The Art of Mediation

  • 6-week on-line course
  • January 7 to February 16, 2013
  • 2 CEU’s
  • $300.00
  • 3-4 hours of on-site and on-line participation required per week

Course Description: Conflict is a natural process which rises through the dance of interpersonal faith formation within community. Conflict can be a creative process of moving communities into new vision and ministry or conflict can become a disabling event, when persons choose sides splitting the community or congregation into fractions. Through techniques in spiritual direction and spiritual formation, participants of The Art of Mediation will explore how conflict can be a creative expression of the holy and a transforming catalyst for new ministry and healing of relationship.

This practical application class will have two components:

  1. At-home learning with on-site ministry partners and/or community working with real life situations which create conflict and discovering creative ways to resolve the conflict and hear the other through spiritual direction and simulation experiences.
  2. Weekly on-line participation.

Content: the three areas covered in this class:

  1. The Art of Community looking at diversity and finding common ground for formation of community.
  2. The Dance of Dialogue where participants will experience listening and storytelling skills while naming models of mediation useful within congregations.
  3. Next Steps: Footprints Forming New Possibilities: Connecting Community. Leading the community into new possibility, by stepping into a SMART plan as each participant outlines footprints to form new possibility in ministry.

Desired Outcome: Participants will have a hands-on experience learning transferable techniques in visioning, mediation and conflict resolution within the congregation.

Requirements for class participation:Required readings are listed below. Questions you have from these readings may be posted on-line for wisdom sharing from the class participants.

Margaret Guenther, Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction, (Cowley Publications, Boston, Massachusetts, 1992)

Uploaded article on Mediation from The Mediator Handbook: A Training Guide to Mediation Techniques and Skills, Written by Roberta S. Mitchell and Scot E. Dewhirst, co-Directors, Center for Dispute Resolution, Capital University Law School, Columbus, Ohio, 1990.

Reverend Dr. Brenda Buckwell is a nationally known retreat leader, teacher, and adjunct faculty at United Theological Seminary where she has taught the United Methodist Spiritual Formation Certification classes. With 25 years of congregational pastoral leadership, Brenda has extensive experience in practical application of spiritual direction and conflict resolution. As consultant for individuals, local congregations, districts and conference, Brenda weaves together spiritual direction (Mercy Center) and mediation training (Capital Law School), encouraging congregations to healthy communication and vision for vital renewing ministry. Brenda is the Co-founder of The Fellowship of United Methodist Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders kindling Hearts on Fire. After serving as chair of Hearts on Fire for over 10 years, Brenda now serves as Director of Learning and Formation for this national affiliate organization of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church.

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