Current CJP Fall or Spring courses (unless noted as an SPI offering)
Credit hours: 3
This course is designed to help students understand and practice the implementation of program evaluation through the methodologies of qualitative research. Historic and contemporary 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, focus group interviews, coding interview transcripts, and will practice designing an evaluation: working with a client, determining appropriate methods, collecting data, analyzing the data, interpreting the data, and communicating the findings. This course complements, but does not take the place of other research and evaluation courses that focus entirely 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, students will find themselves leading and/or participating in processes with which they have no prior experience. Further, 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.
Pre-requisites: PAX 535 Research Methods for Social Change (graduate students); SOC 336 Methods of Social Research (undergraduate students); or permission of the instructor.
This course includes upper level undergraduate students. This course is offered every other year.
Credit hours: 3
When we feel called to work for peace and social justice, we are the instrument of the work. Therefore, we need to cultivate our ability to engage conflict and injustice with compassion and clarity. This course explores various competencies needed for the vocational call of working for peace and social justice. Participants will strengthen their abilities to listen and communicate, create and maintain healthy boundaries, recognize and promote diversity and equity, lead from their vision and values, and engage people in dialogue and decision-making. We will also survey a range of roles and domains for conflict transformation and social change such as mediation, negotiation, and arts-based peacebuilding.
Course participants will gain a deeper understanding of self as person, practitioner, and leader as well as a menu of personal skills and processes for integrating analysis, theory and practice within an assets-based approach to social change.
This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute www.emu.edu/cjp/spi/.
Credit hours: 3
This course focuses on the analysis of conflict and violence as the foundation for designing strategies for peacebuilding and conflict prevention and is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute www.emu.edu/cjp/spi/. 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.
Credit hours: 6
Foundations I and II give an overview of social justice and peacebuilding practice and its multidisciplinary, multi-level aspects. This course, Foundations I, addresses personal, interpersonal, small group, and organizational-level conflict transformation and social change. Foundations I will center personal formation, basic action research, analysis for understanding conflict and injustice, theoretical underpinnings of practice, theories of change, practitioner roles, essential skills and basic processes in our work, and process design. Foundations II focuses on communal and societal levels of conflict and social change, centering critical theory, deeper levels of analysis, power, structural and macro-level engagement, larger group processes, process design and more. Throughout the two courses, you will be required to learn and integrate critical self-assessment, ethical application of theory, technical utilization of research and analysis tools, and systematic processes of planning and implementation for intervention or action across many sectors in society.
Foundations I is constructed to assist you to integrate these vital elements - theory, research, analysis and practical skills and processes – into your justice work and peacebuilding practice. You will be introduced to basic literature and theory of the fields; explore conflict transformation from an individual, interpersonal and organizational level; consider the dynamics of conflict and injustice, and experience the practice of peacebuilding through reading and discussions, intensive teamwork, interactive case study, role-plays, and simulated practice exercises.
Skills competencies are emphasized in the areas of self-awareness, team-building, conflict analysis and assessment, communication, construction of theories of change, strategies for intervention in interpersonal, intra-and intergroup conflicts, and process design. Basic processes that help structure conversations (such as negotiation, mediation and facilitation), nonviolent social action, accompaniment and coaching strategies and other transformative processes are highlighted. This course employs the action-reflection learning cycle as the undergirding educational framework throughout the semester.
Credit hours: 3
Leaders of peacebuilding, justice building and social change programs and projects require more sophisticated knowledge of research methods than they did even five years ago. We have always focused on DOING research projects with students, but they now require greater ability to design and justify research projects as part of their work. This course opts for qualitative methods, because those are used more often in the field than quantitative methods. In addition, this course will introduce you to quantitative and mixed methods research so that you may be able to better read, interpret, and/or design appropriate studies depending on their aim. This 3-credit course is required for all MA students, and is not available for reduced credit or professional development/training. In addition to this course, students will be strongly advised to take one of the existing applied research project courses or complete a research project as part of another course or their practicum placement.
Credit hours: 2
This course presents an integrated theoretical and training approach to the trauma, conflict, and violence caused by nature, human beings, or societal institutions and structures. Research and experience demonstrate that unaddressed trauma often leads to conflict and violence against self or others, as trauma-affected people act out against others or become self-destructive. STAR combines theory with experiential learning to increase awareness of the impacts of trauma on the body, brain, beliefs and behaviors. The course offers tools for addressing trauma and breaking the cycles of violence. The STAR multidisciplinary framework draws on the fields of trauma and resilience studies (including neurobiology), restorative justice, conflict transformation, human security 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.
Credit hours: 3
This course provides a critical examination of the values, principles, and practices of restorative justice. It provides a unique opportunity to explore both the promise and the challenge of the restorative justice field in various contexts and from diverse perspectives. Our primary starting point is the U.S. criminal legal system and the problems posed by its dominant responses to crime and violence, however we will also draw from international applications of restorative justice. We examine how restorative justice presents an alternative philosophy of justice that addresses the needs of multiple stakeholders, draws from faith-based and indigenous approaches, and challenges interpersonal and structural forms of harm. We also explore intersections and applications of restorative justice with other practice fields and movements including racial justice, trauma healing, education, community development, and transitional justice.
Credit hours: 3
This course introduces you to the field of global development through examining both the history of the field and the current debates and challenges faced by development practitioners. The purpose is to explore and critically evaluate the basic assumptions underlying the major competing theories and current approaches towards alleviating poverty and global inequality. This course approaches the phenomenon of development in its broadest sense as the study of change, with attention to global justice, equity, and the historical links between development, colonialism, and global capitalism. In the course, we will explore what development means, how to measure it, and how to understand attempts to balance between economic, ecological, and equity concerns. The course engages the key propositions that emerge in contemporary development debates, and offers frameworks for evaluating theories, interventions and policies. The course focuses especially on who decides, how decisions are made, and what the impacts are of development strategies on the environment and on the most vulnerable members of society. With this attention to power relations, we will consider critiques of the development project sensitive to race, gender, ecology and other political economy traditions, in dialogue with the dominant understanding of development as technical interventions for enhancing the market mechanism. This will provide a foundation for uncovering and assessing social and political structures, institutions, inequalities, and development policies as theories meet practice. The course is primarily run in a seminar discussion format. Guest speakers as well as class participants will be invited to share their own stories from the field of global development and peacebuilding.
This course includes upper level undergraduate students.
Credit hours: 3
What does it mean to create social change nonviolently? We will look at the power of ordinary people to effect change through social movements, community organizing, public activism, advocacy / lobby campaigns, and policy formation. The course will be framed by the theory and practice of social movements, mass mobilization and community organizing. These course frameworks will be interrogated within the social change systems of violence and nonviolence. From this backdrop, we will take a careful and critical look at nonviolent strategic action, 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 transformation. The final section of the course will delve into advocacy, lobbying and methods for influencing public policy. Throughout the course, participants will have a choice to engage in a variety of assignments including reading reflections, presentations on nonviolence and religion, letter writing, applying nonviolent frameworks to real-life case scenarios or policy change, and facilitating nonviolence training. A weekend trip to Richmond, VA or Washington DC to participate in the advocacy and lobbying efforts with government representatives will be built into the learning experience.
For CJP MA in Conflict Transformation students this can satisfy the required skills assessment course if taken for 3 credits.
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 MA in Conflict Transformation students this course satisfies the skills assessment course requirement. Each student will be evaluated by the instructor and by class peers for competency in mediation & negotiation skills.
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.
This class qualifies as a skills assessment course for the CJP MA degree.
Credit hours: 3
Whether for-profit, not-for-profit, or governmental, every organization today exists in a rapidly changing set of environments. Organizations that fail to adapt to these changes face decline and eventual death. However, organizations that lurch reactively from crisis to crisis are equally vulnerable to being selected out. Needed are leaders able to steer an organization through adaptive change processes in ways congruent with the organization’s deepest values. This seminar course will equip participants with the tools to understand organizational systems, to assess their changing environments, and to lead adaptive change processes. It is based on the theory and research of the organizational development field and the emerging literature regarding complex adaptive systems, as well as on the lived experience of participants. Seminar participants will accompany local organizations through assessment and intervention processes, gaining hands-on experience in leading change.
This is one of four Seminar courses that are geared primarily to second year graduate students at the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding. They require that a student have taken Foundations I & II unless otherwise noted. These seminar courses will normally be capped at 15 students, with up to 18 students with special instructor permission (fall 2017 the class is larger than normal). Students from other graduate programs should meet with the professor to determine the suitability of the course for their learning goals. In order to participate in this particular advanced seminar, students will be required to have completed either the Foundations I course (offered by CJP) OR the Organizational Behavior course (offered by EMU’s MBA program).
Credit hours: 6
Foundations I and II give a comprehensive overview of peacebuilding and justice practice and its multi-disciplinary, multi-level aspects. Foundations I centered on personal, interpersonal, small group and organizational transformation analysis, theory and practice. Foundations II focuses on communal, societal and global processes of transformation, with particular attention to the relationship between power and the production of justice and peacebuilding theories and practices. Throughout the two courses, you will be required to understand and integrate ethical application of theory, technical utilization of analysis tools, and systematic processes 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, with increased sensitivity to race, gender, ecology, and political economy. 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). Throughout the course, we also examine the intersections and overlaps among the local and the global.
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 organizations, 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 strategies to impact that situation.
