Conflict management

Equipping Selected Leaders of First Baptist Church Oxford, Mississippi, with Church Conflict Management Skills

Jeffery Dale Holeman
The purpose of this project was to equip selected leaders of the First Baptist Church of Oxford, Mississippi, with church conflict management skills. This project began with research in the field of conflict management and identified skills that are applicable to a local Southern Baptist Church. The project director developed a workshop to train selected leaders with the skills needed to manage church conflict. The selected leaders included deacon officers, committee chairpersons, and full-time church staff from the First Baptist Church of Oxford, Mississippi. This workshop included skill presentations and opportunities for case study applications. The project terminated with the workshop that equipped the selected leaders of First Baptist Church of Oxford, Mississippi, with church conflict management skills.

Increasing Awareness of Forgiveness and Biblical Reconciliation
at Connection Point Church, Kansas City, Missouri

Gary Brian Stone D.Min.
This project seeks to guide members of Connection Point Church in Kansas City, Missouri, to live in the healing and freedom of the gospel to extend love and forgiveness to those who have sinned against them. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of Connection Point Church and the goal of this project. Chapter 2 provides an exegesis of three primary passages of Scripture (2 Cor 5:18-21; Eph 4:31–5:2; Matt 18:21-35) to show that every Christian can experience the healing and freedom offered in the gospel and be empowered to extend kindness and forgiveness toward the person who sinned against them. Chapter 3 explores the history of interpersonal forgiveness and demonstrates the unique gospel-centered approach of this project. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, recounting the content and preaching methodology of the specific sermon series and take-home work. Chapter 5 evaluates the project's efficacy based on the completion of the specified goals. Ultimately, this project seeks to equip Christians with a deeper understanding and experience with the gospel so they can heal from the hurt of sins against them, find freedom from an offense, extend kindness and forgiveness toward the person who has hurt them and display the gospel and the glory of God to those around them.

La teología de conflicto del Apóstol Pablo : ¿como la historia del Apóstol Pablo camino a Damasco ha influenciado al ministerio pastoral en Boston, MA?

Isaías Rivera
How should the experience of the road to Damascus be understood, mainly in terms of a "change", a "variation", and "a shift" or "a designation"? and how it directly influences the life and thought of the Apostle Paul. That is, it should be seen as (1) a radical change in thought, perspective, commitments, and practice, involving an overt or subconscious break with one's past identity (ie, "conversion"), (2) a new perception and a marked change in form or appearance, but not necessarily a break with the past (ie "transformation"), (3) a change in outlook and practice, but without any distancing from the past (ie "alternating" ), or simply (4 ) a call to a new career or a particular pursuit (ie "call")?

To what extent has the connection between the Pneumatologically experience of the Apostle Paul and the modern exponents of the preaching of the gospel been lost? Exploring the different alternatives that the text offers, I want to establish why it is important for today to rescue the reality of the importance of how the lack of understanding of this encounter between the Apostle Paul and the neonatological experience experienced by the Apostle, influenced the rest of his religious life, and marked a before and after.

Celebrating diversity : a seminar for the local church using Jungian psychological type theory to promote tolerance of divergent opinions on non-essentials of the faith

Philip Verne De Jonge
This project is a series of nine seminar study units designed to provide the information local church members need to understand and appreciate diversity of opinion on non-essentials of the faith which results from personality differences as described by Jungian psychological type theory. Each unit contains a group discussion guide.

The first three study units present a biblical perspective on diversity of opinion in the church. Unit one is an investigation of diversity in the New Testament church designed to demonstrate that a romanticized conception of the early years of the Christian era as a time of uncomplicated unity and undisturbed unanimity of opinion is inconsistent with the testimony of the biblical material. Unit two is an examination of New Testament unity "in Christ." Unit three is a presentation of the strategies, attitudes, and skills necessary to promote the celebration of diversity of opinion in the local church.

The second set of three study units presents a psychological explanation for diversity in the church based on the personality type theory of Carl G. Jung. Unit four contains an introduction to Jung and his type theory, style, and religious attitude. Unit five is a detailed explication of psychological type. Unit six offers descriptions of the sixteen psychological types isolated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

The final three study units present applications of psychological type theory to three areas of significant diversity in the church. Unit seven addresses differences in worship and prayer styles. Unit eight investigates different approaches to biblical interpretation. Unit nine describes different concepts of ministry according to a four part Sloat-Bailey ministry gird and demonstrates a correspondence between these divisions and the functions of type theory.

Churches in conflict : a conflict management manual for church leaders

David P Breen
This four-unit manual is designed for church leaders as a guide to conflict management in the local congregation It discusses : 1) the theory of organizational conflict management, 2) the compilation of data from a study of how church leaders respond to conflict, 3) the relationship between self-esteem, power, anger, and conflict management, and 4) the biblical and theological themes related to conflict and conciliation.

Unit One defines what happens in a church conflict. Feelings about conflict, types of conflict, the elements of conflict, the patterns of conflict, and the important place of self-esteem in conflict response are identified here.

Unit Two reports the results of a survey of approximately 500 church leaders in the Reformed Church of America's Particular Synod of Michigan. This study measured the substance of church conflicts and the style of conflict response church leaders developed. A statistical analysis of the results identifies which of several variables affect the substance of conflicts and the conflict response of church leaders.

Unit Three explores the relationship between attitudes toward self-esteem, power, anger, and conflict management. These discussions form the basis for a formulation of skill development in conflict collaboration and conciliation.

