This four-week facilitated online course explores where and to what extent religion matters and how to engage with religious actors and institutions in times of peace and conflict. The purpose of this course, inspired by and based on an approach developed by Search for Common Ground, is to provide training and serve as a resource for those working in peacebuilding who may be unfamiliar with (or even wary of!) religious engagement, or who are looking to gain greater confidence in working with religious actors and institutions. Those enrolled can earn a certification of participation upon completing the course.
While religion has the power to be a force for both peace and war, many religious actors and religious institutions seek to be part of the solution to conflict. In fact, numerous religious actors and faith-based institutions work to mitigate violent conflict, help those suffering from violence and oppression, and promote peace. Given the complex roles of religion in peace and the presence of conflict dynamics unique to each context, it is important for anyone seeking to engage in peacebuilding activities to understand where and to what extent religion matters and to then determine whether and how to engage with religious actors and institutions, during times of both peace and conflict.
- Describe religious engagement in peacebuilding and the benefits and risks of engaging with religious actors.
- Reflect on and navigate your own assumptions and biases in religious engagement.
- Illustrate who religious actors are and their roles or potential roles in peace and conflict dynamics.
- Investigate ways to engage inclusively with religious actors and institutions.
- Evaluate the benefits of engaging religious actors and institutions, and know when and how it is appropriate to do so.
USIP’s new instructor-led format blends a self-paced curriculum with weekly live, interactive webinars. Enrolled participants will join a group of fellow learners from around the world. Each week will feature a new lesson that includes a real-world case study, a skills-building exercise, and small group discussions. A new course is offered each month and is four weeks in duration. The course is open to the public and is free of charge. Certificates of participation are awarded at the conclusion of the course.
- Weekly Self-Paced Curriculum: Learn at your own pace and schedule through carefully curated self-guided curriculum and instructional videos.
- Weekly Live Webinars: Every Tuesday, a USIP expert will host a country case study, a facilitated exercise, and small group discussions.
- Group-Based: Join and learn alongside other participants from around the world.
- Practical Case Studies: Develop skills through real-world exercises and small group discussions.
- Certificates: Receive a certificate of participation at the conclusion of a course.