Conflict Resolution Certificate
Conflict is a natural part of human interaction, at home and at work. Managing conflict in healthy and productive ways is a valuable skill almost anyone can learn. Workplaces, the criminal justice system, the government, public agencies, health-care institutions, churches and schools all need effective, long-term strategies for resolving conflict. Not surprisingly, conflict resolution credentials impress employers.
The Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, in association with Bethel College, offers the Certificate in Conflict Resolution. This skills-based certificate emphasizes active, hands-on, and experiential learning that allows application of theory to practice.
The Certificate is available to both traditional undergraduate students at Bethel College, as well as non-traditional students and working professionals who wish to further their conflict resolution skillsets.
Courses for the certificate are taught by KIPCOR staff and outside practitioners and experts. Many courses are “intensives” – taught in 3-4 hour blocks over the course of several days or weeks – to allow candidates to complete certificate courses without major interruptions to busy schedules. In recent years, KIPCOR has also shifted to teaching many of our trainings on Zoom, to allow candidates from across the state and around the country to participate fully. Check the KIPCOR Training Calendar for current offerings of certificate courses.
All certificate students are required to take the following 3 core courses:
Practical Skills for Managing Interpersonal Conflict (SSC 460 – 2 hrs/units) – Core Mediation Training *
Topics in this course include personal style in conflict, conflict analysis and transformation, and the emerging role of professionals who must increasingly know how to manage interpersonal conflict and disagreement at work. Emphasis will be placed on training through simulations and interactive exercises. The course will provide technical proficiency in interpersonal problem-solving and mediation techniques, and is approved by the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration for core mediation training.
Practical Skills for Managing Group and Organizational Conflict (SSC 461 – 2 hrs/units)
Conflict within organizations, from workgroups to whole organizations and communities, can be a critical drain on resources or a major source of growth and creativity. This course focuses on the dynamics of groups and organizations of all sizes, models of both inter- and intra-group conflict, and practical intervention techniques. Topics include designing and managing effective meetings and decision-making processes; techniques for large- and small-group problem-solving; and facilitation for consensus.
Working with Culture, Gender, and Power in Conflict (SSC 462 – 2 hrs/units)
Culture, gender, and power differences contribute to conflict and complicate positive conflict management. Particular attention is given in this course to worldviews; use of language (verbal and non-verbal); negotiation and mediation styles; use of apology; face-saving; conflict resolution goals; and the impact of one-up/one-down power relationships.
All certificate students must select a minimum of 3 credit hours/units from the following electives:
Conflict Resolution Internship (SSC 375 – 2-3 hrs/units)
Students will be placed in a specific organization or community program where they will work under the supervision of an experienced practitioner in applying skills and knowledge from their conflict resolution certificate courses. A minimum of 45 contact hours is required for each hour of course credit. Enrollment in the internship includes regular contact with staff from KIPCOR, to process and integrate the content and experiences in the internship.
Domestic Mediation Training (SSC 464 – 1 hr/unit) *
This course focuses on applying the mediation process in divorce and child custody settings. Topics include parenting plans and child development, the emotional stages of divorce, divorce as family reorganization, screening for domestic violence and child abuse, strategies for dealing with impasse, and working with high-conflict families. Emphasis will be placed on training through simulations and role plays. This course will provide technical proficiency in domestic mediation techniques, and is approved by the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration for domestic mediation training.
Principles and Practice of Restorative Discipline (SSC 466 – 2 hrs/units)
This course explores the philosophical foundations and practical applications of restorative practices in schools and similar settings. Blending theory, strategies, and best practices from successful restorative practice programs, students will develop technical proficiency in using a multi-tiered approach of circles and conferencing models to transform school climate, foster accountability, repair harm, and build stronger school communities. Fall, Spring, or Summer intensive at either the Tier 1 or Tier 2-3 level of implementation.
Managing Difference and Disagreement within Faith Communities (SSC 469 – 1 hr/unit)
Although difference and disagreement are normal and inevitable, most people feel poorly prepared to handle conflict within their faith communities. Focusing on Biblical and theological principles, this course is designed to examine how faith communities can transform conflict into an experience of spiritual and community renewal. Special attention will be given to congregations as family systems, levels of conflict within faith communities, collaborative and transparent decision-making, structured dialogue in high-anxiety situations, and reconciliation.
Negotiation Theory and Practice (SSC 4610 – 2 hrs/units)
We negotiate every day with employers, co-workers, roommates, landlords, employees, parents, merchants, service provides, and many others. This course is designed to provide negotiation skills for managers, professionals, and anyone interested in becoming a more skilled negotiator. The course will focus on analyzing negotiation situations, developing strategic plans for effective negotiation, understanding negotiator behavior, and gaining personal confidence as a negotiator. Emphasis will be placed on training through case studies and role plays.
Facilitating for Change (SSC 470 – 1 hrs/units)
This course provides skills training in facilitation. Working with groups to achieve their goals is not always straight-forward. Whether it is running a productive meeting, facilitating difficult dialogue, or running a training course, there are primary skills used which can maximize productivity while also encouraging creativity and collaboration. Grounded with participant-centered learning techniques, this course is delivered through immersive experience and reflective practice where students will observe, participate, learn, and practice facilitation skills to improve their leadership potential.
Certificate courses may be taken for undergraduate or, in most cases, graduate credit. They may also be taken for non-credit professional training.
Courses taken for credit require additional outside reading and writing. Courses marked with an asterisk meet the requirements of the Kansas Supreme Court as approved trainings for state mediator approval. Most other certificate courses have been approved by the Supreme Court for continuing mediation education (CME) credit for state-approved mediators. Most of the certificate courses have also been approved for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for social workers.
Thanks to the generosity of Glenna Premer, a 2004 certificate holder, the Premer Award provides up to $1,000 to individuals who design creative conflict resolution internships. Applicants must submit to KIPCOR a typed description of their internship design and how they would use the award funds in support of the internship. Off-site internships are especially encouraged.