The Certificate in Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation (CCTR), facilitated by leading scholars and practitioners in the fields of conflict transformation and reconciliation from Duke University and other institutions, provides a timely learning opportunity for pastors and lay leadership seeking theological and practical skills to foster reconciliation in their congregations and surrounding communities.

Through this 20-month non-degree certificate program, participants will cultivate spiritual practices and theological foundations to equip them for a ministry that fosters reconciliation during a time of great divisiveness. Participants will learn to use practical tools such as active listening, conflict coaching, and restorative circles, and gain knowledge to increase their self-awareness about implicit bias and other dispositions that tend to create barriers between individuals and communities.

The CCTR offers a hybrid program to accommodate personal, pastoral, and professional obligations. In-person and online reimagination sessions provide space for experiencing peer collaboration, restorative processes, and applying the Word Made Flesh contextual theology methodology.

This program uses a cohort model through which cohort members together discover the potential for conflict transformation and reconciliation as they journey in deeper spiritual growth and authentic group engagement. The inaugural CCTR cohort session will be led by Dr. Nina Balmaceda, Rev. Dr. Yvette Pressley, and experienced facilitators from the Colossian Forum.

Participants in this certificate program will learn how to:

  • Communicate authentic and transparent conversation on difficult issues 
  • Host and reimagine covenants and liturgies that foster transformation and reconciliation in the church and community 
  • Apply the restorative approach to conflict transformation as distinct from conflict resolution
  • Navigate liminal spaces
  • Grow in active listening
  • Engage in coaching others and facilitate restorative circles for conflict transformation

Requirements

Participants must be current pastors or members of the lay leadership of pan-Methodist Christian congregations in North Carolina. Each participant must commit to:

  • Attend three in-person sessions on the Duke campus and elsewhere in North Carolina (September 27-29, 2022; May 17-19, 2023 and May 2024).
  • Attend seven live 90-minute sessions on Zoom. The exact dates will be determined by cohort and program staff.
  • Complete asynchronous assignments and exercises.

Cost

CFR will cover the tuition costs for pastors and lay leadership of pan-Methodist congregations (including United Methodist and African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Christian Methodist Episcopal, Union American Methodist Episcopal and First African Union Methodist Protestant Churches) in North Carolina. The program will provide meals and lodging (when participants travel from a distance greater than 1.5 hours) during in-person sessions. The cost of transportation and some of the learning materials must be paid by the participants or their congregations.

Apply

Applications for the CCTR inaugural cohort beginning September 27 are now open. Preference will be given to teams of two to three participants (clergy and lay leadership) serving in the same congregation.

Questions

For more information, contact Dr. Yvette Pressley.

Program Staff

Dr. Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda, Program Director

Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Dr. Balmaceda is a scholar-practitioner whose work focuses on interdisciplinary education and civic leadership development for “justpeace” and reconciliation. She is the associate director of the Center for Reconciliation and consulting faculty in reconciliation and Hispanic studies at Duke Divinity School. Dr. Balmaceda also serves as president and CEO of Peace and Hope International (PHI), a faith-based peacebuilding nonprofit dedicated to preventing and confronting violence and other forms of injustice in Latin America. She is a former human rights lawyer, with a Ph.D. in political science and M.A. degrees in international peace studies, and government and international studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Rev. Dr. Yvette Pressley, Program Coordinator

Born and raised in Walterboro, S.C., Dr. Pressley is a former United Methodist Church pastor and executive director of an outreach ministry for marginalized communities. Dr. Pressley has a M.A. in Theological Studies from Erskine Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. from Duke Divinity School. She is also a certified family group conference facilitator, a preceptor, and an instructor of conflict transformation at Duke Divinity School.