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Conflict Management—M.A. & Graduate Certificate

Program Overview

Program Overview

Conflict is an inevitable part of life, but it doesn’t have to be a barrier to success when handled effectively, efficiently and respectfully. Lipscomb University’s Conflict Management program empowers you to explore the building blocks of dispute resolution, examine problems in negotiation and mediation, and develop processes for solving complex issues in the face of conflict. These skills are employed to cope with or mitigate conflict by peaceful means and to establish justice for all people. Ultimately, conflict management is the means by which we pursue a better world.

The Master of Arts in Conflict Management and the Conflict Management Graduate Certificate program are available in a hybrid format at our Nashville campus location.

Conflict Management Learning Outcomes

The master’s in Conflict Management degree program is designed for students who want to become experts in conflict management and resolution. Meanwhile, the Conflict Management certification is designed for students seeking an introduction to conflict management skills. Both programs are meant to strengthen students’ qualifications and confidence in navigating the conflict management and resolution processes in different contexts.

You’ll be equipped with the tools to recognize, understand and alleviate conflicts across intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational and governmental settings. Wherever conflict arises, you will be fully prepared to meet the needs of your workplace, community and family.


"Students are pushed to apply what they learn inside the classroom in their daily lives. Practicing real-life scenarios in the classroom allow students to use their newly acquired skills. Lipscomb’s positive reputation coupled with its Conflict Management program made the decision to apply a no-brainer! My degree in Conflict Management has opened so many doors for me and my professional life. Ultimately I hope to use the skills learned at Lipscomb in the field of mediation."
-Danielle Olafson '22

Why Study Conflict Management at Lipscomb University?

Every aspect of our Conflict Management program and curriculum reinforces our goal of providing you with the tools to diagnose, manage and heal conflicts in all settings. At Lipscomb University, we are committed to incorporating real-world conflict management training and experiences into the classroom by having you study under globally recognized conflict management practitioners. To help you succeed in the program, we also provide frequent advising to ensure a personal relationship and focused mentorship opportunity for all graduate degree candidates.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Individuals are welcome to apply to the conflict management program from all academic disciplines and professions. Students with undergraduate degrees from an accredited university will have met all prerequisites. 

Applicants to either the graduate certificate or M.A. program in Conflict Management must submit the following for enrollment:

  1. Graduate Application Form: The Institute for Conflict Management offers graduate programs with two entry points per academic year—August (fall semester) and January (spring semester). Although we offer rolling admission, all candidates are encouraged to complete the online graduate application at least four-to-six weeks before courses begin.
  2. Application Fee: A non-refundable $50 application fee must be submitted before the application is evaluated by the admissions committee.
  3. Résumé: Include a résumé detailing academic, personal and professional experiences and achievements.
  4. Official Transcripts: Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities are required. Transcripts must be sent from the university of attendance in order to be considered official and can be either hard copy or electronic. 
    Lipscomb University
    Graduate Admissions
    One University Park Drive
    Nashville, TN 37204

    gradadmissions [at] (Email Graduate Admission)aria-describedby="sk-tooltip-9129" data-sk="tooltip_parent" data-stringify-link="mailto:gradadmissions [at]" delay="150" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"

  5. References: Each applicant is required to submit two references.
  6. Personal Statement/Essay: A written response of less than 1,000 words responding to the following questions may be submitted within the online application: (1) What draws you to study conflict management? (2) What are your personal and professional goals and interests? and (3) What are your expectations of this program?
  7. Standardized examination score OR writing sample:

    Accepted standardized test scores include those of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). 

    The writing sample should demonstrate clarity of thinking, reasoning ability, logic, and strong writing and communication skills. The sample should be an academic or professional document that has been previously written in an academic or professional setting. Previously published work may also be considered. The sample should not be something prepared for the sole purpose of admission to the program.
  8. On-Campus Interview: After all application documents are received and academic requirements are met, an on-campus interview will be scheduled.



Lipscomb’s Conflict Management degree program offers two options—a 15-credit Graduate Certificate program and a 30-credit Master of Arts in Conflict Management.

