History of Christian Conciliation

1980 – While studying 1 Corinthians 6:1-8, members of the Christian Legal Society (CLS) conceive the concept of “Christian conciliation,” a biblically grounded form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that involves both mediation and arbitration.

1980 – Laurie Eck, an attorney from Montana, establishes the first Christian Conciliation Service (CCS) in Albuquerque, NM. Working part-time for the CLS, Laurie begins to travel around the U.S. promoting this concept among CLS attorneys.

1982 – Lynn Buzzard, Executive Director of the CLS, and Laurie Eck publish Tell It to the Church, which provides a theological apologetic and practical framework for Christian conciliation.

1982 – The CLS devotes its entire 1982 Annual Conference to the concept of Christian conciliation. After the conference, several CLS members establish local CCS ministries, including the CCS of Montana, which is established by Ken Sande. Over the next several years, this national network of conciliation ministries grows steadily.

1987 – The CLS restructures the CCS network as an independent 501(c)(3) organization called the Association of Christian Conciliation Services (ACCS). Chip Zimmer, executive Director of the CCS of Puget Sound, is elected as its first president.

1989 – Ken Sande is elected as president of the ACCS.

1990 – The ACCS adopts standardized resources, including model Rules of Procedure, a Standard of Conduct for Christian Conciliators and a national training and certification program.

1991 – Ken Sande publishes The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict, which becomes a widely used resource for teaching personal conflict resolution and conciliation (selling over 500,000 copies in 20 languages by 2023).

1993 – The CCS of Montana changes its name to the Institute for Christian Conciliation (ICC). The ACCS merges into the ICC.

1996 – The ICC changes its name to Peacemaker Ministries while continuing to use ICC as the name of its conciliation division.

2004 – Peacemaker Ministries spins off a new ministry called Ambassadors of Reconciliation (AOR) to focus on serving the Lutheran community.

2012 – Ken Sande steps down from Peacemaker Ministries to establish a new ministry, Relational Wisdom 360 (RW360), which focuses on integrating relational wisdom (biblical emotional intelligence) with peacemaking and Christian conciliation.

2012 – As Peacemaker Ministries downsizes, three former members establish Crossroads Resolution Group, LLC (CRG), to provide professional conciliation services to the Christian community. RW360 and Crossroads Resolution Group form a close ministry partnership.

2016 – Peacemaker Ministries spins off its conciliation division as a separate limited liability corporation (LLC) called ICC Peace. AOR expands its mission statement to serving the wider Christian community and not just Lutherans.

2021 – ICC Peace transfers its intellectual property to AOR, which allows AOR to establish a new division to continue the conciliation mission of the ICC.

2022 – Several conciliation ministries continue to serve and thrive locally, while three ministries collaborate to provide conciliation services nationally: Relational Wisdom 360 (RW360), Crossroads Resolution Group (CRG) and Ambassadors of Reconciliation / Institute for Christian Conciliation (AOR/ICC) .

2023 – While maintaining a primary focus on serving the Christian community with its faith-based resources, RW360 expands its use of  “values-based” (secular) resources to provide training on relational wisdom and peacemaking in businesses, hospitals, schools, military bases, state legislatures and the U.S. Congress, which opens the door for sharing the gospel in secular venues beyond the local church (see Ministry Overview).