By God’s grace, I’ve had the privilege of founding two organizations that are dedicated to preserving and transforming relationships: Peacemaker Ministries and Relational Wisdom 360 (RW360).
I was raised on a ranch in Montana. Initially trained as a mechanical engineer, I worked for a medical research and development company in California designing hemodialysis equipment. Leading a team of creative and highly competitive engineers triggered a life-long interest in building relationships, conflict management, and creative problem-solving.
I eventually returned to school in Montana to pursue a degree in law, thinking I would apply my engineering background to product liability litigation. But God had other ideas. A year after graduation, he called me into biblical peacemaking and led me to found the Christian Conciliation Service of Montana, which eventually grew into Peacemaker Ministries (see the detailed story at History of Christian Conciliation).
I spent thirty exhilarating years leading the Peacemaker team, whose vision was to “transform relationships with the power of the gospel.” During that time I taught in hundreds of settings throughout the U.S. and the world and mediated hundreds of conflicts ranging from simple personal disputes to church splits and complex lawsuits.
Drawing on these experiences, I authored The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict (which has sold over 500,000 copies in twenty languages) and coauthored three related books. I also helped to produce numerous articles, video series and training resources that have been used to teach peacemaking and conciliation around the world.
From Resolving to Preventing Conflict
In 2011, after 30 years of resolving conflict, I felt that God was calling me to design resources that would help people to develop relational skills that actually prevent conflict. I conceived a new training paradigm called “relational wisdom” (aka, “RW”), which is a God-centered, biblically grounded and gospel driven form of emotional intelligence (see Discover Relational Wisdom).
The Peacemaker Board of Directors preferred to maintain its focus on conflict resolution rather than expanding into something as undeveloped as relational wisdom. Therefore, I decided to step down from from Peacemakers and founded this new ministry called RW360, which focused on developing and delivering training resources built around the RW paradigm.
The common thread through all of these resources is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that God so loved the world that he sent his only Son to die for our sins and be resurrected to new life so we could be reconciled to God and enjoy him forever, live in peace with those around us, and experience increasingly fulfilling relationships.
By God’s grace, all of these resources have been valued and endorsed by a wide range of Christian leaders who have a similar love for the gospel and our approach to peacemaking and relational wisdom.
Integrating Peacemaking and Relational Wisdom
During the first ten years of RW360’s existence, we focused primarily on developing both faith-based and values-based (secular) resources related to relational wisdom. The Peacemaker book continued to be a best seller, however, and I received continual requests to develop new training materials that merge relational wisdom with biblical peacemaking. Therefore, in 2022, our ministry began to develop a new generation of training resources that integrate relational wisdom, biblical peacemaking, conflict coaching and Christian conciliation (see Training Programs).
I have been gratefully married to my wife, Corlette, since 1985, and she has actively partnered with me through near four decades of ministry. Her Young Peacemaker curriculum is so biblical and robust that it has been used to teach conflict resolution not only to children around the world but also to former drug dealers in prison.
Corlette and I are blessed with two marvelous children, four captivating grandchildren, and one of the smartest dogs in the world. In our free time, we enjoy reading, running, hiking and skiing in the Beartooth Mountains just south of our home in Billings, Montana.
I’ve had the privilege of serving as an Editorial Adviser for Christianity Today’s Building Church Leaders, Managing Your Church, and Church Law and Tax panels. I am a Certified Christian Conciliator™, as well as a Certified Emotional Intelligence Instructor, trained through TalentSmart. I’ve also served as a Certified Professional Engineer, as a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Montana Bar Association and as an elder in my church.
I’m glad that you’ve visited our website. I look forward to sharing with you what God is teaching me about this exciting new discipline of relational wisdom.
— Ken Sande, July, 2022