Dave and Tara’s Bios

I coauthored Redeeming Church Conflicts with my friend and elder, David V. Edling. We met while serving as Certified Christian Conciliators with The Institute for Christian Conciliation. Dave is officially retired from serving as a Christian mediator, but I still accept occasional Christian conciliation cases as an independent contractor.

David V. Edling

Dave Edling is an experienced Christian conciliator who has worked with many conflicted churches. During his decade of service as a Certified Christian Conciliator with the Institute for Christian Conciliation, Dave participated in over 200 mediation and arbitration cases and worked with nearly twenty thousand Christians engaged in conflicts affecting churches of almost every denomination.

Dave holds several graduate degrees in addition to his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University. They are: Master of Arts in Human Behavior, United States International University (now Alliant International University); Juris Doctor, California Western School of Law; Master of Arts in Religion, Westminster Seminary California; and Master of Arts in Biblical Conflict Resolution, Birmingham Theological Seminary. Dave has served as a trustee on the Board of Directors for Covenant College and Westminster Seminary California and has taught in the Doctor of Ministry programs for Reformed Theological Seminary, Mid-Western Baptist Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. In addition, Dave has been a lecturer in practical theology for several other Christian colleges and seminaries.

Dave has been married for over forty years to his wife Pat and they have two adult children and six grandchildren. They live near Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Dave continues to minister in the private practice of Christian conciliation by writing and serving through his church-based ministries.


Tara Klena Barthel

Tara Klena Barthel formerly served as the Director of the Institute for Christian Conciliation. As such, she oversaw hundreds of conciliation cases (including conflicted church interventions) through the ICC’s international network of trained conciliators. Tara also provided oversight and leadership for all advanced conciliator training. Currently, she serves her family as a homemaker while occasionally accepting cases as a mediator, arbitrator, and conflicted church intervention team member. Tara consults with businesses and ministries on the legal risk management issues attendant to conflict; designs and presents custom training on biblical conflict resolution for churches, missions agencies, and parachurch organizations; speaks frequently at women’s conferences and retreats; and is currently working on a variety of writing projects.

Tara is the author of the peacemaking video series Living the Gospel in Relationships and co-author of Peacemaking Women—Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict (Baker Books, 2005). Prior to moving to Billings, Montana to lead The Institute for Christian Conciliation, Tara worked as an attorney and business consultant in Chicago. Tara earned her law degree and M.B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and her B.A. in psychology from Augustana College (Illinois).

Currently enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary and pursuing her Master’s degree in Religion, Tara has been married to her husband, Fred, for over twenty years and they have two daughters and a very friendly Golden Retriever. Fred, Tara, Sophia and Ella make their home in Billings, Montana. To stay in touch with Tara, please visit her websiteblog, or friend her on FaceBook.