SPI 2016 Course Offerings

SPI 2016 is over but preparation for SPI 2017 is underway! Please visit this website in early September for a list of SPI 2017 courses.

Session I – May 9 – 17, 2016
Session II – May 19 – 27, 2016
Session III – May 30 – June 3, 2016
Session IV – June 6 – 10, 2016

Only one course may be taken per session. All courses may be taken for training or for academic credit. Session one and two courses are offered for 3 credits. Session three and four courses are offered for 2 credits but, depending on the course, have the option of taking it for 3 credits with additional work. Session three and four courses that have this option are marked with an asterisk below.

If you have questions about a particular course that are not answered in the information below, please feel free to contact the SPI office at .

Analysis: Understanding Conflict

Gloria Rhodes
Explore the nature, dynamics, and complex causes of conflict and violence. Discuss how relationships, motivations, culture, and worldviews increase or decrease violent conflict. Learn ways to understand and change multifaceted systems that perpetuate conflict.


Resilience-Based Development

Sam Doe and Tim Seidel
Explore resilience as a development outcome to strengthen people, institutions, and systems. Learn to design resilience-based projects and monitor community resilience. Understand emerging frameworks for rigorous assessment of risks, structural vulnerability, the fragility of systems, and the drivers of resilience in and across communities.


Organizational Leadership for Social Transformation

David Brubaker and Roxy Allen Kioko
Why are some movements for social transformation successful while others fail to produce the desired change? This course will focus on the particular role of organizational leaders in working for change, both inside and outside of their own organizations. Learn to address governance structures; personnel and financial management; and managing external networks and partnerships.


Dialogue, Deliberation and Decision-Making Processes

Catherine Barnes
Develop your skills to design and facilitate effective group processes, cultivating openness and a calm presence even during high levels of anxiety and conflict. Learn to help groups improve understanding, strengthen relationships, engage in collaborative problem solving and make effective decisions across conflict divides. Explore a variety of methods and techniques to use with groups of three to 3,000.


Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), Level 2

Elaine Zook Barge and Katie Mansfield
Expand knowledge of the STAR frameworks and models. Learn to adapt STAR concepts to clients’ needs, lead STAR activities, and present workshops grounded in STAR materials. This is an advanced course. Participants must have applied STAR concepts personally or professionally since completion of STAR Level I training (normally for a period of about 3-6 months).


Practice: Skills for Peacebuilding

Johonna Turner and Janine Aberg
Gain essential skills, tools, and knowledge for facilitating conflict transformation in interpersonal and group settings. Focus on being a reflective practitioner, a “bridge-builder”, and how to work with others on conflict interventions. Discuss the challenge of contextually appropriate responses.


Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Hizkias Assefa
Explore the concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation, their various components, and the place they occupy in the spectrum of social science conflict-handling mechanisms. Examine the concepts from different philosophical, cultural, and disciplinary perspectives and look at how they have been used for healing interpersonal relationships as well as addressing large-scale social (political, inter-ethnic, or international) conflicts.


Training Design and Facilitation

Marshall Yoder and Koila Costello-Olsson
Explore the design and facilitation of peacebuilding trainings. Experience and practice various methods for teaching adults new knowledge and skills that allow learning to stick. Participants will have the opportunity to design and facilitate a portion of their own training.


Community Organizing for Social Change

Mark Chupp
Explore strategies for organizing and building networks and communities using strength- and need-based models as a means of promoting social change. Learn to integrate advances in social networking and information technology into organizing. Discuss a mix of confrontational and collaborative approaches. Current organizing projects will be used to teach practical skills.


Foundations of Restorative Justice *

Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz and Johonna Turner
Explore an alternative to the dilemmas posed by many current criminal justice systems’ focus on punishment. Critically examine the values, principles, and practices of a restorative justice approach. Discuss the application of restorative justice within education, community planning, youth development, transitional justice, and gender-based violence prevention, among other fields.


Performance Arts for Community Learning and Action *

Heidi Winters Vogel and Roger Foster
Balance listening, learning, and action in performance-based programs that highlight community strength and wisdom. Build on traditional and performance-based research methods, engaging communities to translate knowledge into events promoting positive change. Learn to evaluate and assess performance-based community engagement programs to strengthen programs and make them more attractive to funders. No artistic experience or skills required.


Peacebuilding Responses to Violent Extremism *

Lisa Schirch
Explore violent extremism (VE) through a peacebuilding lens. Compare different definitions, geographical expressions, root causes, and responses to VE. The course will provide participants with a conceptual, legal, and practitioner-oriented understanding of VE. Using a systems-based approach and case studies, participants will explore the unintended impacts of different responses to VE, particularly on civil society.


Human System Dynamics in Action: Shifting Patterns for Peace *

Glenda Eoyang
Learn to make your implicit knowledge explicit, see simplicity in chaos, view patterns as they emerge, understand them in useful ways, and take intentional action to influence behaviors and patterns that generate peace or conflict. Looking at complex systems, build adaptive capacity at the intersection of theory and effective practice.


Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR), Level 1 *

Elaine Zook Barge and David Anderson Hooker
Explore processes and tools for addressing trauma, breaking cycles of violence, and building resilience. Increase awareness of the impact of trauma on the body, mind, beliefs, and behavior of individuals, communities, and societies. Discuss meta-level trauma awareness as well as personal/societal situations that have caused trauma and how to move forward.


Truth-telling, Reconciliation and Restorative Justice

Carl Stauffer and Fania Davis
Explore linkages between truth and justice and the form/function of truth-telling in the pursuit of healing justice. Analyze the history, principles and practices of truth-telling in relation to the restorative justice movement. Discuss informal (indigenous) and formal (truth & reconciliation commissions) practices of truth-telling from different parts of the world. Of particular interest is to imagine possible future applications in dealing with police violence against young men of color in the US context.


Body-Mind Practices for Building Resilience

Katie Mansfield and Katia Ornelas
Taking the body-mind connection seriously, peacebuilders, caregivers and change makers need full-bodied, creative engagement in activities for self-care and well-being. Explore strategies, tools, and exercises for individual participants and communities/organizations to cultivate safety, healthy uses of power, and a deeper sense of connection. Discuss cultural contexts, taboos, stereotypes, and biases that keep us from integrating creative, embodied practice into work for social change and peace.


Program and Project Management for Social Change Leaders *

Roxy Allen Kioko
Most organizations accomplish their missions through complex programs of interrelated projects. Course participants will improve their capacity to balance the art and science of managing projects and programs by building technical skills, adopting practices of leadership and self-management, and focusing on social-change sector-specific competencies.


What’s next?

Zehr Institute Webinars