By Janel Shoun on 5/20/2011
Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) is expanding to meet the needs of busy professionals by offering its unique master’s degree in an online format beginning in September, announced Steve Joiner, managing director of the institute.
With the majority of the institute’s students being mid-career professionals, the addition of an online program will be an attractive alternative for potential students across the region and the nation, Joiner said. Master’s candidates in the online program will take 24 of the required 30 hours online, with the remaining six hours conducted on the Lipscomb campus.
Lipscomb’s master’s of conflict management is noted for its practical, hands-on approach to teaching the theories of conflict management, applicable to a variety of industries or situations. Details of the program, including video demonstrations of the online curriculum can be found at studyconflict.lipscomb.edu
“By adding the online option, we have removed an obstacle for professionals who want to further their careers with a degree in conflict management, but simply don’t have the ability to take all of their classes on campus due to the demands of work or family,” Joiner said. “Students who earn their degrees online will not be missing out on a thing; they will receive instruction from the same nationally recognized faculty members who teach on campus, and they will come away with the same thorough understanding of theory and practical technique that will pay dividends in their professional and personal lives.”
Conflict resolution is an increasingly attractive field of study, Joiner said, with applications in virtually any professional setting. Graduates of the Lipscomb program have returned to careers in fields as diverse as higher education, health care, human resources, religion and politics, taking with them a deeper understanding of the principles and practical tactics surrounding dispute resolution.
The faculty at the Institute for Conflict Management represent some of the leading minds in the field, coming to Nashville from all corners of the country to teach their classes. In addition to the nationally distinguished faculty, Lipscomb University has built its reputation in the conflict management field in two other key ways:
- ICM classes present a blend of theory and practical applications, whereas most other conflict management schools focus on one or the other.
- Unlike other conflict management programs that are included within a law degree, the tenets of conflict resolution at Lipscomb are part of the very fabric of the university; drawing students in fields ranging from theology to business to human resources who all take classes at the institute.
The institute was created by Lipscomb president L. Randolph Lowry, who came to the university in 2005 after founding the renowned Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University, a program he led for 19 years. In the four years since its founding, ICM has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s finest conflict management schools, offering both master’s degrees and certifications.
“At Straus we learned that the skills of negotiation, mediation and arbitration have very broad applicability, and I wanted to bring the very best of what we learned and present it in a different way, because our environment is different,” Lowry of the new online program. “We began with strategically drawing in faculty from all over the country. The teaching in this program will highlight experiential learning because the skills of negotiation and mediation can’t be learned without interactive moments drawing on your experience and experience of faculty.”
For more information on applying for admission to the institute, potential students should visit the ICM website studyconflict.lipscomb.edu
or call Beth Morrow, assistant director of the institute, at (615) 966-2502. Applications are being accepted now, with classes beginning Sept. 8. A series of informational lunches will be held in Nashville throughout the summer. More information on these sessions is available on the website.
About the Institute for Conflict Management
Lipscomb University’s Institute for Conflict Management (ICM) equips professionals with skills to minimize the costs of unresolved conflict. Growing out of the internationally recognized dispute-resolution work of Lipscomb president L. Randolph Lowry, the ICM provides on-campus and online master’s programs dedicated to the advancement of conflict management disciplines. With an unparalleled faculty consisting of the nation’s leading experts in their fields, the ICM curriculum incorporates preferred education models including coaching, role-playing, and case-based and experiential studies. For more information, visit
Follow the ICM on Twitter at @LUConflictPros and on Facebook at facebook.com/lipscombicm.