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. 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.
I spent thirty exhilarating years leading the Peacemaker team, whose vision is 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 countless conflicts ranging from simple personal disputes to church splits and complex lawsuits.
Drawing on these experiences, I authored The Peacemaker (now translated into fifteen languages), and coauthored three related books. I also helped to produce numerous articles, video series and training resources that are now being used to equip peacemakers around the world.
The Gospel Thread
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.
I have been privileged to work with many Christian leaders who have a similar love for the gospel and enthusiastically support and endorse our approach to peacemaking and relational wisdom.
From Resolving to Preventing Conflict
In 2011, I sensed that God was calling me to shift my focus from resolving conflict to preventing conflict by building healthy relationships. I began to develop and teach a concept I call “relational wisdom” or simply “RW.”
The response to this concept was so enthusiastic that I decided it was time for me to step down from my role at Peacemaker Ministries (a move the Board and I had been discussing for over a year) and launch a new ministry that would focus exclusively on relational wisdom (for more details on our origins and progress, please see Getting Upstream of Conflict and our One Year Status Report).
Since peacemaking is a key component of relational wisdom, I continue to serve as a strong advocate for the many ministries that promote biblical conflict resolution.
I have been gratefully married for thirty years to my wife, Corlette, who has actively partnered with me in 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, three captivating grandchildren, and one of the smartest dogs in the world.
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.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, hiking, and skiing in the Beartooth Mountains just south of our home in Billings, Montana. I’ve served as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), and Corlette and I presently attend Cornerstone Community Church.
I’m glad that you’ve visited our new website. I look forward to sharing with you what God is teaching me about this exciting new discipline of relational wisdom.
— Ken Sande, April 2016