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Sharon Kniss

Sharon Kniss

Director of Education and Training



B.A. Justice, Peace and Conflict Studies Eastern Mennonite University (2006)
M.A. International Peace Studies Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame (2014)


As a peacebuilding practitioner and trainer, Sharon is committed to building healthy and resilient communities which can prevent, end, and heal from violence. From small towns and urban centers in the U.S. to the Philippines and the U.K., Sharon has worked with diverse groups and individuals in their search for more peaceful communities.

Sharon has worked as a trainer for 12 years in the areas of conflict transformation, teambuilding and leadership, restorative justice, organizational and church conflict, and peace studies. Sharon has taught as an adjunct professor at Goshen College (Goshen, IN), and offered training as a consultant in Indiana, Virginia, and the U.K. where she worked with Bridge Builders, a national ecumenical conflict and mediation organization for three years.

As a practitioner, Sharon has worked extensively with non-profit and religious groups to transform and work with organizational conflict and change, providing skilled facilitation for reconciliation processes, strategic planning and design, teambuilding, and leadership coaching. Before moving to Kansas, Sharon also served as a board member with five different non-profit organizations in Virginia and Indiana. Sharon has also worked in restorative justice, helping design and lead city-wide efforts to build a community-owned, decentralized restorative justice movement to support diversified implementation in education, criminal justice, religious, and neighborhood contexts. Along with colleagues, Sharon also provided coaching and training for restorative justice implementation in schools in South Bend, Indiana. Sharon also coached and collaborated with various city entities and groups in developing strategies to reduce violence and racial injustice in South Bend. Sharon is a member of Cooperative by Design, LLC, a consortium of peacebuilding practitioners.

Sharon’s research areas have included civil society peacebuilding, police/military and civilian relations, transitional and restorative justice, business and cross-sector engagement in peacebuilding, and the juxtaposition of international and domestic (U.S.) peacebuilding – including in particular the efforts in post-violence reintegration and U.S.-based prisoner reentry.

At KIPCOR, Sharon oversees the education and training activities, which range in collaborations with diverse stakeholders across Kansas and beyond. Additionally, she provides leadership for the KIPCOR/Bethel College Conflict Resolution Certificate program and teaches courses for the Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies minor at Bethel College.