Conflict happens in every area of our lives. And one of the worst ways to deal with conflict is to ignore it.
In his new book Conflict Management for Faith Leaders, Dr. Houston Thompson of Olivet Nazarene University provides guidance and encouragement for dealing with conflict. Dr. Thompson currently serves at Olivet as dean of the School of Professional Studies, dean of academic affairs for the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies, and director of the Doctor of Education in Ethical Leadership degree program.
“One of my goals in writing this book was to provide a framework for understanding and assessing conflict, and then knowing how to manage it in a way that preserves the dignity and respect of all involved,” Dr. Thompson said.
With a wealth of experience in nonprofit management and social work, Dr. Thompson draws on real life situations and biblical truths for the practical insights included in this book. He offers several techniques for managing conflict, as well as guidelines for choosing which technique to use in a particular situation.
“Houston Thompson has provided a field manual for ‘faith leaders’ that clearly and pragmatically guides the leader through the key steps of assessing, engaging and navigating conflict toward resolution,“ said Dr. Jeren Rowell, district superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene’s Kansas City District.
Dr. Thompson’s academic and professional interests include leadership; positive youth development using a strengths-based approach to working with youth and their communities; and not-for-profit and organizational management. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties.
Before taking on his current administrative positions, Dr. Thompson was chair of Olivet’s Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice. A licensed social worker in the state of Indiana and an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, he has served as a pastor in Nazarene churches in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Indiana; a school social worker; and executive director of a faith-based community ministry.
After earning his associate’s degree from Nazarene Bible College, he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from MidAmerica Nazarene University. He holds a master’s degree in church management from Olivet and a Master’s in Social Work degree from Spalding University. In 2007, he received his doctorate degree from Trevecca Nazarene University.