All courses can be taken for training or for undergraduate credit. In addition, courses marked with an asterisk (*) can also be taken for graduate credit and can be used towards CMU's MA in Peace and Collaborative Development (Click here for more information on the MA-PCD). Each CSOP course runs for five days, Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Participants may apply for only one course each week and may apply for one week or for two weeks.

Revised 2020 Courses

NEW – Reconciling Stories: Indigenous Laws & Lands*

This course will be offered in online format only, via the Zoom platform for one week in the mornings and afternoons.

Revised course schedule: June 1-5, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM and 1:00–4:00 PM CST for one week.

Instructor: Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair
POLS/INDS/PCTS-3950 and PCD-5190

Syllabus – coming soon

This course introduces participants to narratives of Indigenous laws and lands and how Indigenous peoples have used story, song, and oral and written expressions to articulate epistemologies, resistance, and record their histories, rights and responsibilities to themselves and others. Issues in the course will include the impact of colonization and globalization on Indigenous peoples of Canada and the role of social justice movements nationally and internationally in historical and contemporary struggles for recognition of sovereignty and resistance to theft of lands and resources. Participants will study Indigenous traditional and contemporary literatures (specifically graphic texts and novels), Indigenous critical theory, and devise responses and presentations based on their impressions and ideas.

Does Religion Cause Violence?*

This course will now be offered in online format only, via the Zoom platform for two weeks in the mornings.

Revised course schedule: June 8-12 and 15-19, 9:00 AM–12:00 PM CST for two weeks.

Instructor: William Cavanaugh
BTS/PCTS-3895C and BTS/PCD-5700C

Syllabus – Undergrad

Syllabus – Grad

This course examines the common notion that religion has a peculiar tendency to promote violence.  It will analyze secularist treatments of religion and violence and narratives of the European “Wars of Religion,” questioning what is meant by “religion,” whether secular ideologies are more peaceful, and how and why the distinction between “religious” and “secular” is constructed in the first place. This course will also examine René Girard’s theory of violence and his argument that Christianity is the “religion” that ends religious violence.

Leading in an Age of Polarization*

This course will now be offered in online format only, via the Zoom platform for two weeks in the afternoons.

Revised course schedule: June 8-12 and 15-19, 1:30–4:30 PM CST for two weeks.

Instructor: David Brubaker
PCTS/BUSI-3950 and PCD-5990

Syllabus – Coming soon

Polarization refers to the process by which more and more people in a society come to hold opinions at the more extreme ends of the spectrum, while the number of people in the moderate center dwindles. Polarization is both a global and an historic phenomenon, as it has surfaced in many countries and at numerous points in history. The challenge for leaders of any system (congregations, businesses, schools, governments and other organizations) is how to lead when many organizational members instinctively “take sides” based on group loyalties rather than careful processing. This course will present findings from the research on what causes polarization, along with proven strategies from community, congregational and university leaders who have successfully led in polarized environments. Participants will be invited to share the challenges in their unique contexts and will leave with a customized plan for effective leadership in their setting.

This course qualifies as an elective for students in the MATS, MACM, and MDiv programs at CMU. Please see the Director for details.

This course can be used towards three days of electives at Mediation Services' Resolution Skills Centre Conflict Management Certificate OR Leadership Skills Certificate.

Indigenous Politics, Land, and Globalization* – CANCELLED

Instructor: Rauna Kuokkanen
PCTS/IDS/POLS-3950C and PCD-5390C

Syllabus – Undergrad

Syllabus – Grad

This course introduces participants to critical considerations of globalization from the perspective of Indigenous peoples from around the world. Issues explored in the course include Indigenous epistemologies, impacts of globalization on Indigenous peoples, human rights of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous social movements. The focus will be on two dimensions of globalization: global Indigenous organizing in the United Nations and resource extraction on Indigenous territories. This course will be especially relevant to people desiring to build their knowledge of indigenous worldviews and political dynamics.

Active Bystander TrainingCANCELLED

Instructor: Joy Meeker

Syllabus – Coming soon

This course will support participants to intervene effectively when they witness violence or harm. Informed by nonviolence, conflict transformation, and anti-oppression work, participants will consider a range of practices to disrupt harmful behavior. The course will be highly participatory, including exercises and role-plays in order to practice bystander intervention skills that students can apply to school, work, and public spaces. Participants will learn how to respond to incidents ranging from hostile confrontations to everyday remarks in hopes of affirming the value of diversity and respect.

This course can be used towards three days of electives at Mediation Services' Resolution Skills Centre Conflict Management Certificate OR Leadership Skills Certificate.

Dreaming of Kanata and Canada: Indigenous Graphic Novels and Reconciliation* CANCELLED

Instructor: Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair
ENGL/PCTS-3950C; PCD-5190C

Syllabus – Coming soon

While Canada has become a great nation-state, it has not yet come close to the original Iroquoian word Kanata, a "village." Indigenous peoples have struggled for over two centuries to have their voices and gifts heard in history books, government policies, and the most well-respected stories of this nation. Graphic writing is the oldest form of written expression by Indigenous peoples in North America—examples include the Mixtec Codex Zouche-Nuttall to Anishinaabe birch bark scrolls, rock paintings, beadwork, and other forms. In these texts we find images and ideas of nationhood, culture, identity, and even Kanata. In recent times, many Indigenous storytellers have (re-)turned to graphic writing—now in the form of graphic novels—to express themselves, combining traditional aesthetics with contemporary visual art forms. A “wave” of publications have found their way into the mass market and are now influencing an entire generation of readers. At the same time, few images have been more historically popular to mainstream graphic artists than that of Aboriginal people, who have acted as foils, heroes, and sidekicks for their western counterparts. In this course, students will gain a variety of skills through critical reading and combine these with techniques to learn how to read, engage, and share Indigenous graphic novels today.

Trauma, Healing, and Reconciliation* CANCELLED

Instructor: Kelly Bernardin-Dvorak
PCTS/PSYC-3950C; PCD-5190C

Syllabus – Undergrad

Syllabus – Grad

A creative exploration of current discourses in trauma, healing, and reconciliation. This course will focus on current theories and practices influencing helping professions and disciplines.  There will be an emphasis on approaches that address violence, oppression, and colonialism in ways that build peace, humanize systems, and unify communities. Participants can expect dialogue circles, storytelling, and expressive art-making as means to deepen personal awareness and strengthen practices and the expansion of helping skills towards collective wellbeing. This course is rooted in an understanding that the more we work towards being a diverse and respectful “US,” the less we are pushed towards dividing practices that result in an oppressed or othered “THEM.”

To hear what past participants are saying about the Canadian School of Peacebuilding, take a look at this video: