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Making peace, building peace.

All of the following need effective, long-term strategies for solving conflict:

  • public agencies
  • schools and teachers
  • health-care institutions and health-care providers
  • government
  • criminal justice system
  • any workplace

because conflict is a part of normal, everyday human interaction.

Bethel College and its peacebuilding institute, the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR), offers the Conflict Resolution Certificate for 9 hours of college credit (undergraduate or graduate), or as a non-credit professional certificate.

Many courses are intensives – taught all day over 2-4 full days, or half-days for two weeks (in interterm) – to allow maximum flexibility with busy schedules.

Core courses are:

  • Practical Skills for Managing Interpersonal Conflict (core mediation training)
  • Practical Skills for Managing Group and Organizational Conflict
  • Working with Culture, Gender and Power in Conflict

plus electives to match your skill needs and career interests – domestic mediation (divorce and child custody); restorative discipline (schools and other educational settings); faith communities (churches, synagogues, mosques, faith-based organizations); and negotiation.

A conflict resolution internship is also an option, adding even more value to this program. Not surprisingly, conflict resolution credentials impress employers.

Want to talk more with faculty and current students? Schedule a campus visit.

 The Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) at Bethel College offers the Conflict Resolution Certificate. This skills-based certificate emphasizes active, hands-on and experiential learning that allows you to apply theory to practice.

Most courses are intensives—taught all day over 2–4 full days, or half-days for 2 weeks, to allow you to complete certificate courses without weekly interruptions of busy schedules.

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Internships/research

When you choose to do an internship, you will have the opportunity to work as a team member in actual conflict situations. With the help of KIPCOR staff, you will develop a placement that matches your personal interests.

Some recent placements have included:

  • Conflict resolution training and intervention, Guatemala
  • The Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, Washington, D.C.
  • Juvenile dependency mediation (placing children in need of care)
  • Conflict resolution resourcing for a city manager
  • Urban community mediation center
  • Anger management program in a rural school
  • Victim/offender mediation programs

Premer Award

Thanks to the generosity of Glenna Premer, a 2004 certificate recipient, the Premer Award provides up to $1,000 to individuals who design creative conflict resolution internships. You must submit to KIPCOR a typed description of your internship design and how you would use the award funds. Off-site internships are especially encouraged. For assistance and details, please see the KIPCOR website.

My study of conflict resolution through KIPCORopened my eyes to varying viewpoints and the elements that shape an individual’s perspective
—Kristina Graber ’10, conflict resolution

If you complete the certificate requirements and the co-mediation practicum, you are eligible for approval as a mediator by the Kansas Supreme Court.

While there are some positions available in mediation centers or organizations looking for conflict resolution specialists, the primary strength of this certificate is to provide an added value to any other major and to increase the attractiveness of a job candidate for almost any position. Any job has the potential for conflict and employers value employees who understand and can help resolve conflict.

Notable Alumni

Kristina Graber – ’10

Kristina graduated with a B.S. in business administration, a psychology minor and the Conflict Resolution Certificate. She secured a conflict resolution internship with Next Element Consulting (Newton), a company that works to improve soft-skills. There, she completed trainings in the process communication model and facilitating self-efficacy. Following graduation from Bethel, she entered the master of business administration program at the University of South Dakota.

My study of conflict resolution through KIPCOR opened my eyes to varying viewpoints and the elements that shape an individual’s perspective, Kristina says. This foundation allows me to interact with others with a more open mind and a strong appreciation for diversity. This skill has been beneficial in my current role in human resources. Additionally, this certification has created a strong competitive advantage in regard to my skill set.

Karey French – ’06

Karey did her internship with Episcopal Social Services in Wichita, co-facilitating family group conferencing. After graduating from Bethel, she spent a year in Mennonite Voluntary Service as a teacher’s assistant in a local inner-city primary school in Bradford, England.

She says, My Conflict Resolution Certificate gave me the skills to relate to, understand, and deal with conflicts between White British children and Asian British children in Bradford. The training was vital in my year in England and will continue to be vital in every aspect of my life.

Emily Smith – ’05

Emily’s internship was with Midland Mediation Services in Wichita, working with state agencies and families that deal with the child welfare system and assisting with a variety of issues between the two parties.

I feel like through my internship I was on the cutting edge, Emily says. I was placed with a pilot program doing child welfare mediations. This was the first program like it in the state. The internship really helped prepare me for my current job and the direction my field was taking.

Aziza Hasan – ’03

Aziza had two separate internships, one during the summer in the Harvey County Attorney’s Office and the other during the semester at Offender Victim Ministries. Of her internships, Aziza says, Each gave a different view of our justice system. Working with and observing the county attorney gave me a glimpse of the grey reality of our criminal-justice system, while Offender Victim Ministries gave me hands-on experience of working with individuals to understand the severity of their crime and help them reconcile their relationship with those whom they’d offended. I enjoyed both experiences because they helped me come full-circle to realize the importance of attaining justice for both victims and offenders.

I co-direct a Muslim-Jewish dialogue program in Los Angeles. The Conflict Resolution Certificate and mediation training have been invaluable assets when facilitating tense and often charged discussions. My ability to see conflict through the lens of opportunity and growth has distinguished me from others and provided me with the comfort level needed to successfully guide the transformational process.

Joletta Friesen – ’02

Joletta spent a year in voluntary service in south Texas as a paralegal, advocating for the rights of legal and illegal immigrants, before entering law school at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., and graduating with honors. She currently works for Rouse Hendricks German May PC, Kansas City, Mo.

"My Conflict Resolution Certificate gave me the opportunity to set myself apart, Joletta says. I had interviewers comment on it and I brought up my experience in interviews and received positive responses. Firms like to see that you have training on how to work well with others.

Lisa Kaufman – ’02

To complete her Conflict Resolution Certificate, Lisa spent time working at Offender Victim Ministries in Newton. Since 2002, she’s been employed by Lutheran Social Services in Sioux Falls, S.D. As part of the Refugee and Immigration Program, she helps provide interpreters for individuals who don’t speak English when they arrive in the United States.

The mediation and conflict resolution skills that I learned during my internship have shaped my response to conflict at work, Lisa says. Even though I don’t carry out formal mediation sessions, I try to look for creative solutions to conflicts that arise, while seeking to uncover the underlying needs of the parties involved in a disagreement.

Dan Miller – ’02

Dan did his internship for the Conflict Resolution Certificate with the Hillsboro, Kan., city administrator. Dan is employed at Hesston (Kan.) College as director of the aviation program. Approved by the State of Kansas Supreme Court in core and domestic mediation, he serves as volunteer mediator for the Small Claims Court of Harvey County.

My Conflict Resolution Certificate gives me an opportunity to make a difference in how I face challenges, he says. My internship with a city administrator offered many practical experiences in relationships with the public. The personal growth I experienced in completing the certificate was instrumental in my selection as a volunteer FAA Safety Team member.

Conflict Resolution Certificate:
9 credit hours of coursework.

These courses are skills-based training sessions that originate from KIPCOR and are taught by KIPCOR staff and outside practitioners and experts. Read more about courses offered or see the calendar of upcoming course offerings.

Certificate courses may be taken for credit (undergraduate or graduate) or for non-credit professional training. Courses taken for credit require additional outside reading and writing, and total a minimum of 9 credit hours.

Most courses will be intensives — taught all day over 2–4 full days, or half-days for 2 weeks. There will also be outside reading, writing and/or small group work for each course.

For a more detailed explanation of each course, see the Bethel College Academic catalog .

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.