SPI 2015 Course Offerings

The below courses were offered during SPI 2015. They will give you some idea of the courses you might expect to see in 2016 but we have very new courses being planned as well!

Pre-Session – April 27 – May 1, 2015
Session I – May 4 – 12, 2015
Session II – May 14 – 22, 2015
Session III – May 25 – June 2, 2015
Session IV – June 4 – 12, 2015

Only one course may be taken per session. If you have questions about a particular course that are not answered in the information below, please feel free to contact the SPI office at .

Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), Level 2

Elaine Zook Barge & Vernon Jantzi
Expand your knowledge of STAR frameworks and models. Learn to adapt STAR concepts to your clients’ needs in order to lead STAR activities and present workshops grounded in STAR materials. This is an advanced course. Participants must have taken STAR Level 1 at least three months prior to the start of this course or have instructors’ permission.

Analysis: Understanding Conflict

Gloria Rhodes
Develop your ability to “see” and describe conflict from different perspectives. Explore the nature, dynamics, and complex causes of conflict and violence. Discuss how relationships, motivations, culture, and worldviews increase or decrease violent conflict. Learn ways to change systems that perpetuate conflict.


Faith-Based Peacebuilding

Roy Hange & Gopar Tapkida
Identify resources for building peace as well as sources of conflict within and between religions. Discuss several successful faith-based peacebuilding initiatives. Develop your capacity for interfaith engagement.


Building Civil Society Social Movements: Strategic Nonviolent Activism and Advocacy

Lisa Schirch & Mubarak Awad
Learn how to build successful social change coalitions. Use negotiation, mediation and dialogue to structure democratic decision-making and strategic planning processes. Use real world case studies to practice designing strategic nonviolent advocacy and civil resistance movements.


Restorative Justice: the Promise, the Challenge

Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz & Michelle Armster
Explore an alternative to the dilemmas posed by the current criminal justice system’s focus on punishment. Identify needs and roles of key stakeholders in crimes or violence (victims, offenders, communities, and justice systems). Discuss the intersections of restorative justice with trauma healing, nonviolence, community building, and transitional justice processes.


Practice: Skills for Peacebuilding

Gloria Rhodes
Gain the essential skills, tools, and knowledge you need to facilitate conflict transformation in interpersonal and group settings. Focus on being a reflective practitioner, a “bridge-builder,” and how to work with others on conflict interventions. Discuss the challenge of contextually appropriate responses.


Safe Communities, Safe Homes: Linking Public and Private Worlds

Carolyn Stauffer
Explore the connections between family and gender violence in communities and homes. Discuss the effect that violence in one area of our life has on other areas. Acquire skills and capacity in ways to create stability within communities by investing in safety within households and intimate relationships.


Developing Restorative Organizations

David Brubaker & Sigal Shoham
Reduce costly conflict in the workplace and increase the satisfaction of your employees, customers, and clients. Participants will discuss ways to develop a healthy organization that prioritizes internal and external relationships, utilizing restorative practices in the context of an integrated and appropriate conflict management system.


Changing Society through Media: Transformative Storytelling Part 1

Paulette Moore & Jerry Holsopple
Discover the power of documentary storytelling to promote peace, transform relationships, and build community. Explore why, how, and when to use media to activate, resist, transform, and heal. No previous digital media experience necessary. Additional lab fees apply. This is a two-session course.


Changing Society through Media: Transformative Storytelling Part 2

Paulette Moore & Jerry Holsopple
This is a two-session course. Please see the description above.


Training Design and Facilitation

Marshall Yoder & Koila Costello-Olsson
Explore the design and facilitation of peacebuilding trainings. Experience the various ways that adults learn and discuss methods that allow the learning to “stick.” Following several days of an introduction to a model of design and learning, participations will have the opportunity to facilitate a portion of their own training design, whether already existing or created in class.


Community Organizing for Social Change

Mark Chupp
Explore strategies for organizing and building networks and communities using strength- and need-based models as a means of promoting social change. Includes a mix of confrontational and collaborative approaches. Current organizing projects will be used to teach practical skills.


Philosophy and Praxis of Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Hizkias Assefa
Analyze the personal, spiritual, social, and political dimensions that drive our abilities to forgive and reconcile both interpersonally and in large-scale social conflicts. Personal reflection and group simulations will discuss the complexities of these issues in deeply divided societies.


Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), Level 1

Elaine Zook Barge & David Anderson Hooker
Discover processes and tools for addressing trauma, breaking cycles of violence, and building resilience. Increase awareness of the impact of trauma on the body, mind, beliefs, and behavior of individuals, communities and societies.


Course with Eastern Mennonite Seminary

May 25 – June 2, 2015

Biblical Foundations for Justice and Peacebuilding

Mark Thiessen Nation

In a world of “wars and rumors of wars” it is vital to be reminded that those who would be called children of God are to be peacemakers. For Christians and others interested in the Christian roots of peacemaking it is crucial that we grasp a theologically holistic biblical theology for living lives of righteousness, justice and peace. This course is committed to helping us recover the biblical call to live such lives in the midst of a world too often wracked by violence and injustice, a world loved by God.

Note: SPI participants interested in this class must register separately with the seminary. Please fill out the seminary’s part-time application, specify your interest in this course on the application, and that you are an SPI participant.

Rehearsal for Reality: Applied Theater Techniques for Facilitation Training

Heidi Winters Vogel
Investigate theater’s connection with community activism and civil discourse. Develop interactive tools to engage individuals and communities through embodied performance and create effective community-generated solutions to conflict and violence.


Conflict Sensitive Development and Peacebuilding

Sam Gbaydee Doe
Learn to plan development interventions with sensitivity to the context and people involved in order to increase stabilization, promote resilience, and lower chances of renewed violence. Use a peacebuilding perspective to analyze emerging best practices for sustainable recovery and development.


Justice in Transition: Restorative and Indigenous Applications in Post-war Contexts

Carl Stauffer & Jimmy Juma
Explore how transitional justice address the legacies of human rights abuses and is applied in post-war contexts today. Critique and compare various expressions of social justice delivered through local, national and international structures. Discuss the use of indigenous and hybrid justice models to satisfy the collective needs of traumatized societies.


Strategies for Trauma-Informed Organizations

Barry Hart
Discuss why organizations need to be trauma sensitive. Develop creative and constructive trauma-informed policies and strategies for your organization or project that includes client care, worker care, and organizational effectiveness.


Course with Eastern Mennonite Seminary

June 8 – 12, 2015

Leading Congregational Change

David Brubaker & Alastair McKay

Discuss ecclesiology and theology related to conflict, development of skills for dealing with interpersonal conflicts, managing polarities, teaching communication in the congregation, and intervention skills for addressing deeper, more difficult conflicts. Primary attention given to the role of leadership in managing conflict and creating healthy churches.

Note: This course runs for only four days. SPI participants interested in this class must register separately with the seminary. Please fill out the seminary’s part-time application, specify your interest in this course on the application, and that you are an SPI participant.

What’s next?