Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

PAX 516 – Program Evaluation Through Qualitative Research (3 SH)

This course is designed to help students understand the basics of qualitative research, arts-based 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 arts-based and traditional 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 entirely focus on either research or evaluation.

The course format is participatory, experiential and adaptive. Students will conduct an actual professional evaluation of a specific intervention that is nested in 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/ team 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. Prerequisite for CJP graduate students: PAX 535 Research Methods for Social Change. This course includes upper level undergraduate students).

PAX 532 – Formation for Peacebuilding Practice (3 SH)

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

PAX 533 – Analysis: Understanding Conflict (3 SH)

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 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. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 534 – Foundations for Justice & Peacebuilding I (6 SH)

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 research, analysis, theory and practice. Foundations II similarly focuses on communal and societal levels of transformation. Throughout the two courses, you will be required to learn and integrate critical self-assessment, 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. 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 and experience the practice of peacebuilding through reading and discussions, intensive teamwork, interactive case study, role-plays, and simulated practice lab exercises. Skills competencies are emphasized in the areas of self-awareness, team-building, conflict analysis and assessment, communication, and strategies for intervention in interpersonal, intra-and intergroup conflicts. Mediation, negotiation, facilitation, nonviolence strategies 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.

PAX 535 – Research Methods for Social Change (3 SH)

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 course is required for all MA students. 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.

PAX 540 – STAR Level I (2 SH)

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 traumatized people 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. 

PAX 546 - Peace Education (2 SH)

Simply stated, peace education is education for the elimination of direct and indirect forms of violence. How does one address bullying, implicit bias, ethnocentrism, physical fights, or institutional discrimination in schools, the workplace, and in the community? Participants will explore strategies to reduce violence that they identify in their local and wider contexts. We will examine the field and practices of peace education from diverse United States and global perspectives, as well as common understandings of peace and violence. Special attention will be given to contemporary trends in the field of peace education, specifically: Critical peace education; Evaluation of peace education; Education for sustainability. After examining everyday understandings of peace and violence, participants will envision nonviolent alternatives and explore strategies to achieve visions for peace in their schools, business, or community contexts. Participants will learn and apply backward design principles (examining situational factors, alignment of peace learning outcomes, assessment, intervention activities) to develop and reflect on action plans for increasing sustainable peace. Modeling peace as context, this course will employ a variety of peaceful pedagogies such as active and experiential learning, contemplative pedagogies, and interactive lecture to encourage reflection, vision, and action. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 551 - Identity & Dignity (2 SH)

To attempt to understand the power of identity and dignity, especially in and through violent situations, participants will explore their own experiences, relevant writing, and community and societal-level factors related to identity and dignity violation and manipulation. Identity will be examined through contemporary issues of racial, ethnic, and class discrimination, as well as in large-scale and complex situations of violence and war. Through the exploration of current events, recent research and class discussion, course participants will explore how identity is formed historically, culturally, politically, and through religious teaching and practice. They will examine how dignity, or an individual’s deep sense of value and worth, is shaped by identity, but also through developmental factors, social and cultural contexts, and ongoing life circumstances. Course participants will examine humiliation and shame (and related trauma), prejudice and stereotyping as salient factors in what threatens identity and dignity. Multi-level approaches will be developed that address identity and dignity violations, using these elements’ inherent power to help inform and begin to transform personal conflicts as well as complex and violent ones. An arts-based approach will be explored as part of this change process. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 559 - Faith-Based Peacebuilding (2-3 SH)

This course will review successful faith-based peacebuilding efforts, equip participants to form their faith identities as peacebuilders and to develop capacity in building structures of faith-based peacebuilding. The course will specifically

  • Explore the sources of conflict and resources for peacebuilding in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other religions as students have interest and ability to present
  • Reveal how religious identity functions in conflict settings
  • Present models for reading the stages of religious conflict
  • Discuss ways religious leaders have been positive actors in conflict transformation
  • Engage participants in building a vision for faith based peacebuilding in their contexts.