STAR Level II invites people who have begun to trauma-inform their work and life for greater resilience to take a deeper dive. In Level II, participants have a chance to
- review and deepen the learning around trauma awareness and resilience,
- practice and deepen capacity for trauma-informed facilitation, and
- share their plans and questions, while connecting with others who are applying STAR learning in their lives and work.
In 2018, we have re-vamped the STAR Level II curriculum. We continue to focus on trauma’s impacts on body, brain, beliefs and behavior, how those impacts often lead to cycles of violence, and possibilities for breaking free of cycles of violence. To build on STAR I learning, STAR II will focus on four key areas:
- Starting with self: dignity, worthiness, and understanding boundaries, positionality and privilege.
- Key skills and concepts for working with trauma and resilience: invitationality, slowing down so we can get it, facing skepticism, circles.
- Embodied learning: as anti-oppressive pedagogy, stress release and creativity ignition.
- Trauma-informed organizations, structural awareness and larger-scale change: anti-domination stance, connecting individual and collective situations (developing cultures of dignity and resilience in organizations and communities).
Students must have applied STAR concepts personally or professionally since completion of STAR Level I training (normally for a period of about 3-6 months).This course is offered for training and for academic credit.
Credit hours: 3
The course will examine psychosocial trauma and well-being within a dynamic peacebuilding framework, addressing the causes of traumatic events and individual, group and social responses to these events. A thorough overview of the complexity of trauma and related psychosocial factors will be addressed in regard to war and other complex situations of violence. In this regard, oppression, related racism, patriarch, shame and humiliation and misuse of power will be examined. To counter these highly difficult issues, individual and community assets and resilience will be studied along with anti-oppression theory and practice as means of transforming trauma and enhancing psychosocial well-being within and after complex situations of violence. Identity and dignity will be explored as ways of understanding their roles in the creation of conflict and trauma and how they might be used in transformational peacebuilding processes. Moreover, identity and dignity violation and manipulation will be examined through the relevant literature, indigenous people’s perspectives, participant’s own experiences, and community, religious and societal-level factors. Historical and contemporary lenses will be used to focus on these issues related to racial, gender, ethnic and class discrimination and personal and structural violence. Finally, Self-care connected to Compassion Fatigue and Burnout of peacebuilders working with traumatized persons and identity and dignity violations will be another important component of the course.
This is one of four Seminar courses that are geared primarily to second year graduate students in the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding. They require that a student have taken Foundations I & II unless otherwise noted. These seminar courses will be capped at 15 students, with up to 18 students with special instructor permission. Students from other graduate programs should meet with the professor to determine the suitability of the course for their learning goals.
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.
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).
Credit hours: 3
Restorative Justice is a practice-based discipline. The course will be framed by four essential values of RJ: encounter, amends, reintegration and inclusion. The content of the course will be embedded in the key practice models that drive the Restorative justice field – VOC, FGC, Circles, RJ in the workplace, schools, prisons, religious institutions, community gang and public violence, transforming historical harms, and applications in transitional justice processes globally. Conducted in a seminar format, students will have ample lab time to exercise the skills, complete assignments that are directly related to in-field competencies (e.g. policy reviews, writing program concept and funding documents, facilitating training sessions and engaging in self and peer assessments) as well as grapple with the theory and ethics that drive our practice.
For MA in Conflict Transformation students this satisfies the skills assessment course requirement if taken for 3 credits, and is a required course for all MA in Restorative Justice students. In order to take this course, students needs to have taken PAX 571 Restorative Justice or receive special instructor permission to register.
Credit hours: 3
The recent expansion of the Restorative Justice (RJ) field is almost breathtaking. We are now seeing an exponential volume of research, writing and practice exploding on the scene. This is exciting on one hand, daunting on another. There is general consensus that RJ as a field is at the edge of a totally new level of impact and influence. While controversial, many leaders in the field feel that RJ will either fade away, or be co-opted by the legal system as long as we view it as only another "social service reform.” However, if we understand it as a “social movement” and study and apply it as such it has a great potential for both serious interpersonal and structural transformation. This course is geared toward empowering RJ practitioners and thinkers who are prepared to position themselves (both internally and externally) as change agents for political, legal and social justice systems shifts. Through intensive reading, structured debates, tailor-made research on critical and emerging RJ issues, and interaction with leaders in the Field, we will explore whole system applications of RJ in urban and public violence contexts, in realigning societal institutions such as in schools, prisons, courts, and governance structures, and in post-war reconstruction efforts through hybrid transitional justice processes.
