Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Urszula Strawinska-Zanko

Second Advisor

Judith McKay

Third Advisor

Neil H. Katz


conflict, conflict resolution, intelligences, resolution, spiritual intelligence, spirituality


Abstract Spiritual intelligence is currently being utilized with positive results in many professional communities, yet it is practically unknown within the conflict resolution and peacebuilding communities, at least by name. Recent national polls have demonstrated a high percentages of Americans still embrace a spiritual dimension to their humanity. Although church attendance has been on the decline for the past couple decades, polls show that even the Millennial Generation and GenZ are still interested in spirituality, though in a non-ecclesiastically organized way. Although significant sensitivities remain in society and culture concerning the separation of church and state, literally millions of Americans embrace spirituality in one form or another. According to contemporary literature, spiritual intelligence (SQ) practitioners have discovered ways to tap into the spiritual nature of people without violating cultural taboos against religious proselytization in academic settings, the workplace, and the public arena. Since many people still embrace spirituality, and since SQ has demonstrated effectiveness in diverse professions, conflict resolution practitioners may be missing an opportunity to utilize a powerful tool for mediation, negotiation, peacebuilding, and conflict coaching. This qualitative phenomenological research project will investigate spiritual intelligence as a potential conflict resolution tool by exploring the merits of and constraints related to introducing spiritual intelligence to the conflict resolution community and identifying the key considerations and strategies for infusing spiritual intelligence into conflict resolution practice. Keywords: conflict, spirituality, intelligences, resolution, peacebuilding, spiritual, religion, conflict resolution, spiritual intelligence, mediation.

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