The course will also explore how the spiritual and emotional content of trauma and enmity functions in the matrix of religious, political, and ethnic identities in conflict and how this trauma and enmity can be transformed through faith-based peacebuilding. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 563 - Forgiveness & Reconciliation (2-3 SH)

This course will explore the concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation, their various components, and the place they occupy in the spectrum of the various social science conflict-handling mechanisms. It will examine the concepts from different philosophical, cultural and disciplinary perspectives and look at how they have been used for healing interpersonal relationships as well as addressing large-scale social (political, inter-ethnic or international) conflicts. Although the main emphasis will be on social conflicts, the personal, psychological, spiritual and ecological dimensions of forgiveness and reconciliation and their interrelationships with one another will be explored. The course will involve lectures, discussion, group work, student presentations, and writing assignments. There are many methods for creating and facilitating trainings. In order to create a training that will not only be delivered successfully, but where knowledge is retained, the facilitator needs to know the learners for the training, their experiences and their own needs and interests. This course begins with the premise that learners must be empowered to learn in a way that works for them and that traditional educational methods simply are not well-suited to learning that lasts beyond the event itself.  This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 571 – Restorative Justice: Principles, Theories & Applications (3 SH) 

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 various perspectives. Our primary starting point is the U.S. criminal legal system and the problems posed by its dominant responses to crime and violence. 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 multiple fields and movements including racial justice, trauma healing, education, youth development, and transitional justice.

PAX 577 Training Design & Facilitation (2-3 SH)

This course focuses on creating and facilitating trainings involving peacebuilding and conflict transformation.  We will discover, reflect on, and practice methods of adult learning that empower learners by bringing their experiences to the classroom.  These experiences serve as a foundation for new learning, application and ultimately, impact.  Underlying this work are the principles that empowered adult learners are at their best in a model which allows them the freedom to learn in their own ways within a structure that permits reflection, assimilation, experimentation and application. The class will focus primarily on design creation and facilitation through the use of a model that identifies the key steps that form the foundation of all training designs.  Critical to the design of any training is identifying who will be there, what they bring and what new learning they desire for their context.  Learners will experience the power of group-based learning while also being given time to reflect on their work.  We will consider and practice ways to make learning “stick” and how to transfer that learning in ways that produce transformation.  In addition, we will examine ourselves as learners and facilitators to reflect upon what we bring to the classroom and our preferences in learning styles.  The class builds on concepts put forward by Paulo Freire which were later explored and developed by Dr. Jane Vella and also considers some of the principles of David Kolb’s model of experiential learning and subsequent variations.  Because we learn through actually doing the work of design and to allow the learners to begin to develop a design which they can then use in their work, each learner must come to this course with a workshop or learning event idea in mind that they anticipate using in their own work.  This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 582 Globalization (2-3 SH)

Globalization is increasingly generating alarming conflicts in the world.  Some have manifested themselves as internal economic and societal collapse and violent uprisings, others, as deep social and political cleavages undermining democratic processes, elections and national cohesion. Globally bitter economic, political and socio-cultural divisions have emerged that have provided fuel for domestic and international terrorism. The course will start by trying to understand the various forms of globalization and then focus on the ones which contribute to the psychological, cultural, religious, economic, political, ecological and military conflicts in the world today and why.   It would then examine the approaches, processes and institutions that are and need to be in place to address the problems of globalization as well as to transform it into a force for durable peace.  Participants will be encouraged to reflect on what roles they could play as individual citizens and as members of society to contribute to this transformation. The course will be of interest not only to national and international peacebuilders, but all citizens of the world who are concerned about the increasing insecurity and fragility of the world we live in. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 585 – Global Development (3 SH)

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.

PAX 588 – Nonviolent Mobilization for Social Change (3 SH)

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 with an emphasis on theories for policy change. 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 and analysis of policy reports. A weekend trip to Washington DC to participate in the advocacy training and lobbying meetings with government representatives will be built into the learning experience. This class qualifies as a skills assessment course for the CJP MA degree.

