Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the ongoing travel restrictions and social distancing directives in place across North America in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, CMU’s Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP) has announced changes to its June 2020 courses and will not be hosting in-person courses in 2020. Please see this post for more information.

2020 CSOP Changes

Who is the CSOP For?

Application Questions

Payment Questions

Logistical Questions

International Participants

What is CSOP doing to protect people from the COVID-19 virus?

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are always considering what is best for the health and safety of our participants, staff, faculty, and the communities that we serve. Currently all CSOP staff are working from home and CSOP will not be holding any in-person courses on campus at CMU this coming June of 2020. In order to still connect and provide opportunities for peacebuilding training in these uncertain times, CSOP is offering three courses through an online format. For more information, please see our Courses page.

Which courses are still running at CSOP this year?

The following three courses will be offered in online format only, via the Zoom platform:

  • Leading in an Age of Polarization, with David Brubaker (Eastern Mennonite University). 
  • Does Religion Cause Violence?, with William Cavanaugh (DePaul University)
  • Reconciling Stories: Indigenous Laws and Lands, with Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair (University of Manitoba) REVISED COURSE – this course may be of interest to participants originally registered for Indigenous Politics, Land and Globalization (Rauna Kuokkanen) and Dreaming of Kanata and Canada (Niigaan Sinclair).

Find more information about these courses on our Courses page and register using our online form.

Why are some courses cancelled and others available as online courses?

Some courses at CSOP work best in a face-to-face context. For example, our skills training courses such as Active Bystander Training would be difficult to facilitate in an online setting. We also prioritized courses where the instructor could easily work in this time zone (CST) so that we will be able to better support online courses as they are happening.

Is there a new deadline for my application for CSOP 2020 online courses?

The registration deadline for all courses is the Friday prior to the course beginning (May 29 or June 5).

If I am registered for a class that was cancelled, can I get a refund?

Yes, participants who have paid the $100 advance deposit or full course fees for a cancelled course may receive refunds if they do not wish to register for one of the three rescheduled/revised courses. Refunds will be made by the same method payment was made, and will take 8-12 weeks to process – we appreciate your patience.

If I registered for a course that was cancelled, can I switch to a course being offered online?

Yes, participants who have already registered for all originally scheduled CSOP courses will be contacted via email to confirm their registrations in the rescheduled/revised courses, and to arrange refunds if meals and lodging have been paid.

If you were registered in one of the courses that has been cancelled and want to switch into a different course, contact the CSOP office by April 3. After April 3, you may still register but a spot in an alternate CSOP course cannot be guaranteed.

If I’m registered for a class that will be offered online but don’t want to take an online class can I get a refund?

Yes, participants who have paid the full course fees for a course that is now being offered online may receive refunds if they do not wish to take an online course. Please email us as soon as possible to withdraw from your course. Refunds will be made by the same method payment was made, and will take 8-12 weeks to process – we appreciate your patience.

What are the requirements to take a course online with CSOP?

To participate in the 2020 CSOP online, you will need (at minimum):

  • A computer or mobile device with a camera, microphone, and speakers. A headset with microphone is useful (but not required) for this purpose and to cut down on background noise
  • A strong enough internet connection to connect to Zoom (click here for Zoom technical specifications). Please review the section that gives bandwidth requirements and confirm that you will be able to meet these requirements.
  • The ability to access and download documents from and upload documents to an online learning platform (OneNote, BlackBaud, Moodle, etc.)
  • The ability to stream videos posted by faculty members and classmates.

There will be a technology check in the week prior to your course. We want to make sure everyone is able to participate and feels comfortable with online learning prior to when courses begin (If you are unsure that you have the minimum technology requirements needed to participate in zoom conferences, please check the Zoom technical specifications here).

Can I still take a course if I don’t have access to good internet service?

We would not recommend taking a course with CSOP online if you do not have access to sufficient internet service, especially if you are considering taking a course for credit. Poor internet connectivity may prevent you from being able to fully participate in the class and you may miss some of the information given. If you are dealing with technical glitches, this may also disrupt the rest of the class online and our instructors will not be able to give you technical support. You can find Zoom technical specifications here. Review the section that gives bandwidth requirements to confirm that you will be able to meet these requirements.

How will you maintain the unique character of CSOP in an online format? Will there be opportunities to connect with others attending CSOP via online platforms?

Unfortunately all of our 3 courses are running in different time slots, which makes it difficult to set up connecting point between classes. We know that a fantastic dynamic of CSOP is meeting participants from different classes and creating peacebuilder connections from around the world. We are currently exploring how we might be able to provide a space for gathering online outside of the “classroom” at CSOP this year, so check our website later for further announcements.

We hope to be back to our face to face interactive exchange in 2021 so stay tuned for those courses. We know they’re going to be great!

Who is the CSOP For?

Who should attend the CSOP? Do I have to be an academic or an experienced activist?

The CSOP is designed for anyone between the ages of 20 and 90 who is interested in peace work, including not-for-profit staff and interns, activists and peace educators, community leaders, religious leaders, teachers and professors, students (undergraduate or graduate), government officials, and those who are new to peacebuilding.

