Conflict Coaching – A conciliator helps individuals on one or both sides of the conflict prepare to have a conversation with one another. Participants evaluate the situation and their own roles in the conflict, then respond in a way that glorifies God and encourages reconciliation. Service provided through phone/video conferences or on-site visits, depending on the needs and resources of the parties involved.
Family and Marital Conflict Resolution – Conciliation services apply the hope of the Gospel and principles of biblical conflict resolution. Couples and families work together with a conciliator(s) to reconcile relationships and develop a customized plan with the long-term goal of restoring joy to the relationship. This is not deep counseling or psychotherapy. The plan usually includes changes in communication, personal growth for those involved, setting clear expectations, and steps to accomplish mutually agreed upon goals, and could include counseling for issues that come to light during the conciliation process.
Mediation and/or Arbitration – Disputes are settled in a biblically faithful manner. These services are an alternative to civil courts or secular mediation.
- The process starts with mediation, a relatively informal and voluntary process. As it says in Scripture, Christians are encouraged to address conflicts with one another and to seek reconciliation and resolution.
- If the parties do not reach agreement of their own within mediation, they may ask the mediators to issue an advisory opinion, which is not legally binding but is often accepted by both sides.
- If mediation is unsuccessful, the parties may decide to quit the process, or they may agree to submit unresolved issues to arbitration.
Differences Between Mediation and Arbitration
During mediation, the parties determine the final outcome, and the mediators act only as facilitators. When a case goes to arbitration, the parties are legally obligated to abide by the arbitrators’ decision. While arbitration determines what people must do as a matter of law, mediation helps them to see what they should do as a matter of conscience.
(After an arbitration decision has been issued, the arbitrators may address behavior and attitudes they observed in the parties during the conciliation process.)
What Arbitration Can and Cannot Do
Arbitration may be used to resolve a broad range of issues. However, arbitration may not be used to resolve legal issues: