Graduate Program Course Descriptions

Current or frequently offered courses | Courses in SPI

Current or frequently-offered courses at CJP

Credit hours: 3

This course covers the essential skills, tools, processes and frameworks required for conflict transformation practice. The scope of the course will range from interpersonal conflict to large groups, examining personal conflict styles, communication skills, team work, group processes and structural dimensions that influence conflict. Students are exposed to the range of available intervention options, the strengths and limitations of each and the challenges of making choices that are contextually appropriate. The specific processes it addresses are negotiation, mediation and group facilitation (including such processes as appreciative inquiry, world café, and sustained dialogue among others).

This course is designed to assist students in the application of ideas and theories presented in other CJP courses, especially conflict analysis. Although the course will reference peacebuilding frameworks and processes, it will focus on the role and skills of the ‘bridge-builder’ in conflict. A critical component of conflict transformation practice is the role of the practitioner. The course examines what it means to be a reflective practitioner and how to work with colleagues and groups on conflict interventions. The learning methods are interactive and participatory. Discussion of readings, case studies, training exercises, role-plays, group work, and presentations will guide and support the learning process.

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Credit hours: 3

This course will walk participants through the process of designing a research project that aims to answer significant questions of interest both to the broader field and to the student. Students will be exposed to both quantitative and qualitative methods, with a particular emphasis on qualitative. During the semester students will conduct a literature review, develop a research question, select a research approach, gather preliminary data and conduct an initial data analysis.

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Credit hours: 3

This course is designed to help students understand the basics of qualitative research and program evaluation. Sociological and anthropological approaches will provide the theoretical and philosophical background for our work, but the focus will be on practical applications of qualitative methodology in evaluation. Students will practice conducting structured and semi-structured interviews, coding interview transcripts, and will practice designing an evaluation: working with a client, determining appropriate methods, collecting data, analyzing the data and communicating the findings. This course complements, but does not take the place of other research and evaluation courses that entirely focus on either research or evaluation.

The course format is participatory, experiential and adaptive. Students will conduct an actual professional evaluation of an on-going program; consequently, the syllabus, readings and assignments may need to be adapted to meet the changing needs of the program. The course involves a significant amount of group work; each participant is advised to consider that requirement in relation to personal obligations, distance from campus, ease of meeting with other students and individual willingness to participate in a work team.

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Credit hours: 3

The conflict transformation field abounds with theories and the restorative justice field with principles, but few of those theories and principles have been tested with empirical research. This course will walk participants through the process of designing a research project that aims to answer significant questions of interest both to the broader field and to the student. Students will be exposed to both quantitative and qualitative methods, with a particular emphasis on qualitative. During the semester students will conduct a literature review, develop a research question, select a research approach, gather preliminary data and conduct an initial data analysis. At the end of the semester, students will present at least preliminary findings to course participants.

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Credit hours: 1

This course will provide an opportunity to use photography as a way to see the world anew and reflect on one’s life and work. The course will also provide very basic photo skills needed to do photography and photo editing.

Course Objectives:
• To provide a basic introduction to the technical and visual skills of still photography.
• To increase visual awareness and to use this as a way to reflect on ourselves and the world. (The focus will be more on process than product.)
• To provide some basic skills and awareness of involved in photographing people.

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Credit hours: 3

This course is an introduction to the field of qualitative research and its applications in such areas as conflict transformation, restorative justice, community organizing and organizational problem-solving. This course will draw primarily upon two qualitative research traditions: interviews or other forms of “oral testimony,” and Arts-Based Research (ABR).

While more traditional academic research outcomes will be noted, the focus will be on practical, socially-engaged projects. The approach will be interdisciplinary, emphasizing the arts and humanities as well as social sciences. A wide spectrum of qualitative materials – visual arts, journalism, history, theater, community organizing, poetry, documentary photography as well as ethnographic monographs – will be sampled. The course will be run in a participatory, experiential format. Effective communication will be emphasized including alternate forms of presentation.

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Credit hours: 1

Arts and Media-Based Peacebuilding explores why, how, and when to use arts and media to activate, resist, transform, and heal. In recent years diverse entities from international NGOs to grassroots activists have re-enchanted the practice of art and media to explore unexpressed aspects of conflict and trauma. The result is an awakening of body and mind, soul and spirit to acknowledge the human whole.

This course introduces the multi-faceted aspects of arts and media-based peacebuilding through two distinct methodologies: 1) We engage the arts as a metaphor for a collaborative, critical, flexible, humble, rigorous, compassionate, and expressive approach required of peacebuilders in today’s complex conflict environments. 2 ) We examine and create arts and media with peacebuilding at its core as works to be presented. The first (process) facilitates transformation through community creation of art and media. The second (presentation) looks to works of art and media for inspiration, mobilization, and change.

We use historical and modern-day case studies, somatic practice, media philosophy, expressive arts theory and neurobiological grounding to develop participant skills and awareness of how and when to use arts-based practices. Students will work with CJP/VaCA’s 2013 artist/peacebuilder/practitioner-in-residence Patricia Augsburger on her exhibit which opens at EMU’s Hartzler Library Gallery in November.

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Credit hours: 3

This course focuses on the analysis of conflict and violence as the foundation for designing strategies for peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Participants will learn a variety of tools to “map” and describe the nature and dynamics of conflict. Drawing from broad interdisciplinary theoretical bases, the course focuses on human needs theory as a central framework for examining the complex causes of conflict, crime, and violence. Participants will explore the role of group and individual identity; respect and the role of shame and humiliation in the cycle of violence; security and the role of attachment; and the impact of structural violence on other forms of conflict. Participants will practice power analysis, cultural analysis, and psychological analysis of conflict. Participants will develop their ability to “see” and describe conflict from different perspectives.

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Credit hours: 6

Foundations I and II give a comprehensive overview of peacebuilding practice and its multi-disciplinary, multi-level aspects. This course (Foundations I) addresses personal, interpersonal, small group, and organizational level transformation through analysis, theory and practice. Foundations II similarly focuses on communal and societal processes of transformation. Throughout the two courses, you will be required to learn and integrate ethical application of theory, technical utilization of analysis tools, and systematic process of planning and implementation for practice interventions across a myriad of sectors in society.

This Foundations I course is constructed to assist you to integrate all three of these vital elements – theory, analysis and practice – into your peacebuilding practice. You will be introduced to the literature and theory of the field; explore conflict transformation from an individual, interpersonal and organizational level; consider the dynamics of conflict through a WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, HOW framework and experience the practice of peacebuilding through stimulating reading and discussions, intensive teamwork, interactive case study, role-play, and simulated practice lab exercises.

Skills competencies are emphasized in the areas of team-building, conflict analysis and assessment (monitoring and evaluation), communication and strategies for intervention in interpersonal, intra-and intergroup conflicts. Mediation, negotiation and other transformative processes are introduced as peacebuilding practices. This course employs the action-reflection learning cycle as the undergirding educational framework throughout the semester.

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Credit hours: 2

This course presents an integrated training approach to the violence, trauma, and conflict caused by nature, human beings or structures. Unhealed trauma often leads to more violence as victims act out against others or become self-destructive. STAR combines theory with experiential learning to increase awareness of the impact of trauma on the body, brain, emotions, spirit and relationships. The course offers tools for addressing trauma and breaking the cycles of violence. The STAR multidisciplinary framework draws on the fields of neurobiology, restorative justice, trauma healing, conflict transformation, and spirituality for building healthy, resilient individuals and communities. The theoretical and practical focus of the course provides a model to understand and interrupt cycles of violence at the individual, communal and societal levels.

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(Learn more about the STAR program, a program of CJP’s Practice & Training Institute.)

Credit hours: 3

This course offers students the unique opportunity of combining STAR with practical approaches to engaging trauma both individually and collectively. Students will participate in STAR during their first week of the course where they will learn tools for addressing trauma and breaking the cycles of violence. The STAR multidisciplinary framework draws on findings from the fields of neurobiology, restorative justice, trauma healing, conflict transformation, and spirituality for building healthy, resilient individuals and communities. These course topics will then be applied and practiced throughout the semester as students engage basic counseling and practical intervention skills in working with trauma.  

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Credit hours: 3

“Action research is a systematic approach to investigation that enables people to find solutions to problems they confront in their everyday lives. Unlike traditional experimental/scientific research that looks for generalizable explanations that might be applied to all contexts, action research focuses on specific situations and localized solutions” (Ernest Stringer, Action Research 3rd edition, 2007). This form of research is particularly well suited to working with complex social problems such as development and peacebuilding. Students will grapple with the process of action research and look at cases of action research completed by others. Most importantly, however, the class forms itself into a consulting group and contracts with a local client in need of action research support. The class members design and complete the research and prepare a professional report for the client. Every year we have a different client. In 2013, we will be working on something related to environmental issues in and around Harrisonburg. We will also be working with the undergraduate senior course for students in the Peacebuilding and Development program who are focusing on sustainability issues.

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Credit hours: 3

Violence systems have dominated the societal configurations of human relations and institutions seemingly since the dawn of history. However, over the past century concerted attention, resources and efforts have been mounting giving nonviolence the credence it deserves as both a legitimate and powerful force for social transformation at all levels of private and public life. Nonviolent social movements provide the momentum in which to empower a critical mass of citizens on the ground to envision a better future view, to construct community relationships, coalitions and networks, to jointly analyze their conflict contexts, identify priorities and develop a plan of action for addressing key issues of socio-political concern without the use of violence.

In the past century, significant shifts in public thinking and behavior have occurred as a result of nonviolent social movements that have given birth to unionized labor protection, war resistance, independence from colonial oppression, the overthrow of dictatorships, civil rights campaigns, democracy transitions, women’s empowerment, and environmental change. Nonviolent social movements play a key role in raising awareness about important issues of justice and conflict as well as balancing power between groups or structures so that negotiation, mediation and dialogue interventions can move forward without hindrance.

This course places the use of violence and nonviolence within a larger context of social movements, and identifies the ways that community organizing/mobilization, advocacy and activism are foundational to durable peacebuilding processes. Students will learn to reflect critically on social movements, grapple with the inherent tensions between principled and functional nonviolence, and explore the possibilities of creating nonviolent forms of power, identifying tactics, and designing plans for social change.

Aside from case studies, exercises and oral presentations, there are 2 main practice elements in the course: 1.) One option for the final project involves a team of students designing and facilitating an advocacy workshop for the class (4 ½ hours), and 2.) The whole class (plus other outside recruits) will participate in a large group Nonviolent Strategic Action simulation / role-play and Debriefing session for one full class period (3 hours).

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Credit hours: 3

The course will explore the literature and participants own experiences related to personal identity, ethnic identity, ethnocentrism and nationalism in regard to complex and violent conflict. This is done to attempt to understand types and complexities of identity, as well as its power. The relationship between identity and dignity will we thoroughly examined, as well as their relationship to Human Rights from both western and eastern perspectives.
Through case studies, exercises and discussion, class participants will explore how identity and worldviews are formed historically, culturally and religiously as well as psychologically, sociologically and politically. Moreover, members of the class will look at ways conflicts, which are either identity-based or where identity is a strong element of the conflict, might be transformed. Additionally, issues of shame and humiliation and related trauma issues will be examined as salient factors in the construction of identity, what threatens it and how it is manipulated. Also, discrimination, whether due to racial, gender, ethnic or religious factors will be explored and identity and dignity threat analyzed. Finally, the interface between identity, justice and dignity will be examined in order to understand the transformation and prevention of complex conflicts.

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Credit hours: 3

Many organizations—especially those engaged in social change—spend far more time, resources, and energy on their external mission than on addressing internal issues. This can lead to underdeveloped organizational structures and undernourished personnel. In this course you will analyze organizational structures, cultures, and environments to determine what makes an organization healthy and if an organization is in need of intervention. Participants will also discuss the role of leadership in initiating and managing organizational change and in working for change in the broader community or society. A variety of methodologies and experiential approaches will be woven in throughout the course to support working for change in organizational systems. Additional topics relevant to organizational life will be included depending on the interests of participants.

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Credit hours: 3

Organizations are dynamic systems with unique structures and cultures, operating in specific environments. Every organization is also shaped by its leaders. Leaders have more leverage than others in the organization—both to determine strategic direction and to nurture people and systems. This course focuses on the role of leaders in “setting the tone” for healthy organizational functioning, with special attention to a leader’s own functioning. The course will also include specific attention to developing management skills—including personnel, project and financial management.

