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The trainers/coaches

Michelle Heyne, OA brings empathy, humor, and a solid grounding in ecclesiology and effective organizational dynamics to her work as a trainer and consultant.  She is committed to helping parish leaders bring about effective change by developing the skills they need to make the most of the gifts they already have.  She has worked as a financial services executive for over 25 years and served as a parish lay leader for 15. Michelle lives in Seattle.

Michelle served as part of the training team with the Diocese of Washington and national Shaping the Parish.  She has also done training with and received a certificate from the Church Development Institute. Michelle also has completed NTL's Organization Development Certificate program. She is a consultant in the financial services industry for organization development and compliance issues. Michelle has extensive experience with financial management, interpersonal communications and team dynamics, and developing and implementing organizational change initiatives. She has non-profit experience in the areas of team building, strategic planning, and conflict management. She attends St. Paul's, Seattle.  Michelle is a Professed Member of the Order of the Ascension and the 8th Presiding Officer of the Order.

Writing: In Your Holy Spirit: Traditional Spiritual Practices in Today's Christian LifeUnderstanding from Within: Working with Religious Systems, OD Practitioner, with Robert Gallagher, January 2015;  “Quality & Empowerment: Organization Development at WomenRising 1992 – 2016.”, OD Practitioner, with Robert Gallagher, Spring 2016. Book in process: Shaping the Parish: A Theology of the Parish Church, with Robert Gallagher


Robert Gallagher, OA brings 50 years of experience in leadership training and parish development. Fr. Robert offers exceptional skills in facilitating shifts and changes in people and organizations. He provides practical methods and vision for a transformed parish. He has a masters degree in Organization Development from Goddard College. He lives in Seattle.

He’s been a consultant and trainer in religious systems, non-profit organizations and small businesses since 1970. Bob has been a parish priest; on the staff of or consultant to ecumenical training organizations, an industrial mission and metropolitan and state councils of churches. He served as the congregational development officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut from 1981 - 88. He has consulted with hundreds of congregations. He has served as adjunct faculty in congregational development at Hartford Seminary and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and in Anglican Studies at Bangor Theological Seminary. He was Director of the Church Development Institute at the General Theological Seminary from 1985 - 2000 and continued as the Director of the Church Development Institute - Seattle until in 2011 when that changed to Shaping the Parish. In recent years Bob served as the Associate Priest for Ascetical and Practical Theology at Trinity Church, Seattle and as a priest associate at Saint Paul's Church and Saint Clement's Church, Seattle. He attends Saint Paul's, Seattle.  An article in the Washington Post on Bob's work.  Fr. Robert is a Professed Member of the Order of the Ascension.

Writing: Fill All Things: The Dynamics of Spirituality in the Parish Church, Ascension Press, 2008. Parish Assessment Workbook, Coauthor, a manual for conducting a self-study, Ascension Press, 1988; Faith Sharing, Coauthor, exercises for groups exploring life histories and spirituality. Ascension Press, 1989; Conformed to Christ: Structures and Standards for Parish Life, Coauthor, guidelines and samples of job descriptions for staff and committees. Ascension Press, 1983, revised 1988 and 2004 as a CD; Power from on High: A Model for Parish Life and DevelopmentAscension Press, 1982; Stay in the City, A strategy for dioceses in regard to urban parishes. Forward Movement, 1981; The Ministry of the Laity as Agents of Institutional ChangeAudenshaw Documents, 1972 and a shorter version in Asian Focus, East Asian Christian Conference, 1971. In Your Holy Spirit: Shaping the Parish Through Spiritual Practices, 2011. Understanding from Within: Working with Religious Systems, OD Practitioner, with Michelle Heyne, January 2015.  “Quality & Empowerment: Organization Development at WomenRising 1992 – 2016.”, with Michelle Heyne, Spring 2016 OD Practitioner. Books in process include:  Eucharistic Spirituality: From Audience to CongregationShaping the Parish: A Theology of the Parish Church, with Michelle Heyne