Click for more information

KIPCOR short course series serves both beginners and practitioners

KIPCOR short course series serves both beginners and practitioners

KIPCOR Core Skills

As the school year gets underway, Bethel College’s peacebuilding institute, KIPCOR, is also starting up this year’s schedule of short courses.

KIPCOR, the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, is once again offering a variety of educational opportunities, with the aim of both serving those with training in conflict mediation and those who simply want to learn better ways to handle conflict, have civil conversations and build community.

Sharon Kniss, KIPCOR director of education and training, describes the courses as “an accessible and affordable continuing education series” – or, said another way, “KIPCORe Skills,” for “KIPCOR core skills.”

“We want to support people who are practicing mediators, who might have taken our training,” says Kniss, “as well as offer training that many people are asking for, in basic skills that can apply to daily life.

“And we want the schedule and the fees to make them accessible to anyone interested. If financial barriers remain, reduced-fee requests will be considered for those on limited and fixed incomes.”

Most courses are offered on a single day, with the afternoon session geared to skilled mediators with a focus on enhancing their practice, and the evening session intended for anyone interested, regardless of previous experience.

The afternoon sessions are three hours, from 1:30-4:30, at a cost of $35 per session and the evening sessions are two hours, 6:30-8:30, for $25. All sessions include a time of networking and refreshments starting a half hour before the course begins.

The first offering is Sept. 13, Conflict 101, a basic course that provides tools for dealing with “the everyday realities of conflict, from families to workplaces to the larger society.”

Oct. 11 is Circle Process for Mediators (how to lead circles in mediation practice), and Communication Skills for Tense Times (learning skills for having “courageous conversations that build relationships rather than divide”).

Nov. 8’s afternoon session will be on workplace mediation and organizational conflict, while the evening session is a primer on facilitation skills, Facilitating for Productive Public Conversation.

The final short course of the fall semester will be an evening offering, Dec. 6, Unpacking Diversity Training – looking at next steps and further learning after completion of a diversity training session.

The next day, Dec. 7, KIPCOR offers its annual CME/CEU short courses for mediation practitioners, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center.

“KIPCORe Skills” resumes in the new year on Jan. 17, with the evening session Teams That Work (basic teambuilding practices).

Feb. 7 will be Sticky Situations in Domestic Mediation in the afternoon, with Building a Trauma-Informed Culture at Work and Beyond in the evening.

The final day in the 2018-19 course series is March 7, with a repeat of Circle Process for Mediators and, in the evening, Common Sense Justice (Restorative Justice 101).

All courses will be taught in the KIPCOR offices at 2515 College Ave. in North Newton, except the CME/CEU shorts.

Go to, where you can learn more about the courses, download flyers, and register online.

Most sessions will be co-led by a KIPCOR staff person and a regional expert in the particular topic being addressed.

Visiting experts are Joyce McEwan Crane and Gregory Cole, both of Wichita, Donna Schenck-Hamlin, Manhattan, and Art Thompson, Topeka.

McEwan Crane is the strategic development coordinator for the Center for Community Support and Outreach at Wichita State University, where she coordinates the work of “trauma-informed systems of care.”

Schenck-Hamlin co-founded the Institute for Civic Discourse and Dialogue at Kansas State University, and is a program/project associate for both the ICDD and the Center for Engagement and Community Development at K-State.

Thompson, a professional mediator, was formerly the dispute resolution director for the Kansas Supreme Court.

Cole is a successful Wichita businessman who has also taught leadership at the college level.

KIPCOR was founded in 1985 and is one of the oldest regional peace institutes in the United States. KIPCOR offers an array of resources in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, as well as an extensive networking system for consulting and intervention. Learn more at

Bethel College is the only Kansas private college listed in Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section for 2018-19. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to