Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Colleen Butcher, DMin

Second Advisor

Rebecca Jeong, PhD

Third Advisor

Leonard I. Sweet, PhD


God has called the church into unity that reflects the unity of the Triune God in the midst of a culture that is polarized and entertained by drama caused by conflict. Local churches are comprised of relationships, and conflict is a byproduct of relationship. Conflict can lead to divisiveness that causes disunity in the congregation, or it can be a spark that leads to relational growth that encourages unity. Pastors and ministry leaders can learn skills and conflict management strategies from businesses, marriage experts, and the life and ministry of Jesus and Paul. Workplace conflict teaches church leaders how crucial it is to take time, evaluate outcomes and goals, strategize a plan, and equip people for inevitable conflict. Marriage conflict research reveals it is of the utmost importance to prioritize the relationship of the people involved, to resolve the conflict in ways that uphold the relationship, and to discover the art of the pause when tension and frustration become evident. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he taught the importance of forgiveness, spoke truth with grace, and turned conflict into opportunities to teach. Paul gives instructions to the church on how to preserve and protect the unity of the church. Ultimately, how people resolve conflict is a choice. Corporate spiritual disciplines, table time, and play all form community and can help people choose to resolve conflict in constructive ways to preserve the unity of the church.

Included in

Christianity Commons