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Credit hours: 3

This course provides a critical examination of the fundamental roots, principles and practices of restorative justice. It provides a unique opportunity to explore not only the promise of, but also the challenge to the restorative justice field in a variety of contexts. The central starting point for the course is the global Western legal or criminal justice system and the dilemmas posed by its dominant responses to crime and violence. We examine how restorative justice presents an alternative approach that addresses the needs and roles of key “stakeholders” (victims, offenders, communities, and justice systems) and draws from traditional or indigenous approaches to justice. The intersections of restorative justice and trauma healing, nonviolence, community building, and transitional justice processes will be explored.

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Credit hours: 3

This is an advanced-level course designed to deepen students’ understanding of the theoretical foundations of peacebuilding and restorative practices. Participants will grapple with key theoretical dilemmas in peacebuilding practice, including questions such as: Do social structures determine actions or do human actions create structures? Are human beings primarily self-centered or relationship-focused? Participants will learn to “interrogate” theories of the person, theories of communities and organizations, and theories of society to uncover their frequently implied assumptions about conflict and change. Students will become adept at identifying, developing, and interrogating theories of change in the context of planning conflict interventions. Pre-requisite: at least six hours of conflict transformation courses, including PAX 533 Analysis: Understanding Conflict.

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Credit hours: 3

The course will examine trauma, its causes and means of healing or transforming its symptoms at individual, community and societal levels. A thorough overview will be given of the complexities of trauma and psychosocial factors as a result of war, natural disaster and other acts of violence—both current and historical. Identity/identity threat and dignity will be examined as ways of understanding how trauma happens and is constructively transformed. Individual and community assets and resilience will be studied as important means of transforming trauma and enhancing psychosocial well-being. Psychosocial trauma healing and indigenous healing methods will be analyzed through case studies and presentations by guest speakers and class presentations. The importance of narrative and the arts as ways of addressing loss and pain and other aspects of a traumatic experience will be investigated, as will the importance of self-care in trauma awareness and transformation work. Peacebuilding and psychosocial theories of change will be used as the framework for this course.

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Credit hours: 3

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the issues, strategies, and dilemmas of international development. The course is divided into two sections. The first section provides an overview of the dominant theories of international development and introduces central concepts and debates surrounding international development. The second section is organized around reactions to the arguments studied in the first section, focusing on Marxism, Socialism, and Feminism and Gender and, the third section, on some of the recent themes in international development.

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Credit hours: 3

This course is designed to develop participants’ understanding and skills for effectively influencing policy making processes on peacebuilding issues. We will explore policymaking within local, national and international contexts. Moving from an exploration of ‘what is governance’ and ‘what is policy’ and their relevance to peacebuilding, we will learn basic approaches for policy analysis and policy formation. We will map the diverse actors involved in policy making and assess factors that influence their decisions. We will explore strategies to influence policy development – including advocacy, public campaigning and policy dialogue – and practice key skills for effective engagement, including crafting policy briefs and advocacy communication.
This course is designed to equip students with key practice skills for engaging with policy and governance processes relevant to their chosen area of specialization. Course work will be geared to applying what is being learned. Participants will choose a key issue of interest to them and will critique existing policy, identify and advocate alternatives, and develop materials to support their case.

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Credit hours: 1

This 2-day course provides an introduction to a restorative justice process that brings together victims and offenders of crime to talk about the impact of the crime on their lives and what the future could look like. We will look specifically at victim and offender issues, benefits and risks of conferencing, and the role of the facilitator. It will include opportunities for participants to gain hands-on experience of the process.

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Credit hours: 3

This course uses a multi-dimensional framework for understanding negotiation. Daily social practices are a form of social negotiation; they shape patterns of interaction and institutions. Dispute domain negotiations are processes for deciding the appropriate venue and legitimate processes for addressing conflicts when they arise. Transactional negotiation is the actual given-and-take about a specific issue; this is what happens at the negotiation table. Most courses say nothing about social negotiation and little or nothing about dispute domain negotiation. In a world filled with cross-cultural encounters and complex, intractable problems effective negotiators need to understand all of these negotiation processes and they need to be able to manage all of the processes. Through emergent scenarios and reflective practice combined with analysis of negotiation processes, students will learn to recognize and manage multi-dimensional negotiations. This is an advanced skills class. PAX 533 (Analysis) and PAX 503 (Practice) are recommended (but not required) prerequisites; students with extensive field experience should contact the instructor to discuss enrollment in the course.

