Pastoral Authority.

Authority is an attribute of the role. Pastoral Authority must be earned and comes from how others experience you in role. When a pastor stays in role she earns respect, frees others to take up their roles and to openly disagree with her.

Power is linked to the person. It includes who you are, the resources available to you through your position, the power that is projected in and onto you, and spiritual power.

It is unlikely that someone will be able to effectively exercise her Pastoral Authority if she is uncomfortable with or does not know how to use the resources available to her. And if she misuses these resources she will lose the Pastoral Authority others have bestowed upon her.

Members of this experiential learning group will be introduced to the concept of Organizational Role and how it is a basis for garnering Pastoral Authority.

The group will draw on various perspectives: psychological, interpersonal, theological, systemic, cultural, sociological and historical. A multidimensional approach is necessary since women’s relationship to their own power and the power of others and how to use it with authority is deep, multifaceted and complex. After all the relationship to our power and that of others begins with our first breath and has been going on since Adam and Eve!

Our work will challenge members to learn from and use their experience and try out new attitudes and behaviors. It will also include thinking and readings to shed light on “why things are the way they are” and offer ways to be more effective in ministry.

Limited to ten clergywomen. It will meet for seven half-days over six months beginning in late January 2017. Registration deadline: January 2. For information please call Frances Unsell at 203 655 9414.

Leader:  Frances Unsell is Founder and President of The Development Center. She is a Presbyterian minister, psychoanalyst and organizational consultant. She has worked with women in leadership since 1980. This has included directing a career program at Barnard College, Columbia University, working as an internal leadership and organizational consultant for women’s organizations and female leaders for a denomination, and coaching and consulting to scores of females who are senior leaders. She has been quoted in The New York Times and interviewed by Voice of America as an expert on women and work.

Frances has consulted to and been employed by every level of the Church – congregations, denominations, seminaries, ecumenical bodies and parachurch organizations. Her work has encompassed all the mainline Protestant denominations in North America, the Church of England, and Roman Catholic and Jewish traditions.

Her clients can be characterized as cutting edge, resource rich, thoughtful, effective senior leaders of complex organizations. They are often thought leaders and public intellectuals who are highly visible in the public square.

Frances was a Founding Member and is past Co-Chair of the Coaching Coalition and is a member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations. She is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary (Rockefeller Fellow, Concentration: Psychiatry and Religion), The Westchester Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis (Existential Psychoanalysis) and has trained with The Tavistock Institute, the Grubb Institute and AKRice (Organizational Systems and Behavior, Group Relations).