PAX 601 – Mediation and Negotiation (3 SH) 

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. Each student will be evaluated by the instructor and by class peers for competency in mediation & negotiation skills. This class qualifies as a skills assessment course for the CJP MA degree.

PAX 610 – Facilitation: Process Design & Skills for Dialogue, Deliberation & Decision-Making (3 SH)

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 course is designed for participants enrolled in CJP’s graduate studies program and presumes knowledge of basic conflict analysis and peacebuilding concepts and methods. As such, Foundations I or an equivalent course is a prerequisite. This class qualifies as a skills assessment course for the CJP MA degree.

PAX 612 – Building Resilience in Body, Mind, & Spirit (3 SH)

Extended adversity, toxic stress and traumatic experiences can undermine our sense of safety, healthy uses of power, connection and general functioning – our resilience – as individuals and in groups. While we repeatedly witness how unhealed trauma fuels cycles of violence, few of us feel equipped to interrupt, or even be present within, these cycles. As academics, program designers and implementers, we reach for technical plans and try to think our way to solutions. We are unaware of messages from our own bodies and forget the fundamental importance of movement, playfulness and creativity. In this course, we will take the connection between body and mind seriously. When we engage in work toward full-bodied healing, well-being and self care, we may change our own experience of self and our relationships. We will also identify tools and strategies for work in groups, to cultivate safety, healthy uses of power and a deeper sense of connection. We will engage our bodies and minds in a variety of creative practices, ranging from structured physical movement, meditation and breath exercises to playful activity, art-making and story-telling. We will also explore together participants’ practices from within our own cultural contexts, as well as some of the taboos, stereotypes and biases that hold us back from integrating more creative, embodied practice into our work for social change and peace. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 615 – Leading Organizational Change (3 SH)

Whether for-profit, not-for-profit, or governmental, every organization based anywhere in the world today exists in a rapidly changing set of environments. Organizations that fail to adapt to these changes face decline and eventual death. But organizations that lurch reactively from crisis to crisis are equally vulnerable to being selected out. What is most 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 will be 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.

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 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 course (offered by CJP) OR the Organizational Behavior course (offered by EMU’s MBA program).

PAX 617 – War-to-Peace Transitions: Systemic Peacebuilding (3 SH)

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 624 - Monitoring & Evaluation (2-3 SH)

This course approaches monitoring and evaluation from a learning perspective and introduces theories of change, indicators, monitoring, evaluation design, and tools for reflective practice and participatory evaluation techniques. The course will use short lectures, experiential learning exercises, and practical case applications to give students guidance and a safe environment to discuss, practice and challenge their thinking on evaluation and learning. Participants should already be familiar with the theory and practice of conflict analysis and resolution, but new to the field of monitoring and evaluation. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 625 - Program & Project Management (2-3 SH)

Most organizations manage their work and accomplish their missions through a multitude of projects and programs. Organizational success takes effective management skills to not only manage individual projects but also direct the web of complex programs of multiple, interrelated projects, skillfully working with diverse stakeholders, demanding deadlines, and available resources. Focusing on the promotion of social change through increasing justice and peace, program and project management adds another level of complexity. Course participants will improve their capacity to balance the art and science of managing projects and programs by building technical competencies, adopting practices of leadership and self-management, and focusing on social-change sector-specific competencies. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 634 – Foundations for Justice & Peacebuilding II (6 SH)

 Foundations I and II give a comprehensive overview of peacebuilding 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. 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). 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.

PAX 640 - STAR Level II (2-3 SH)

STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) Level II training prepares participants to lead STAR-based activities and workshops and adapt STAR concepts to their individual training needs and environments. In this advanced training, participants are invited to reflect upon and share their experiences applying STAR in their lives and work. Participants also review the theory, concepts and activities from STAR I through the use of Village STAR, a practical, hands-on manual that presents key STAR concepts clearly, with simple illustrations. The training includes additional content, exercises, and skills for addressing trauma and building resilience to deepen the experiences from STAR 1. Participants will create and present action plans about how they will adapt and apply STAR concepts and pedagogy within their work and life contexts. Upon completing STAR 2, participants are invited to join the STAR online learning community, a group of STAR Practitioners working in a variety of contexts, sharing their questions, learnings and experience with diverse populations.