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Credit hours: 3

Negotiation is the fundamental process by which human beings discern how to resolve differences and move forward together—whether in a family, a local community, an organization, a society, or a world community. Mediation adds a third party to the negotiation process, and has proven remarkably effective in resolving and even transforming certain disputes. This course will train participants to be effective negotiators and to serve as impartial mediators, but will also explore the varying contexts in which these processes take place and the variety of perspectives and worldviews that parties bring to a negotiation or mediation process. For CJP students this is a skills assessment course. Each student will be evaluated by the instructor and by class peers for competency in mediation & negotiation skills.     

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Credit hours: 3

This required course is designed to ensure that the MA program attains its primary purpose of “preparing reflective practitioners.” The course should be taken the last semester of a student’s tenure on campus, and includes an opportunity to review and practice core skill competencies (such as conflict analysis, negotiation, mediation, facilitation and circle processes). In addition to a range of in-class exercises and simulations, participants will use their skills in a semester-long applied practice intervention together with other members of their working group. The course is structured to support this applied practice through step-by-step exploration of key elements of processes design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Throughout the course, there will be observation, feedback, peer review, self-assessment and assessment by instructors that will combine to form a ‘360 degree assessment’ of each person. To the extent possible, the competencies will be demonstrated in real-life or simulation experiences, as well as through reflection and multiple levels of analysis. Because this course is designed to assess and develop practice competencies rather than assess academic knowledge, participants will receive a “pass” or “fail” grade for the course. All CJP degree students must achieve a passing grade in this course in order to be eligible for graduation.

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Credit hours: 3

This course is designed to develop participants’ capacities as skillful facilitators and to enable them to design and conduct effective group processes for dialogue, deliberation and decision-making. The course is structured around six all-day class sessions that are complemented by observation of real meetings and mentored, applied practice as facilitators in the community.

We will learn methods appropriate for guiding community and organizational meetings, conducting public processes, and for enabling difficult dialogues across conflict divides. Participants will learn how to assess the needs of the group and then to design processes to address them. This will include processes to help groups improve understanding, strengthen relationships, engage in collaborative problem solving and make effective decisions. Participants will become familiar with a variety of methods and techniques to achieve process goals, with groups ranging in size from three to 3,000.

Through a variety of readings, exercises and reflections, the course will assist participants’ formation as reflective practitioners assisting group processes. We will focus on developing self-awareness and awareness of group dynamics, while cultivating openness and offering a calm presence even in the midst of high levels of anxiety and conflict. We will consider a variety of facilitator roles and functions and critically assess the ethics and appropriateness of these for different types of situations. While rooted in a North American peacebuilding paradigm, we will aim to also explore facilitation in other cultural traditions and raise awareness of the challenges of facilitating cross-culturally.

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Credit hours: 3

This course is designed to demonstrate how conflicts in organizations are often the product of emotional patterns within a group. Participants will first examine their own family of origin through the lens of family systems theory, then adapt that theoretical framework to assess an organization and its conflict dynamics. This will be a highly interactive course, utilizing case study and role-play methodology.

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Credit hours: 3

This course will address many of the dilemmas in developing and sustaining processes to end armed conflict and make the transition to durable peace and more inclusive states. We will seek to deepen our understanding of key challenges and opportunities, risks and resources typically operating in these conflict systems, exploring leverage points for justice and peacebuilding interventions.

We will explore some of the characteristics of war and protracted organized violence in the 21st century, seeking to identify the strategic implications. We will learn about how people have worked to increase civilian protection, engage with armed groups, promote confidence building, identify comprehensive agendas for transforming conflict. We will study the ‘design’ of processes aimed at ending fighting and creating the frameworks for peaceful settlement, with special attention to processes that enable public participation in political negotiations. We will explore dilemmas, principles and comparative experiences in fostering transitional justice – including retributive, redistributive and restorative models – and promoting reconciliation. We will use case studies, group exercises, simulations and discussion of specific dilemmas participants have encountered in their own work / context. Each participant will choose a specific context and, through a range of class assignments, will develop elements of a strategic framework for supporting transitional processes in that context.