I am not Mennonite or Christian. Am I really a good fit here?

Yes, the CSOP is for peacebuilders from all faiths, all countries and all identity groups. The CSOP is a learning community of diverse peacebuilders who come together to learn, network and engage in peacebuilding. The school is designed to be an environment characterized by (a) educating for peace and justice, (b) learning through thinking and doing, (c) generous hospitality and radical dialogue, and (d) the modeling of invitational community.

The CSOP is hosted by CMU, a Christian university that is rooted in the historic Anabaptist tradition of peace, justice and service. Drawing on our 450-year faith-based peace tradition, we want to create a space where people from different backgrounds and perspectives can connect in positive and respectful ways—learning together, supporting each other and creating networks of engaged peacebuilders.

People of all races, cultures, religions and belief systems who seek to teach others, to learn, and to experience a place of peace fit well into the Canadian School of Peacebuilding. Read some of our testimonials and participant profiles to hear about the experience of participants from a variety of backgrounds.

Am I qualified to attend?

All participants must:

  • be fluent in spoken and written English, and
  • have a secondary-school diploma, and at least two years of university or equivalent work experience.

Application Questions

What is the application process?

Please complete either the online form or pdf form available on our website and pay the non-refundable $100 advance deposit. After the form and deposit are received, your application will be processed. All applications must be received before April 1 to avoid the non-refundable late fee of $50.

International Applicants – No applications will be accepted after May 3, due to the times required for visa processing.

Canadian/US Applicants – Late applications may be accepted until the day before courses begin, space permitting.

CMU Students (already admitted to a degree program) – Register through your Student Portal by April 1st. Late registrations may be accepted.

Once a class is full, any further participants may join a waiting list, or may be registered in their second choice, if indicated on the application form, until a space opens in their first choice. In past years, some CSOP courses have filled up, so apply early to ensure your place in the course of your choice.

Will you send me a confirmation that you have received my application?

You will receive an automatic response email once you have completed your application. This email indicates that we have received your application. We will email you if we need clarification for any parts of your application, or to confirm that your application has been accepted. Please be patient; we receive many applications and may not be able to process your application immediately.

I applied and was accepted last year. Can that application count for this year?

No, please complete a new application HERE.

I am currently a student at another university. Can I take a CSOP course for academic credit?

As a current student of another institution, you are required to have a Letter of Permission (LoP) sent from your home institution to CMU. This process allows your home institution to evaluate if/how a CSOP course will fit into your degree program. This letter is important as it ensures that the credit you earn at the CSOP can be transferred to your program at your home institution. Please request that an LoP be sent as soon as possible to:

Canadian School of Peacebuilding – Letter of Permission
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg MB  R3P 2N2

What is the application process for graduate students?

In order to evaluate your eligibility to receive graduate credit, we need your official transcripts of all of your post-secondary studies in addition to the Application & Registration form. Please ask the institution(s) at which you completed your undergraduate studies to send an official transcript of your work to:

Canadian School of Peacebuilding – Transcript
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg MB  R3P 2N2

CMU offers a Master of Arts in Peace and Collaborative Development (MA-PCD) degree and most CSOP courses can be used towards this degree. You may also take CSOP graduate level courses for credit through CMU’s extended education program before you register for a graduate degree. This option can be helpful if you are considering graduate studies but would like to try out graduate level courses before committing to the program.

For more information about the MA-PCD, including admission procedures and requirements, please go to or contact Valerie Smith, the Associate Registrar for Graduate Studies, at

Please note that admission into the CSOP has different admission requirements and is a separate process from admission into the MA-PCD program.

I’m having trouble with the online form. What should I do now?

If you have trouble with the online form, please download our PDF 2020 CSOP Application and Registration Form and our 2020 CSOP Lodging and Meals Form.  You can complete the form and then either scan and email it to, or mail it to:

Canadian School of Peacebuilding
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg MB  R3P 2N2

If you do have trouble with the online form, please send an email to, explaining as precisely as possible what the problem was, including error codes and screenshots, if possible. We would like to know about any problems so that we can improve our form and processes for our participants. Thanks.

Can I take more than one class each week?

No. Each class meets from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday, so it is only possible to take one class per week.

Can I come for just one week or do I have to come for both weeks?

You can come for one week or stay for two. Classes are 5 days, Monday to Friday.

I'm not able to come for a 5-day class. Can I sign up for just one or two days?

No, it is not possible to sign up for just part of a course. CSOP courses are designed to build community and learning over the full length of the course.

Payment Questions

How much does it cost to attend the CSOP?

All costs are detailed on our Costs & Payment Options page. The course fees are the same for international participants and domestic participants.

What are my payment options?

Payment from international applicants must be processed via, a secure, transparent and inexpensive service for international payments.  Applicants from Canada or the US may make payments via credit card, cheque (payable to Canadian Mennonite University), or money order. Email for more information.

Please note that your registration is not complete and your place in the course is not reserved until we have received full payment.

The payment link on the website doesn’t work. What should I do?