Each student is required to identify a particular “real-time” case scenario that they will use as their source material for developing a comprehensive whole systems RJ approach to structural change. The Emergent-Adaptive Systems model introduced and used in Foundations II, along with the work around Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) - www.hsdinstitute.org/ will provide the primary frameworks for this course. Key terms and concepts that will be utilized to guide our thinking are:
- Chaos, disorganization & self-organizing theory
- Social capital networks and interdependencies (Network Weaving)
- Coalition building, social mobilization, and social movement theory & practice
- Systemic inputs & outputs, and
- Structural Information & Communication feedback loops.
The course is facilitated in a seminar format using circle process, reading summaries, presentations, group analysis & brainstorming (e.g. a think-tank model) and virtual interaction with various practice leaders in the fields of emergent-adaptive systems and restorative justice.
This is one of four Seminar courses that are geared primarily to second year graduate students in the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding. They require that a student have taken Foundations I & II unless otherwise noted. These seminar courses will be capped at 15 students, with up to 18 students with special instructor permission. Students from other graduate programs should meet with the professor to determine the suitability of the course for their learning goals. In order to participate in this particular advanced seminar, students will be required to have completed either the Foundations I & II courses (offered by CJP) OR for MAED students either PAX 571 or PAX 676.
Offered in the past
Recently offered courses not on the schedule to be offered in the immediate future
PAX 590 – Peacebuilding & Public Policymaking
Credit hours: 3
This course is designed to develop participants’ understanding and skills for effectively influencing policymaking 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 policymaking 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. Students will have the opportunity to give specific attention to their chosen area of specialization with course work 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.
PAX 612 – Building Resilience in Body, Mind, & Spirit
Credit hours: 3
Practices that engage body, mind and spirit matter for strategic peacebuilding because direct violence, structural violence, historical harms and dignity violations impact people at physical, emotional, and mental/imaginational levels. To integrate and transform these impacts toward social thriving, just relationships, and resilience in the face of adversity, individuals and collectives need to engage in discovery and healing at all three of these levels.
Resilience and self-care are sometimes coupled together, perhaps implying that if we take time to practice self-care we will remain resilient to emerging challenges. For some people, resilience means ignoring our own pain and continuing at all costs, rather than caring for ourselves in the mix. For many people, self-care seems like a luxury or even a joke. Yet Audre Lorde cried out, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare” (1988, p. 131).
And how does self-care relate to justice? Shawn Ginwright describes the urgency of a radical healing orientation in the social justice struggle. Echoing Lorde, he asserts that hope is harmed by structural oppression and nourished with healing, and building hope is political activity (2016). Contrasting radical healing with social-emotional learning, he posits that radical healing moves away from the individualistic notion of health/self-care and keeps collective identity – for example race, gender, and sexual orientation – in focus. Radical healing builds “awareness, consciousness, and actions that address the social conditions that threaten social emotional health in the first place” (Ginwright, 2016, p. 8).
Beyond John Paul Lederach’s encouragement around cultivating creativity (Moral Imagination, 2005), consider James Baldwin’s insight on the creative process. He wrote: “We know, in the case of the person, that whoever cannot tell himself the truth about his past is trapped in it, is immobilized in the prison of his undiscovered self. This is also true of nations. …Societies never know it, but the war of an artist with his society is a lover’s war, and he does, at his best, what lovers do, which is to reveal the beloved to himself and, with that revelation, to make freedom real” (1962).
To facilitate transformation away from chronic violence in the direction of discovery, radical healing and freedom, what if we take seriously the guidance to feel, to acknowledge and discover the physical body and tap into artistic creativity? In this class, we’ll give it a try.
This class qualifies as a skills assessment course for the CJP MA in Conflict Transformation degree.
PAX 617 – War-to-Peace Transitions: Systemic Peacebuilding
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 and societies. We will 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.
This is one of four Seminar courses that are geared primarily to second year graduate students in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. They require that a student have taken Foundations I & II unless otherwise noted. These seminar courses will be capped at 15 students, with up to 18 students with special instructor permission. Students from other graduate programs should meet with the professor to determine the suitability of the course for their learning goals.
PAX 691 – Peacebuilding through Biblical Narrative
Credit hours: 1
The last thirty years have brought increased attention to the ways in which people use narratives and storytelling to work for justice and peace, as well as foment violence and oppression. This course introduces students to the narrative turn in peacebuilding through the prism of Biblical narratives, stories told and presented in the Christian Bible. Students will gather around a set of Biblical narratives, look at various ways they have been interpreted, and examine how these interpretations have been used to orient and galvanize groups – for example, to mobilize communities toward self-determination and liberation or toward conquest and genocide. Along the way, students will explore participatory and emancipatory strategies from around the world for working with Biblical narratives; traditions of reading the Bible from below, that is, from contexts of marginalization and oppression; and approaches for engaging Biblical texts informed by the arts and contemplative practices. This course is intended for enrolled CJP graduate students.