The Academy’s practitioner-oriented courses prepare domestic and international professionals to work effectively in conflict zones abroad and help decision makers develop successful approaches to preventing, managing, and resolving conflict. Courses emphasize strategic thinking, practical application, and an interactive and diverse experience. (Note that some courses will not be offered every semester.)

people's hands shown working at a table

Governance and Democratic Practices in War-to-Peace Transitions
Develop effective strategies for establishing stable institutions and supporting a robust civil society. Modules address the interrelationships among issues of corruption, accountability, rule of law, elections, political party development, public administration, and economic reconstruction in divided societies.

Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law
What is the difference between international human rights law and international humanitarian law? This introductory course will answer this question and other basic questions related to this field: How are these terms used and applied by international bodies? How do they interact and what are their impacts in conflict-affected states?

Land, Property and Conflict
Disputes and grievances over land and property are implicated in practically all conflicts. This course provides policymakers and practitioners with analytical tools for assessing and addressing an array of complex land and property disputes, from competing ownership claims and restitution to customary land rights and illegal urban settlements.

Managing Intergroup Conflict through Facilitation
How do you get parties to a conflict to listen to one another? How do you build trust and consensus in a group setting? Managing conflicts often relies on having solid facilitation skills—skills that help parties to a conflict resolve their dispute. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to effectively deal with conflicts and build sustainable relationships.

Mediating Violent Conflict
Mediation is both an art and science, and requires skilled analysis, careful planning, and effective communication. Improve your ability to understand the motivations and objectives of the various parties, promote ripeness, develop effective relationships, increase leverage, and strengthen mediation capacity.

Men and Women in War and Peace
Men and women experience war differently, so it is essential to understand the dynamic impact of gender roles in conflict and post-conflict settings. Participants will practice applying a "gender lens" to peace processes and conflict prevention scenarios. Using a practical example of gender analysis and the inclusion of gender in peacebuilding, participants will apply a core set of gender analysis skills to a real-world scenario and develop their own action plans.

Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa
Stemming electoral violence in transition and fragile environments requires understanding the broader landscape of the conflict and how that conflict is managed. This course will help practitioners identify triggers of electoral violence and develop an action plan to help stem this violence. Participants will learn how to build positive relationships among civil society, local and national government agencies, and regional and international organizations.

Rule of Law
In conflict-affected states, re-establishing the rule of law is a first-order priority in preventing future conflict and in ensuring sustainable peace and security. Learn about rule of law assistance in conflict-affected states. Participants practice core rule of law skills and examine the dilemmas faced in rule of law promotion.

Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – Partnership with Eastern Mennonite University
STAR Level I training is a course for those whose work brings them in contact with populations dealing with historic or current trauma. The STAR experience provides the basics about trauma, peacebuilding, and restorative justice, with examples of activities and other ways to integrate this knowledge into participants’ work and communities. Bodywork, meditations from different spiritual traditions, and reflection are woven into the experience. 

U.N. Peacekeeping Today: Why it Matters
Learn about the new generation of U.N. peacekeeping operations in such places as Mali and the Central African Republic and how to apply the lessons learned from this more aggressive approach to your work in the field. 

Understanding Islamic Law
Though often maligned and misunderstood, Islamic law is one of the longest enduring and most widely subscribed systems of law in the world. Participants will also gain an in-depth understanding of selected aspects of Islamic constitutionalism, Islamic criminal law, and how classical and contemporary Islamic law comports with international human rights law.

Understanding Trauma: How Do We Build Resilience?
Trauma affects the mind, body, and spirit of individuals, families, communities, and nations. Learn about the physiology of trauma and how this manifests itself in human behavior. Develop skills in recognizing trauma-affected behavior and strategies and tools to effectively work with these populations.

Winning Together: Multiparty Negotiations
You have great ideas to transform the world. But do you know how to get your ideas implemented? One critical capability you'll need involves creating coalitions and negotiating an agenda. Participants will learn how to reach out to potential allies, negotiate a substantive agenda in a way that is mutually beneficial, manage large meetings and dialogue processes, and create mechanisms for accountability and follow-up.