Conflict Transformation Studies Minor

Study Conflict Transformation

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Tension is an inevitable part of life. At Goshen College, we believe that conflict can be beneficial when we engage it in healthy ways. If students choose this minor at Goshen College, they will learn to see how disagreements and tension can lead to growth, reconciliation, and social change.

Learning about conflict management at Goshen College provides students with an understanding of the origins, root causes and dynamics of interpersonal tension and skills in nonviolent communication, conflict mediation, and negotiation. Students learn to understand conflict analysis from different perspectives among all parties involved, and to intervene constructively in challenging situations.

Learn How to use Dispute Resolution for Growth and Change

This minor is designed for students who hope to use mediation training, alternative dispute resolution and communication skills in a particular career path. They will take classes to give them practical skills and theological, ethical, and philosophical understandings of conflict management and justice. Course themes include conflict and communication; personal, interpersonal, and systemic violence; mediation skills and facilitation; social justice and restorative justice; and power and social change.

The conflict management minor from Goshen College will give you the skills and knowledge to pursue many different career opportunities, even if you’re not pursuing a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in conflict resolution. Career paths include professional mediator, facilitation, community organizing, specialized training programs, nonprofit leadership, public policy, international relations, social work, criminal justice, and law school. And you will be prepared to work in various settings, including government agencies, business, education, mediation associations, professional organizations, legal research, sustainable development, human rights, international organizations and nonprofit organizations.

The Benefits of Studying Conflict Resolution

By the time students graduate, they will be equipped with an appreciation of the transformative power of tension and the tools to initiate peace and reconciliation. You will learn to identify and work through complex intercultural conflicts and be able to promote dialogue in individual or group settings as a skilled facilitator, mediator, and negotiator. Peacemaking skills make students indispensable members of their workplace, community and graduate programs in a wide variety of fields.

Gaining mediation experience can be an opportunity for personal growth. In addition to learning about organizational conflict, students will also gain a deeper understanding of themselves and others. You will learn about the different stages of tension and how to deal with emotions such as anger, fear, and hatred. This minor will also help you understand your own biases and empathize with others.

Gain Conflict Management Skills to Initiate Peace

If you are interested in pursuing a degree in conflict resolution, this program will give you a strong foundation in the theoretical understanding and practices of peacebuilding. This minor is also an excellent complement to majors such as sociology, psychology, social work, education, business, and political science; including graduate school studies in these areas. Financial aid options are available.

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Regina Shands Stoltzfus

Professor of Peace Justice & Conflict Studies
Director of PJCS