Common Terms

Alternative Dispute Resolution

This is a general term for addressing and resolving conflicts such as monetary or legal claims that would otherwise be settled in a court or through secular mediation. Mediation is the first step, followed by arbitration if mediation is unsuccessful. The service helps the parties resolve the substantive issues while addressing the relational issues, seeking to preserve or repair the relationships broken due to the conflict.  The mediation and arbitration process follow The Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation.


Arbitration is the process available in the event mediation does not resolve all of the material or substantive claims.  It is a legally binding process, which follows The Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation.  Arbitration is a cooperative, non-adversarial process that allows the parties to fully present their factual information and legal precedents and guidelines, with or without the assistance of attorneys.  The Arbitrator renders a legally binding and enforceable decision.

Christian Conciliation

A process which assists individuals and groups to respond to and resolve challenging conflict. This process is rooted in the Gospel, providing assistance which is cooperative and encouraging and seeks to help parties to both reconcile relationships and resolve substantive issues. Conciliation is a broader term which incorporates conflict coaching, mediation, arbitration, and group facilitation.

Church/Organizational Assistance

This assistance provides a holistically designed process which starts with an assessment of the situation and need, and based on the determined nature of the conflict, may include introductory teaching of the principles guiding our work and the resolution of the conflicts, along with in-depth coaching interviews with the individuals involved, assistance in mediating small and large group disagreements. It includes developing a plan and assistance reporting results to the larger membership if appropriate and the creation of a long term plan for future growth and creation of a culture of peace.

Conflict Coaching

A process where a conciliator helps individuals on one or both sides of the conflict prepare to have a beneficial conversation with one another. Participants are helped to evaluate the situation and their own roles in the conflict; then respond to the others involved in a way that glorifies God and encourages reconciliation.


An Intensive is a process used in relationships which will benefit from a focused, extended assistance in addressing the unresolved conflicts in the relationship. Intensives are designed to create a safe environment to address, in depth, the issues that create potential or experienced separation or loss of the marriage or family relationship. Couples and families, work together with a conciliator(s) to reconcile relationships and develop a customized plan with the long-term goal of restoring peace and joy to the relationship. A plan usually includes steps for personal growth for those involved, improved communication goals and skills, setting clear expectation and steps to accomplish mutually agreed upon goals.  This is not deep counseling or psychotherapy, however the agreed upon plan could include future counseling for issues that come to light during the conciliation process.


Mediation is a process that assists two or more individuals in resolving a disagreement, dispute or relational breakdown between them. It addresses issues that are material in nature, and/or relational in nature, reconciling people and resolving the material or substantive disputes in a biblically faithful manner. It can be used to address conflicts when legal or formal steps are not even considered, or as an alternative to resolving disputes through the courts and/or secular alternative dispute resolution services.

The process is conciliatory rather than adversarial in nature, encouraging honest communication and reasonable cooperation rather than unnecessary contention and advocacy. The parties retain control and input into the outcome or settlement of their dispute. The mediator helps parties prepare and facilitates discussion and assists parties in following a process but does not negotiate or advocate for a particular settlement. The mediation is conducted according to the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation, Rules 1 – 24.