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Credit hours: 3

This is an introductory monitoring and evaluation course for peacebuilding practitioners and professionals. It assumes that participants are already familiar with the theory and practice of peacebuilding but not M&E. The course approaches monitoring and evaluation from a learning perspective and introduces theories of change, indicators, monitoring, evaluation design, and tools for reflective practice. Its objectives are to enable participants to design better projects, to monitor and learn from those projects more regularly and effectively, and to engage more thoroughly with program evaluators. The course design includes mini-lectures, experiential learning exercises and practical case applications. Practitioners are invited to bring program designs of actual programs currently underway to be used as case studies throughout the course. The course is offered for three hours of graduate credit.

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Credit hours: 6

Foundations I and II give a comprehensive overview of peacebuilding practice and its multi-disciplinary, multi-level aspects. Foundations I centered around personal, interpersonal, small group and organizational transformation analysis, theory and practice. Foundations II focuses on communal, societal and global processes of transformation. Throughout the two courses, you will be required to understand and integrate ethical application of theory, technical utilization of analysis tools, and systematic process of planning and implementation for practice interventions across a myriad of sectors in society.

In this course, faculty continue to coach students as they further develop their knowledge and skills for dealing with conflict and situations of injustice and building sustainable peace. Students work individually and in teams to learn new theories and concepts and to apply these ideas and skills to cases that progress in complexity from the community to the national and global levels (and back again). Students continue to develop their self-awareness as well as their capacity for professional judgment and reflective practice. Students become familiar with theories and frameworks that help explain the causes and dynamics of larger-scale conflicts, injustice and structural violence. They explore the roles of social-movement organization, practitioner groups and policy engagement for dealing with such situations. Students prepare for future employment by completing assignments that develop professional skills including but not limited to: communicating complex ideas clearly and succinctly, working in teams on difficult projects, researching strategies and moving from analyzing a situation of injustice or conflict to designing and preparing to implement an intervention for that situation.

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Credit hours: 3

When parties to a conflict recognize that they cannot achieve their goals through unilateral action (violent or nonviolent), there is a ripe moment for engaging them in peace processes and long-term peacebuilding. But moving from the recognition that they cannot “win through domination” to effective participation in activities such as negotiation, reconciliation, and the reconstruction of healthy relationships and structures entails many profound transformations. Conflict coaching involves working with individuals and groups as they explore (and we hope eventually embark upon) alternative approaches to meeting their goals, interests and needs. This course uses case studies to help students understand the role of conflict coaches in peace processes. It also includes training modules on some core competencies for conflict coaches. For CJP students this is a skills assessment course. Each student will be evaluated by the instructor and by class peers for competency in coaching skills.

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Credit hours: 3

The course will examine the important relationship between trauma recovery, justice, religion, human security and development as well as other elements of the psychosocial and peacebuilding processes. The focus will be on communities and societies after large-scale violence and war as well as psychosocial support and well-being after natural disasters. It will explore what trauma and trauma recovery are and what it takes to bring healing in situations of collective trauma (and the individuals within this collective); and who is responsible to do this work. In this regard, narrative and the arts will be explored as an important factor in psychosocial intervention.

In the context of trauma and recovery in a post-war context, identity threat will be addressed as an essential factor in understanding the use of force against others and how identity needs can be met to bring about constructive coexistence towards reconciliation. Relational dignity will be explored as a means of healing and transforming conflict. Justice will also be examined through the lenses of transitional, restorative, distributive justice and how these approaches help break the cycle of violence and are important factors in preventing future conflicts. The cultural, political, economic, social and socio-religious elements of peacebuilding will be examined in order to understand the complexities and possibilities of the strategies and practices for building peace with justice.

Through various research methods, case studies, personal narratives and group work, participants will begin to integrate the analytical and practical course information and see how it might be applied to their own complex conflict and post-conflict situations.

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Credit hours: 1

This course will introduce participants to the peacemaking circle process and explore:
• foundational values and philosophy of peacemaking circles,
• conflict as opportunity to build relationships,
• creating safe, respectful space for dialog
• consensus decision making,
• structure of the circle process,
• facilitation of the circle process
• practical applications of circle process,
• problems and challenges in circles.
This course will use the peacemaking circle process as the primary form of group work.

