Sonja Ware is an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and a Coach Trainer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA).
She has experience in coaching individuals as well as groups, focusing on leadership coaching and organizational consulting for nonprofit and volunteer organizations, life coaching, and end of life coaching, including grief coaching.
Sonja Ware has received Coaching Training with CoachNet (ACC level) and Coaching at the End of Life (PCC level).
Sonja Ware has received extensive training in Psychodynamic Theory at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia (PCOP), where she graduated in 2022 from Academic Track of the Adult Psychoanalytic Training Program. In her coaching, she listens with a psychodynamically trained ear, sensitive for unconscious processes as well as transference-countertransference dynamics.
In 2019, Sonja completed a Balint Group Leadership Training Intensive with the American Balint Society and currently co-leads Balint Groups at PCOP every year. She also participates actively in one of the very few Balint Groups for Clergy in the US.
Sonja Ware is a Pastor on the roster of the ELCA, and has successfully facilitated a four church merger. Sonja's ministry focus has been working with congregations that are in transition, feel stuck in any way, or experience conflict, and offering congregants a process to discover their unique purpose in a drastically changing society.
Sonja grew up in Germany and has been living in the US since 2005. She is fluent both in German and in English and has coaching experience in both languages and countries. She has basic conversational skills in Spanish.
In her coaching, she offers a particular sensitivity to unconscious currents, either within group dynamics or individuals, as well as cultural or religious diversity.
- Rostered Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Ordination in the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, Germany (EKHN, 2005)
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and Member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF)
- Academic Analytic Member of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia (PCOP)
- Academic Associate Candidate of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsA)
- Member of the American Balint Society (ABS)
"I lead a college ministry with a great team, but we were having a hard time finding a new vision since the pandemic. Sonja was an amazing fit for us and helped guide us into an incredibly productive conversation that helped us to envision a new path going forward. We joked that it felt like a magic trick because she mostly listened and asked questions and yet it helped us look at the same problems from a different angle. Sonja was a vital part of our ministry moving forward."
- Seth N., Pennsylvania
“Coaching has helped me get beyond problem-solving thought loops toward broader perspective on energy, joy, and mission. As a solo pastor, coaching has also been an essential support in work that often feels isolating. After a few years of coaching, I now think much more intentionally about the kinds of questions I am asking, of myself and the congregation I serve.”
- Courtney S., Pennsylvania
"My coaching sessions with Pastor Sonja Ware have been invaluable to my ministry over the last three years. She has a unique ability not only to listen closely to my words but also to detect subtle changes in my mood, face, and spirit as I discuss challenges and joys in my ministry. Each conversation gives me new insight into the answers that are already inside me, an ongoing goal of coaching."
- Chris W., Illinois
"I have worked with Pastor Sonja as my coach for the past 3 years. During that time she has helped me navigate a variety of complex work and personal situations by listening to me and asking thoughtful questions which help me to find clarity on next steps. Her coaching has been an incredible resource for me, and I am grateful for her helpful insights."
Cindy D., Wisconsin