Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

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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

Alexia Georgakopoulos

Second Advisor

Jason Campbell

Third Advisor

Urzula Strawinska-Zanko


Church, Conflict, Identity, Jamaica, Leader, Organization


The study of conflict resolution has ballooned in the last few decades, but the literature remains sparse regarding leaders’ perspectives of navigating conflict. Currently, researchers have not addressed the conflict experiences of Jamaican church leaders residing in South Florida. Using phenomenology and social construction theory, I explored the lived experiences of this population as they addressed conflict. Twenty-two church leaders from Rhema Word Ministries International and affiliated organizations answered interview questions for an average of 45 to 60 minutes each. The data were transcribed, coded, and analyzed, yielding seven core themes: solving problems, exercising faith in God, demonstrating compassion, building personal development, employing strategies in conflict resolution, providing service to others and facing the challenging side of conflict. The findings showed that for these participants, their conflict resolution approaches were contingent on their perceptions of how others perceived them. The multilateral conflict theory that emerged from the lived experiences of the participants in the study showed the interconnectedness between the factors influencing their identities and their conflict resolution approaches. The study has merit for its useful insights for practitioners. In addition, the study has activated voices in academic literature that might otherwise have been silent.

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