Born in 1952, Williamson is a native of Houston, Texas. She grew up in a traditional ‘50s home with a lawyer father and a stay-at-home mother. She explored a number of careers, including cocktail waitress and lounge singer, before she began lecturing to small groups in Los Angeles on A Course in Miracles in the 1980s.
A Course in Miracles is a contemporary expression of New Thought which is similar in many ways to Unity teachings. She describes the course as "a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy." Her talks became enormously popular and soon attracted a large following and a successful series of audiotapes that predate her bestselling books. Williamson has done extensive charitable work throughout the USA, including the founding of the Centers for Living, an organization dedicated to providing home help for people with life-threatening diseases.
Her recent book, The Healing of America, has synthesized New Thought principles with A Course in Miracles and ecosystem management practices to provide a whole-system approach to transforming American culture.
Williamson is also the founder of the American Renaissance Alliance. The American Renaissance Alliance is an organization dedicated to all citizens and their reclamation of their place in the democratic and political process. To this end, it facilitates the joining of spiritual and political pursuits that manifest in political activism.