Upcoming Events

Faith in America: Society’s Hidden Psychological Forces

March 21, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm
Union Theological Seminary
3041 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Ian Rees

Faith in America: Society’s Hidden Psychological Forces

Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Time: 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm)
Location: The Social Hall, Union Theological Seminary (121st Street & Broadway)

Please join Frances Unsell, organizational consultant, psychoanalyst, and Presbyterian minister for a conversation about Society’s Hidden Psychological Forces, part of Union’s free public series, Faith in America.

In our quest to make the world a better place, social activists and people of faith will stumble if we fail to acknowledge the powerful—though often hidden—psychological forces that inform group dynamics. At a time when the need for activism could not be greater, March’s Faith in America will examine the underlying drivers behind human groups—coalitions, societies, non-profits, and corporations—that frame our public and professional lives. Leading experts will join Ms. Unsell to share real-life case studies and to explore the useful levers through which true positive change is possible.

Frances Unsell, Founder & President, The Development Center and Union ’78

Panelists include (Bios Below):
Dr. Victoria Barnett, Director of the Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Rev. Amy B. Gregory, Construction, Cultural and Interfaith Project, Gradacac, Bosnia; Pastor, First United Methodist Church (Greene, NY) and Union ‘96
Alex Patchin McNeill, Executive Director, More Light Presbyterians an organization that works for the full participation of LGBTQ people in the life, ministry, and witness
Dr. Mary McRae, Author, Group Relations Consultant and Associate Professor, New York University, Department of Applied Psychology



Frances Unsell, a Presbyterian minister, is a licensed psychoanalyst and a member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations. She is a graduate of Hendrix College, Union Theological Seminary where she was a Rockefeller Fellow, and the Westchester Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. She has completed advanced training in organizational systems with The Tavistock Institute, AK Rice, and The Grubb Institute. She is Founder and Director of The Development Center in Darien, Connecticut.

Victoria Barnett is Director of the Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She is a graduate of Indiana University, Union Theological Seminary (New York), and George Mason University.  She is the author of For the Soul of the People: Protestant Protest against Hitler (Oxford University Press, 1992) and Bystanders: Conscience and Complicity during the Holocaust (Greenwood Press, 1999), and editor/translator of Wolfgang Gerlach’s And the Witnesses were Silent: the Confessing Church and the Jews (University of Nebraska Press, 2000) and the new revised edition of Eberhard Bethge’s Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography (Fortress Press, 2000).  From 2004-2014 she served as one of the general editors of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, the English translation series of Bonhoeffer’s complete works published by Fortress Press. She has written numerous articles and book chapters on the churches during the Holocaust.

Rev. Amy B. Gregory, MDiv., an ordained elder in the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church is a 1996 Union graduate. She has served in urban, rural, suburban and international churches. Amy is a student in the Further Education Program at the CG Jung Institute in Kusnacht, Switzerland. This summer under the direction of local builders, she will be leading a group of US volunteers working on building their 7th house in Bosnia.

Alex Patchin McNeill is the first openly transgender person to head a mainline Protestant organization. He is an openly transgender man, a life-long Presbyterian, and a nationally known educator and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Christians. He has trained hundreds of Christians to become community leaders through the Institute for Welcoming Resources and the Reconciling Ministries Network. He played key roles organizing faith communities for the passage of Amendment 10A in the PC(USA), and for marriage equality legislation in Maryland. McNeill has also campaigned for ballot measures and legislation to promote LGBTQ rights as well as worked to repeal HB2 — known as the “bathroom bill”signed into law by the North Carolina’s governor last March. His journey to ordination is currently being chronicled in the documentary, Out of Order. Alex holds a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He currently lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and three dogs.

Mary B. McRae, Ed.D., associate professor in the Department of Applied Psychology, New York University.  The focus of her work is on racial and cultural dynamics in group and organizational life.  Her work includes adapting the Tavistock model, which is a psychoanalytic and systemic study of authority and leadership in groups and organizations, to working with relevant issues of intergroup relations that impact the world we live in.  This model was used to conduct a series of group relation conferences on working with differences in group and organizational life at NYU. She has conducted research on the Black Church as therapeutic community.    She is a license psychologist with a private practice working primarily with adults who are dealing with anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationship issues.  She also does coaching on work and life issues and group facilitation for meetings and retreats.  Dr. McRae has published many articles, book chapters and a video, Group Dynamics in a Multicultural World.