Coaching Team

REV. DR. LAURIE J. FERGUSON’S vocational calling is to work with leaders who are seeking to transform themselves and their organizations in a time of difficult challenge. Focusing on building resilience and creating adaptive skills, she uses coaching, consulting, facilitation, and teaching to help people move forward in new ways. She brings a biblical and theological lens, along with training in organizational and personal change theory and group dynamics.

Ferguson has over 30 years of experience as a Presbyterian pastor, and is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is certified as a professional certified coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation. Ferguson began teaching coaching skills for the Lilly-funded pastoral excellence project in New York City in 2000, and began coaching professionally in 2002. She worked with Auburn Seminary where she was the senior fellow for coaching, and provided leadership for their Coach Training Program as the lead faculty. She coaches and does process consulting with individual leaders, congregations, and judicatories.

Ferguson, MDiv’ 80, earned her AB from Smith College and her PhD from Adelphi University. She is a member of the Hudson River Presbytery and lives in Rockland County, New York. Learn more about her at

REV. SHELLEY S. SMITH is certified as an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation and endorsed by the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry as a Life Coach Chaplain.  As a coach, she creates a confidential space to find inspiration and motivation that results in professional and personal transformation, balance and wellness guided by client goals. She works with clergy and teams of various denominations, partner with individuals and organizations in leadership development, and train persons participating in certified coaching programs.  

She has over 20 years of ministry experience, with the past eleven years as a senior pastor.  As a clergy member of the Greater New Jersey United Methodist Church Annual Conference, she is appointed to Extension Ministry as a coach. In addition to serving as the GNJUMC Conference Secretary, she is on the Board of Ordained Ministry and a Circuit Leader.   She received her Master of Divinity degree from Palmer Theological Seminary, St. David’s PA in 2011., and was an adjunct professor in their Eastern School of Christian Ministries. She celebrates family with my husband, two sons, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. Travel, genealogy, and old movies are favorite interests.

REV. LOIS ANNICH’S career has been a rich blend of pastoral ministry, pastoral counseling, coaching, chaplaincy, and consulting with faith communities, non-profits, and businesses. A graduate of Yale Divinity School and ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Annich frequently leads workshops and retreats on topics related to healthy, sustainable leadership. She’s a certified coach in the International Coach Federation, a pastoral psychotherapist in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, and a teacher of yoga and meditation. Annich loves great theater and great books; yoga and exercise; and, most importantly, her husband, two grown children and quirky rescue dog. Learn more about her at


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