Participants must have applied STAR concepts personally or professionally since completion of STAR Level I training (normally for a period of about 3-6 months).

PAX 645 - Adaptive Action: Nonviolent Resistance (2-3 SH)

Peace and conflict are complex, systemic patterns that emerge over time and at individual, team, community, and global scales. People who thrive in social systems have deep intuitions about how change happens and how they can support it, but until recently, this wisdom lived more in art and instinct than in science. The science of chaos and complexity provides a new path for understanding complex systems. Based in systems theory and complexity science, human systems dynamics (HSD) builds adaptive capacity through:

  • Adaptive Action – taking action in ways that respond creatively to changing contexts and unpredictable circumstances with no specific, linear prescribed sequence of steps
  • Pattern Logic – seeing patterns that are emerging in a changing context and making logical decisions based on the pattern

Human systems dynamics is a field of theory and practice that prepares you to make your implicit knowledge explicit. You will learn to see patterns as they emerge, understand them in useful ways, and take intentional action to influence behaviors and patterns that generate peace or conflict. Participants in this course will explore ways to adapt to unpredictable change, see simplicity in chaos, understand the underlying dynamics that generate patterns of peace or conflict, observe the consequences of actions, and begin again in a new cycle of discovery and action. Through short lectures, group discussions, Adaptive Action experiments, and case studies, you will practice what you learn and prepare yourself to be an active, adaptive agent in complex situations. This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 669 – Psychosocial Trauma, Identity and Dignity (3 SH)

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, as well as the related, though different, psychosocial trauma issues of natural disaster. Identity and dignity will be examined as ways of understanding their roles in the creation of conflict and trauma; and how they might be used in transformational peacebuilding processes. In this regard, individual and community assets and resilience will be studied as further means of transforming trauma and enhancing psychosocial well-being after complex violence and disaster situations. Self-care connected to Compassion Fatigue and Burnout of those working with traumatized persons will be another important component of the course. Through various research methods, case studies, personal narratives and group work, participants will begin the integration of the analytical, theoretical and practical components of the course in order to see how they might be applied to their own contexts and/or to the many sectors of the peacebuilding field.

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.

PAX 671 - Truth-telling, Reconciliation & Restorative Justice (2 SH)

“Truth-telling” is paramount in the quest for justice, particularly against the backdrop of silenced historical harm.  This course grapples with the form and function of truth telling in the pursuit of justice and critically explores linkages between the two. We will survey and analyze historical approaches to truth-telling in the international context, whether in the context of truth commissions or indigenous practices.  Of particular interest in this course are the emerging truth-telling, racial healing and reparations initiatives in the United States to address racial violence against African-Americans. Together, using restorative justice-based and critical race pedagogical approaches, we will grapple with the following questions and more:

  • What does truth-telling mean in the quest for justice?
  • How has truth-telling looked in historical international contexts and how is it  looking in the contemporary domestic context?
  • What form have truth and reconciliation processes taken historically?
  • How do we distinguish restorative justice-based truth-telling processes from historical transitional justice processes?  
  • How might we envision a restorative justice-based truth, racial healing and reparations process to address racial violence in the US against African-Americans?  

This course is taught during our annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute

PAX 672 – Circle Processes (1-3 SH)

The 1 credit fall/spring version of 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.

The 2-3 credit SPI course will be an in-depth exploration of the philosophy, structure and applications of this process, exploring the potential of circles to help us transcend the isolation, demonization and polarization that is a source of pain and violence in the world. This course will explore the values and philosophy that provide the foundation of the peacemaking circle process, acknowledging its indigenous origins. It will also analyze the structure of the peacemaking circle process and describe a variety of types of circles. The course will provide examples of the use of the process in schools, social services, faith communities, neighborhoods, the justice system, workplaces and families. Participants will learn to design and conduct peacemaking circles for community building and conflict resolution. Both philosophy and practice will be addressed.  The course will be conducted primarily in circle, using the experience of participants as a major source of knowledge. The course will also include small group work, group discussion and lecture. Special attention will be given to the role of the facilitator and the key skills of circle facilitation. In light of intense polarization among citizens around numerous topics or concerns, both in the US and around the globe, this course will work on designing processes to create spaces where dramatically different perspectives are shared with respect and thoughtfulness.