Unit Four is a resource unit. Three Old Testament and three New Testament conflict narratives are discussed with attention given to identifying biblical and theological themes about conflict and its management. Other resources included in this unit are 1) an annotated bibliography of published resources, 2) a list of agencies who provide assistance in conflict management, and 3) a model of a two-part workshop on conflict management for church leaders.

A Christian response to religious violence : a curriculum addressing non-retaliation and peace in northern Nigeria

Apollos Inuwa Handan
The goal of this study is to provide student pastors with a roadmap for peaceful coexistence through forgiveness and reconciliation as taught by Jesus and early Christians in the theology of non-retaliation found in the New Testament. Jesus' point of emphasis in his teaching is that his followers should avoid violence, whether capital punishment or engaging in destructive war in his name. Jesus taught his followers this new approach because he knew that those who were committed to following him would surely have enemies who would physically attack them. He knew that as humans we are bound to react to our enemies in the form of anger, sorrow, or defensiveness. Graduates of Pastors' School, Jos, and their congregations will have a mandate to apply Jesus' teaching on peace and forgiveness in their relationship with Muslims in northern Nigeria. This curriculum will address four basic areas of concern within four semesters. Each basic area of study in a semester will provide description, purpose or goal, objectives, requirements and procedures.

This is our reconciliation : a dramatic memoir

Stanley Seagren
The theme of lament has been neglected and even shunned for too long in the life and ministry of most North American churches. Though it is a common Biblical theme in both the Old and New Testaments, congregations tend to ignore or even be embarrassed by the complaining and anger which run through Scripture. The purpose of my project has been to bring lament to the fore not only for individual believers, but also for the ministry of the Church as a whole -- in worship, small group ministry, youth ministry and ministry to the lost and broken.

The dramatic memoir presented here is the culmination of the research and analysis I have performed in the Scriptures, in the books I have read, and in my talks with people in the congregations I have served. The dramatic memoir traces a path toward reconciliation between one person and another, and also between a person and God. From the reactions of those who witnessed the dramatic memoir, I demonstrate that dramatic memoirs are one way to stimulate self-discovery and resolution of painful memories in the sacred times and places of our lives.

A tale of two cities divided : in search of radical reconciliation

Dan J Smith
In my thesis I begin by exploring the histories of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. These histories show the development of the cities and how their histories have played a big part in shaping how things are today. After probing the history of the area I take a theological and exegetical look at the idea of reconciliation, as engaged in the Bible and the work of practitioners and scholars. The thesis then focuses on interviews I conducted, using the research method of Narrative Inquiry, with people that live in the communities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, and, more specifically, people from Union Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ. Using these two congregations as a baseline for study, I interviewed a cross-section of both churches. The Narrative Inquiry approach helped me to identify similarities that existed between the two congregations. After the interviews were concluded they were analyzed and then presented to the participants from the two congregations for review. As I engaged the participants in this time of reflection I explored how future conversations or collaboration in the area of reconciliation might be beneficial to all parties concerned. I believe relationships were established through this project and that this was a measurable response in my thesis. By this measure, my project was very successful. Before this project I had little to no contact with my neighbors. Now I have a place to start and build upon as I look to the future of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor with a great deal of hope and passion. My final chapter is a retelling of the story of the tensions between the two cities in light of what I learned throughout the project and an anticipation of what steps we might take towards reconciliation.

Truthing in love : engaging conflict with the disarming love of God

Heidi Sue De Jonge
We advise and encourage each other with the language of war: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” We use the battle imagery of Scripture with our brothers and sisters in Christ. “Fight the good fight of faith,” we might say, echoing Paul’s words to Timothy in his first letter (1 Tim. 6:12). “Put on the full armour of God, so that you may take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:10) may serve as a good pep talk for your bullied child on her way out the door for school. And when we are particularly exhausted, we may take for ourselves Moses’ words to the Israelites before the Egyptians reached them: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Ex. 14:14).

Intervention manual for Episcopal congregations separated from clergy out of conflict

James Croom
This study develops clear guidance to interim leadership in congregations immediately after separation of clergy from conflict. The guidance is offered in manual form intended for use in the Episcopal Church. However, it is expected that the guidance will be useful likewise across denominations and other faith communities.

Five learning units inform the development of a doctoral project. Unit One comprises a reflection on relevant personal experience by engaging the works of René Girard on mimetic theory, violence and scapegoating. This reflection completes the writer’s disengagement from personal events and enables objectivity.

Unit Two examines secondary literature for data on the nature of conflict, and methods of conflict management. Work includes reading data on the nature of societies, family systems, on evolution with implications among humankind. Literature on management and organizational models in the business world are consulted. A Draft Intervention Model (DIM) in longitudinal steps with named assumptions and pre-requisites is the result. The DIM is submitted for peer review.

Unit Three develops a survey tool with interview protocols for action research. Underpinning the data collection is a Theological Vision Statement. Data accrues from survey responses, face-to-face, electronic and phone interviews. Assessment of data begins supplemented by coursework in Grounded Theory Methodology.

Unit Four draws from earlier studies to create the Revised Intervention Model assessed in Unit Five by a review panel of seven experts and practitioners from different social and academic disciplines. The experts provide a written review of the RIM. The outcome is the Final Intervention Model located here in Chapter 4.

This Doctor of Ministry study seeks to answer the question: Does the Intervention Manual for Episcopal Congregations offered here provide clear guidance for individuals called to serve in pastoral leadership for churches separated from clergy out of conflict?
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