Joe’s parents were hardware store merchants. Working in the family business as a teenager he learned that having the right tools for the job is one of the keys to success. He has applied that lesson throughout his professional career – as a musician, an ordained minister, an educator, a counselor, and consultant.
Joe received a Master of Divinity from Queen’s University in Kingston and began serving the United Church of Canada in a mining town in northern Ontario. He overcame the geographical isolation as one of the first ministry personnel in the church to use a computer as a telecommunication tool, networking with colleagues world-wide. Later, while serving a large rural church in Stirling Ontario in 1990, he was the founder of TELOS, an ecumenical computer network for church leaders. The company later expanded to become a pioneer internet service provider in Belleville, and developed a distance education network for several community colleges in southern Ontario, and for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
In the practice of ministry and church leadership, other tools were required. Joe equipped himself to provide counselling and therapy by completing two units with the Canadian Association of Pastoral Practice and Education. He also acquired training to administer psychometric assessment tools, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis. Individual and family counselling became a significant aspect of his pastoral ministry and with the Kingston Institute of Pastoral Care.
From 1997 to 2004, Joe served as the human resources officer for the Bay of Quinte Conference, a region of the United Church spreading from Brockville Ontario to the eastern border of Toronto, and north to the Ottawa river. In this role, he provided policy and best practice advice to 400 congregations and their ministry personnel. He also facilitated many seminars and workshops, refining his adult learning methodology and multimedia presentation technologies.
From 2004 – 2015, Joe worked in the General Council Office of the United Church as the Manager of Ministry Personnel Policies and Programs. He led a staff of 8 to support the denomination in the improvement of human resources policies that govern over 3000 congregations and their staff.
Recently, Joe’s focus is the development of tools related to “the Art of Hosting” — practices that enable conversations with larger numbers of people and the development of participatory processes. Along with Allan Reeve, Joe is applying these practices through a program they call Hosting Sacred Conversations.
Over the years, Joe has also continued to write and perform as a vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player. His main love is the blues, but also performs classic rock, jazz and folk music with various ensembles. He writes, publishes and records music for progressive congregations. Have a listen at Joe Ramsay Music.
Joe’s professional experiences have enabled him to create a toolkit containing many proven technologies for organizational development, conflict resolution, work flow management, governance design, and personal development. If you would like to speak with him about his availability to apply any of these tools to a challenging situation, email him by clicking here.