If you are having trouble paying your CSOP fees online, please email us at and we will work to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Are there scholarships or travel subsidies available?

The Waseskun (the Cree word for “the moment after a storm when the sun begins to shine through”) Canadian School of Peacebuilding Bursary has been established to provide financial support to an Indigenous or Métis participant. All Indigenous and Métis CSOP participants are eligible to apply for the Waseskun Bursary. Funds for bursary assistance are limited. CSOP/CMU cannot guarantee any assistance, but will consider and assess each application carefully in relation to all other applications received. To apply, please submit a completed Waseskun CSOP Bursary Application 2020 along with a CSOP application.

Unfortunately, beyond the Waseskun CSOP Bursary, we do not have scholarships, student sponsorships or travel subsidies available this year, though we hope this will be a possibility in the future. We are aware that the costs may be a barrier to attending the CSOP for some qualified applicants and we would like to be able to provide assistance to such candidates. However, we simply do not have funds available for scholarships, subsidies or grants at this time. We hope you are able to find alternate sources of funding and that you will be able to join us at the CSOP this summer.

Can I pay when I arrive?

No. We require full payment in advance in order to complete your application and reserve your seat in the course. 

What is your refund policy?

If a participant decides to withdraw from a class, it is important to inform CSOP so that there is an opportunity for another participant to take the seat in that class. The withdrawal and refund schedule is as follows:

  • Up until one week before classes start – 100% refund of all fees, minus the $100 non-refundable advance deposit and the $50 late fee, if applicable.
  • One week prior to the start of classes and 9:00am first day of class – 50% refund of all fees.
  • After the start of the first day of classes we will no longer issue a refund.

Refunds require 6-8 weeks to process.

Logistical Questions

Will I have access to the university library and other resources?

Yes, while participating in the program you will have access to the Canadian Mennonite University library, internet, and other resources on campus.

How do I arrange for on-campus meals and lodging?

On-campus lodging and meals are offered as packages.  All lodging and meal packages must be reserved and paid for in advance. Unfortunately, we are not able to customize packages. Please find more information on the Lodging and Meals page.

Off-campus lodging and meals are the responsibility of the participant.

How do I get to CSOP?

CSOP participants are required to arrange their own transportation to come to CSOP.

CSOP is located on campus at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in central Canada. The University is about a 20-minute drive from the Winnipeg international airport, the Winnipeg bus terminal and the Winnipeg train station. Find links to maps, and more information about our campus on our Getting to CMU information page.

What is the difference between taking a course for training and taking a course for credit?

Regardless of whether you take a course for training or for credit, the knowledge and skills you will gain will be very similar. One of the main differences between training and credit courses is that participants taking course for credit will have additional work to do for the course, including additional readings, written assignments, and projects. Another difference is that taking a course for credit costs more than taking a course for training.

Where can I find the syllabus and readings for my course?

Syllabi and readings for each course will be posted on our Courses page in February.

I might have to miss a day of class. Will I still get my certificate if I don’t attend every day?

You can miss up to half a day of class and still receive your attendance certificate.

International Participants

How do I find out if I need a visa? For which type of visa should I apply?

A list of Countries and territories whose citizens require visas in order to enter Canada as visitors can be found at If you require a visa, you will need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Since our program is less than six months, a Study Permit is not required. The TRV is sufficient and is normally a simpler process.

What support can you provide to help me as I go through the visa process?

Once we have received full payment and your application has been approved, we will send you an official letter of invitation to use in the visa application process. Normally these letters are scanned and sent by email. If you wish, we can send you the original via XpressPost, but you will need to assume those costs ($50-100).

What should I include with my visa application?

As you are preparing to apply for a visa, you may find the information on the following websites to be helpful:

Why do I have to pay before receiving a letter of invitation? Do I get a refund if my visa application is denied?

We do not issue letters of invitation unless we have received full payment. The reasons for this are:

  1. When an applicant has paid, we can include this information on the letter of invitation. We believe that being able to confirm an applicant’s ability to cover the costs of being here strengthens the application.
  2. Only issuing letters of invitation to those applicants who have paid helps to ensure our letters go to support only serious applicants, which protects the credibility of the CSOP and serious CSOP applicants.

While we feel this policy is important, we also want to be supportive of international applicants and we have developed our refund policy with this in mind.  Our refund policy is as follows:

"If a participant decides to withdraw from a class, it is important to inform CSOP so that there is an opportunity for another participant to take the seat in that class. The withdrawal and refund schedule is as follows:

  • Up until one week before classes start – 100% refund of all fees, minus the $100 non-refundable advance deposit and the $50 late fee, if applicable.
  • One week prior to the start of classes and 9:00am first day of class – 50% refund of all fees.
  • After the start of the first day of classes we will no longer issue a refund.

Refunds require 6-8 weeks to process."

We have tried to develop policies that minimize the risk for serious applicants and also allow them to present a strong application when applying for a visa.

Do I need health insurance?

Yes. If you do not have valid health insurance for Canada, you are required to purchase health insurance before you come to Canada.