Master of Arts in Conflict Management

The Master of Arts in Conflict Management program takes a holistic approach when introducing root causes, theories of conflicts and the process of dispute resolution. It also offers various elective courses that inspire you to examine conflict resolutions from different perspectives, such as psychology, culture and gender. In addition, you have the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience through an internship course. 

Your final three credit hours are devoted to a research project, which allows you to dive deeply into a particular area of interest, gather research and produce writing suitable to diagnose and treat a specific conflict.

Conflict Management Certificate

Aiming to establish essential conflict management skills in a short time period, the Conflict Management certification program not only offers foundational courses in negotiation, mediation and conflict survey but also allows you to deepen your study with courses in your chosen concentration—Organizational Settings or Health Care Settings.

Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

Lipscomb University is committed to making our first-class education as affordable as possible. The Conflict Management program tuition is approximately $1,091* per credit hour.

With various financial aid programs available, your out-of-pocket cost of attendance can be much lower. Learn more about your financial aid options:

*Note: Graduate tuition rates may increase annually, effective at the start of the summer term.

Types of Aid


Conflict Management program in the Southeast

Nationally Recognized Resources

The Lipscomb University Institute for Conflict Management assembles the best thinkers from a wide range of fields—law, business, sociology—to examine why conflicts arise and develop and teaches skills based on best practices in this important area of public life.

Small Class Sizes

With an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, our Conflict Management program fosters an engaging learning environment where you’ll have opportunities to participate in meaningful discussion, receive one-on-one faculty mentorship and ask difficult questions in our small-size conflict management classes. Plus, you’ll feel supported in a tight-knit learning community.

Flexible Schedule

The Conflict Management program is designed with professionals in mind so you can balance work and school commitments. With few exceptions, each course meets for two Friday and Saturday sessions. You can take between one and five classes per semester and choose the pace that works best for you.

Personalized Support for Your Goals

Every aspect of our Conflict Management program and curriculum reinforces our goal of providing you with the tools to diagnose, manage and heal conflicts in all settings. At Lipscomb University, we are committed to incorporating real-world experiences into the classroom by having you study under globally recognized conflict management practitioners. To help you succeed in the program, we also provide frequent advising to ensure a personal relationship and focused mentorship opportunity for all graduate degree candidates.


Both our deeply connected faculty and our experiential learning opportunities offer a myriad of ways for you to form relationships with leaders in the industry. These meaningful connections will guide and support you throughout your career.

Alumni Stories

Lipscomb Alum Dr. Dmochowski

Dr. Roger Dmochowski

"It’s time to recognize conflict management as an essential skill in health care. By equipping health care professionals with the tools and knowledge to navigate conflicts effectively, we can foster a culture of collaboration, resilience and ultimately, enhance patient care."

Dr. Dmochowski is a Vanderbilt University Medical Center practicing physician, professor of urology and surgery, associate surgeon-in-chief and vice chair for faculty affairs and professionalism.

Lipscomb alum Jim Lambert

Jim Lambert

"Nowadays, workplace conflict is the norm and not the exception. What I love about this degree is the recognition therefore and the ability, at times, to address things before they get started."

Lambert is the Director of Business Development at Yakima Chief Hops.

Lipscomb Alum George Brammeier

George Brammeier

"My team and I design, implement, and support healthcare IT systems at hospitals. My master's thesis covered the causes and impacts of conflict on large projects. My conflict management degree has proven invaluable in my role as I continuously work to reconcile conflicting priorities and scarce resources to ensure my projects are successful."

Brammeier is a Manager, Service Line Solutions at HCA Healthcare.

Lipscomb alum Yolanda Arnold

Yolanda Arnold

"When you listen to individuals, you learn about their issues, positions, and interests. Individuals often share their circumstances, wants, and needs without someone prying. This free shared information, has helped me assist state legislators in disagreement and has helped me assist their constituents in communicating their concerns and expectations on given issues."

Arnold works with the Tennessee General Assembly Minority Affairs Office and is the managing director of the Tennessee Civil Rights Crimes Information, Reconciliation, and Research Center.

