Dissertation Projects

Date of Award

1995

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Benjamin D. Schoun

Second Advisor

P. Gerard Damsteegt

Third Advisor

Peter M. van Bemmelen

Abstract

Problem

Some form of conflict is associated with virtually every human relationship, including relationships involving Christians. Negative conflict situations frequently injure Christians, and sometimes conflicts are severe enough to cripple churches. The purpose of this project was to study whether the teaching of concepts and skills that are, first, related to the management and resolution of interpersonal and substantive conflict, and second, congruent with biblical principles will have a positive impact upon how parishioners understand conflict and, as a result, upon how they behave in conflict situations so that the negative results of conflict are reduced and the positive results increased.

Method

A seminar designed to teach the concepts and skills that are, first, related to the management and resolution of interpersonal and substantive conflict, and second, congruent with biblical principles, was developed for the Hazelton Seventh-day Adventist Church. The seventeen participants in the project were volunteers from the congregation who met for ninety minutes on five consecutive Thursday nights beginning on February 24 and ending on March 24, 1994. The participants were tested before the seminar and again at its conclusion. The question addressed by the testing instrument was: "Will a seminar on conflict change the participants' attitude and feelings about conflict?" For comparison purposes, the same testing instrument was administered to a control group just before and after the seminar was presented.

Results

A study of the treatment group test results compared with the control group test results indicated a significant modification in the attitude of the treatment group toward conflict. Based upon the test results, it seems clear that as a consequence of attending the seminar on how to deal with conflict, participants believed that they were better equipped to handle conflict situations and that they had a greater tolerance for conflict situations.

Conclusions

A training program utilizing a seminar designed to teach concepts and skills that are, first, related to the positive management and resolution of interpersonal and substantive conflict, and second, congruent with biblical principles, would likely be effectual in helping participating church members learn to relate during conflict situations with others in more caring, tolerant, and effective ways.

Subject Area

Interpersonal conflict; Interpersonal relations--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists; Hazelton Seventh-day Adventist Church (Hazelton, British Columbia)

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.32597/dmin/611

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