PAX 673 – Independent Study (1-3 SH)

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). See the registrar or your advisor to learn about independent study options.

PAX 676 – Restorative Justice Practices (3 SH)

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 / VOD, 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. In order to take this course, students needs to have taken PAX 571 Restorative Justice or receive special instructor permission to register. This class qualifies as a skills assessment course for the CJP MA degree.

PAX 677 – Restorative Justice & Whole Systems Approaches (3 SH)

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 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 justice systems shifts. Through intensive reading, structured debates, tailor- made research on critical and frontier RJ issues, and interaction with leaders in the Field, we will explore whole system applications of RJ in urban/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) – 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
  • 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 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.

PAX 682 Practicum (6-9 SH)

The Center for Justice & Peacebuilding is a practice oriented academic program.  The theories of change and the practice skills offered at CJP are meant to prepare individuals for a career in real world settings of complex conflict and injustice.  The practicum is a time for learning and preparing for a career through personal involvement in and reflection on initiatives in actual situations. It is also a time to learn new theories and practice skills at the practicum site.  Overall this hands on experience, with extensive interaction with people outside the classroom, and in organizations dealing with the subjects of students’ specializations, provides first-time or additional work experience for CJP students.  Their experience is critical to employers as well as overall career development.  Therefore, being prepared academically and having additional work experience through a practicum strengthens the individual student’s ability and capacity to offer a full range of experience to the people they will eventually work for and serve. In addition to doing an organizational practicum, CJP students may do a research-based practicum (independent or nested within an organization). In very select cases, a student may be granted permission to pursue a thesis (PAX 683 described below) in lieu of a practicum.

PAX 683 Thesis (6-9 SH)

CJP full-time residential students are able to petition the Academic Committee for an exception to the general rule that all students will do a Practicum (PAX 682). Students will be vetted based on their experience and the quality of their proposal. A maximum of 2 persons per year will be granted this thesis option. This option is normally available only for those students planning on doing their practicum/thesis in the spring of their second year, and for those that will be in residence. An exception to these guidelines will be considered for a student who has proven him/herself to be both an excellent writer and a self-initiator. A student can make the case to write from a distance or on an alternate time table if he/she has:

  • Demonstrated capacity (at CJP) to complete complex research and writing projects in a timely manner.
  • Adequate access to Internet and technology to support the process.
  • Strong writing and editing skills so that there is limited or no need for writing support. 

Applicants for a thesis option should identify their area of focus by the end of their second semester, and should select seminar courses and electives in their third semester so that they are completing a robust literature review prior to the thesis semester.  Once granted permission to do a thesis in lieu of a practicum the student would:

  • Formally ask two professors to serve as his/her thesis advisors (the student should have preliminary conversations with faculty members to gauge their interest).
  • Research and write a publishable master’s level thesis (For example, 40-50 pages for 6 credits)
  • Present the thesis (both a thesis defense and capstone to broader CJP and EMU community).
  • Submit thesis to be bound and placed in the EMU library collection.

PAX 684 - PAX 694 (1-3 SH)

CJP attempts to offer a wide variety of courses on critical issues and skills needed in the peacebuilding field. Especially in our Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) each May and June, we offer new topics courses based on what we are hearing is needed most out in the field. These topics courses are one time offerings that may or may not be offered again, but are not a required part of the graduate program (though students may take these courses as elective credits). Recent offerings include: Christian Spirituality for Social Action, Designing Facilitated Processes, Sexual Harms: Changing the Narrative; and Transformative Leadership.

  • No labels