Professional Education and Training

Spring 2019 Offerings

These course are offered for professional education and development. They are open to individuals interested in furthering their skills or developing new ones.

To register for one or all of these classes, please complete the registration form:

Professional Development Registration

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Facilitation: Process Design & Skills for Dialogue, Deliberation & Decision-Making

January 18 & 25; February 8 & 22; March 15; April 12
8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Location: Hartzler Library/LB 121 (map)
Cost: $1470

This course is designed to develop participants’ capacities as skillful facilitators and to enable them to design and lead 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 course is designed for participants with some knowledge of basic conflict analysis and peacebuilding concepts and methods.

Instructor:  Catherine Barnes has extensive experience designing and facilitating deliberative dialogue, as well as teaching and training adults in working with conflict, strategies for building peace and promoting social justice. She has worked in more than 30 countries particularly in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Caucasus and Eastern Europe.


Circle Processes

March 15: 6:30-9 p.m., March 16: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., March 17: 1-6 p.m.
Location: Discipleship Center (map)
Cost: $470 

The Peacemaking Circle is a dialog process combining ancient wisdom about living in community with modern understandings about complex multicultural societies. The process is used for holding difficult conversations and for strengthening relationships within a group. This course will provide experience in the Peacemaking Circle process as well as an understanding of the foundational values and key structural elements of the process. Participants will learn to design and conduct Peacemaking Circles.

Respectful dialogue across significant differences in life experience and perspective is one of the most pressing needs of our time. The Peacemaking Circle process offers a highly accessible and flexible approach for discussion of the most fraught topics. In this time of highly polarized public conversations, people are coming together in Circles to talk about the most difficult issues – police/community relations, childhood sexual abuse, racial inequities, crime and violence, historical trauma, European unity – in a way that maintains respect and nurtures understanding of one another.

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.

Instructor: Kay Pranis is a national leader in restorative justice, specializing in peacemaking Circles. She served as the Restorative Justice Planner for the Minnesota Department of Corrections from 1994 to 2003. Before that, she worked six years as the director of research services at the Citizen’s Council on Crime and Justice. She has written and presented papers on peacemaking Circles and restorative justice in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Since 1998, Kay has conducted Circle trainings in a diverse range of communities—from schools to prisons to workplaces to churches, from rural farm towns in Minnesota to Chicago’s South Side.


Restorative Justice Practices

Feb 1-2; Feb 15-16; March 22-23
Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and
Saturdays 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Location: Hartzler Library/LB 121 (map)
Cost: $1470

Restorative Justice embodies a set of foundational values which inform both RJ processes as well as how RJ programs are implemented. In this course we will explore those guiding values and principles and examine the many ways they guide us in providing  RJ processes (with special attention to community conferencing) across various sectors (including courts, schools, prisons, neighborhoods, etc.). This will include exploration of RJ process as liberatory spaces. We will also explore the ways that core principles shape how RJ processes are implemented within communities, organizations, and institutions. Program implementation will include designing, evaluating, and funding an effective, sustainable RJ program. Conducted in a seminar format, there will be both experiential and didactic learning components, and students will be engaged in practicing RJ skills as well as completing writing assignments that are directly related to individual skills, training, and interests. For participants that have not taken the CJP core RJ class, some RJ background/experience is required to participate.

Instructor: Lauren Abramson, Ph.D. is a bio-psychologist with over 25 years of experience as a Restorative Practices (RP) practitioner, trainer, and writer.  As Founding Director of the Community Conferencing Center (now Restorative Response Baltimore) in Baltimore,Lauren applies Restorative Practices in courts, juvenile justice, schools, neighborhoods, prisons, and organizations as a means of providing people with collaborative opportunities for understanding, healing, learning, and fair justice.   Successes in Baltimore over the past two decades speak to the power of RP to: 1) empower individuals and communities to collectively resolve their own crimes and conflicts, 2) address structural inequities in the criminal legal system, school discipline, and wherever else they exist, and 3) mobilize the wealth of untapped wisdom in all kinds of communities.  Lauren has published widely on both the practical and theoretical aspects of RP, and is engaged as a RP trainer and speaker both nationally and internationally. For more information, please watch this  webinar Lauren did with the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice.

QUESTIONS: For questions regarding registration, please contact Janelle Myers-Benner.



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