Luis Ore

Luis Ore '09

"Looking back, my time at Lipscomb was a breakthrough in my career path. I was inspired to spread the word to change the world with peace building best practices and collaborative approaches. I filled a powerful tool box packed with personal values and life skills to facilitate dialogue and build consensus among diverse and multiple stakeholders to foster better relationships toward sustainable development and growth."

Ore is the Former Deputy Secretary of Conflict Management with the Prime Minister Office of Peru - SGSD PCM Executive Director, ORASI Consulting Group Peru.

Mark White

State Representative Mark White '14

"Having received my degree in Conflict Management from Lipscomb University has totally changed how I look and deal with conflict. Having the skills to address issues that come before me everyday in my business and personal life has been most valuable. I highly recommend this degree to anyone and everyone.”

State Representative White is part of the Tennessee General Assembly, District 83 Chairman - House Education Administration Committee.

toni hawkins

Toni Hawkins '22

"The Institute for Conflict Management has all kinds of courses and professors with different expertise, experiences, and teaching styles. I benefited from all of it. I use what I learned in the subject and about myself according to the situation."

Hawkins is a Conflict Management Practitioner and owner Bluebird Resolution Group Conflict Management & Training.

Paige Harley

Paige Harley

“If you are looking for the gold standard- look no further. The instructors offer practical tips along with solid research-based instruction that will give you a valuable tool for helping others no matter if this is in addition to your professional endeavors or is a stand alone educational pursuit.”

Harley, M.A., is a Divorce mediator and the creator of Dos' and Don'ts of Divorce.


Student-to-faculty ratio

Our Faculty

  • Steve Joiner headshot

    Steve Joiner

    Executive Director ICM and Dean, College of Leadership and Public Service

    Steve Joiner is the Dean of the College of Leadership and Public Service and Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Management at Lipscomb University. Joiner also serves as Professor...

    Meet Steve Joiner
  • Tracy Allen

    Tracy Allen

    Adjunct Faculty

    Tracy Allen is an international professional mediator, arbitrator and ADR trainer. As a litigator and business tax attorney for many years, she now specializes in conflict resolution and Allen acts...

    Meet Tracy Allen
  • Jeff Thompson headshot

    Jeff Thompson

    Adjunct Faculty

    Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., teaches in the Institute for Conflict Management and Leadership programs in Lipscomb University's College for Leadership and Public Service. He retired recently after serving more than 20...

    Meet Jeff Thompson
  • Betty Gilmore

    Betty Snyder

    Adjunct Faculty

    Betty Snyder is the former Director and Associate Clinical Faculty for the Center for Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution program at SMU. She also serves as a lecturer at both...

    Meet Betty Snyder
  • Cynthia Greer

    Cynthia Greer

    Adjunct Faculty

    Cynthia F. Greer, Ed.D., M.D.R., M.Ed., is one of Lipscomb University's Institute for Conflict Management's adjunct faculty members. With a master's degree in dispute resolution from Pepperdine School of Law,...

    Meet Cynthia Greer
  • Donna Silverberg

    Donna Silverberg

    Adjunct Faculty

    Donna Silverberg has owned and been the lead facilitator/mediator of DS Consulting, since 1998.  She has been a practicing mediator, facilitator, conflict management systems designer, and conflict management coach since...

    Meet Donna Silverberg
  • Elizabeth McMillan headshot

    Elizabeth McMillan

    Rule 31 Coordinator

    Elizabeth has had a longtime interest in conflict management. She created her undergraduate major at the University of Tennessee in Conflict Resolution, and after graduating from law school at UT,...

    Meet Elizabeth McMillan

Career Paths


Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

Church Leaders

Teach congregations, leaders, and members to navigate challenge, change and conflict in an ever-evolving environment. Learn how to have difficult conversations, manage anxiety and create a healthy leadership environment.


Use your experience and conflict management skills to help organizational systems to become "unstuck" and function in more productive ways. Teach teams and leaders how to engage difficulties and create opportunities.


Combine your educational expertise with conflict training. You will become the "go-to" leader in your educational team environment. Teach students, co-workers and teams how to engage difficult moments and people

Organizational Leaders

Great leaders have the ability to move their organizations through difficulty with vision and skill. For-profit, Non-profit and Government leaders will develop a unique set of skills that creates opportunity to propel their organizations and careers forward.