This course is intended to provide experience in the circle process as well as an understanding of the foundational values and key structural elements for designing and conducting peacemaking circles.

The class will prepare students to design and facilitate peacemaking circles in a variety of situations.

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Credit hours: 1-3

Course work undertaken through independent study must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and completed in collaboration with a supervising instructor.

Please note: Directed/independent study courses will only be approved for students who have demonstrated the ability to do independent work (and therefore not approved in the first semester of a student’s program).

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Credit hours: 3

This course provides a forum to explore “critical” as well as “frontier” issues in the field of restorative justice. As the course will be conducted in a seminar format, each student-member will be expected to actively participate in class discussions and give leadership by facilitating group interactions around specific topics and course content. A basic restorative justice course or significant background in the field is a prerequisite.

Goals:
• To raise overall awareness of the critical issues in the field and an in-depth exploration of selected issues.
• To present a platform for participants – instructors as well as students – to pursue issues of interest to them.
• To facilitate a forum that promotes mutual exploration and dialogue around these issues, and provides experiences in group leadership.
• To offer an opportunity for hands-on practice through a local RJ project.

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Credit hours: 6-9

The practicum is normally the culmination of the student’s program and provides an opportunity to work as a reflective practitioner in actual situations of justice and peacebuilding. Practicum placements may build on the student’s prior experiences or contacts or may involve a new direction. The practicum culminates in a capstone presentation to the student’s colleagues at CJP.

Read more about the practicum requirement.

Credit hours: 6-9

This course is available on a limited basis to students in their third or fourth semester who petition the Academic Committee through the Practicum Director for an exception to the Practicum requirement. Following the lead of other practice-based master’s degree programs, we consider a thesis to be a publishable (and preferably published) article prepared for a high quality academic or practitioner journal. Ideally, students interested in taking this course will begin preparing to write a thesis early in their studies. Each student begins the course with a draft of a paper and a clear idea about where to publish it.

Credit hours: 1

Resilience is the capacity to rebound, recover and adapt after experiencing significant shocks and be able to retain, strengthen and sustain commitments while maintaining core values and integrity. This one-hour course will address the nurturing of personal resilience and will provide a brief introduction to community resilience and organizational resilience in a rapidly changing and turbulent world. Incorporating both theory and tools, participants will engage in experiential learning to examine their own lives and construct a Personal Resilience Plan based on a provided template.

This course will explore tools of self-care, the critical role of bonded, bridged and linked relationships, the leveraged value of specialist support, the vital necessity of compassionate engagement in the world, and the importance of anticipating challenges and potential future shocks.

A Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) 3 credit hour course will move beyond personal resilience and explore key elements of building community resilience particularly in areas that are prone to natural disasters and destructive conflicts. Recognizing that local and international organizations in turbulent settings must also develop organizational resilience, the SPI course will explore concepts that include translational leadership and the necessity of embracing “adhocracy” approaches linked with self-organizing systems.

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Credit hours: 3

This research-based course will focus on psychosocial trauma-informed and trauma sensitive practice. Course participants will examine related literature and reported field-based practices and interview scholars as well as individuals and organizations applying these concepts in real-world contexts. A literature review will be developed of trauma-informed/sensitive practices that have been incorporated into peacebuilding and other activities e.g., humanitarian response, disaster response, development, conflict resolution, public health, restorative justice, etc. Research outcomes may also further inform or suggest new models of engagement and assessment regarding trauma-informed/sensitive information and practice for STAR trainers and practitioners and those persons and organizations working to address these issues in multiple other sectors. A data bank will be initiated for CJP in the areas of psychosocial trauma informed and sensitive practice. Finally, course participants will be tasked to develop questions and ideas about significant areas of and for exploration to feed into the design of the proposed 2014 Summer Peacebuilding Institute’s trauma-informed/sensitive consultation and related SPI course on Trauma-Sensitive Practice and Programming.

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Credit hours: 3

This course guides participants in technical and academic aspects of the design, data collection, interview, analysis, and editing of a documentary research project. The course focuses on creating transformative space through appreciative interview and collaborative storytelling while considering deeply the responsibility of representing people and ideas on screen.