Training

Ethno-Religious Mediation Training

Become a Certified Ethno-Religious Mediator

Call for Applications

ICERM is currently accepting applications for ethnic, racial, and religious conflict mediation training. Apply to join upcoming classes. Classes are held virtually in Winter, Spring and Summer. In the Fall, ICERM hosts a residential training in White Plains, New York. 

Through this program, ICERM instructors train new ethno-religious mediators using the traditional classroom and e-learning modalities. Interested participants should apply for the modality that is convenient for them. Whether you apply for the residential or virtual program, ICERM will make sure the quality and outcome of the training remain the same.

Course Goal

To build capacity for resolving ethnic, racial, and religious conflicts in all sectors of the society.

Course Modules

Conflict Analysis 

CA 101 – Introduction to Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Conflict

CA 102 – Theories of Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Conflict

Policy Analysis and Design

PAD 101 – Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Conflict within the Political System

PAD 102 – The Role of the Police and Military in Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Conflict

PAD 103 – Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Conflict Reduction Strategies

Culture and Communication

CAC 101 – Communication in Conflict and Conflict Resolution

CAC 102 – Culture and Conflict Resolution: Low-Context and High-Context Cultures

CAC 103 – Worldview Differences

CAC 104 – Bias Awareness, Intercultural Education, and Intercultural Competency Building

Ethno-Religious Mediation

ERM 101 – The Mediation of Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Conflicts, including a review of six models of mediation: problem solving, transformative, narrative, restorative relationship-based, faith-based, and indigenous systems and processes.

Fall 2022 Class: September 4, 11, 18, 25; October 2, 9, 16, and 23 (Residential Training in White Plains, New York).

Winter 2023 Class: January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5, 12, 19, 26 (Virtual Training).

Spring 2023 Class: April 2, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 21, 28; June 4, 11, 18, 25 (Virtual Training).

Summer 2023 Class: July 2, 9, 16, 23; August 6, 13, 20, 27; September 3, 10, 17, 24 (Virtual Training).

Fall 2023 Class: October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12, 19, 26; December 3, 10, 17 (Residential Training in White Plains, New York).

You have an academic or professional background in peace and conflict studies, conflict analysis and resolution, mediation, dialogue, diversity, inclusion and equity or in any other dispute resolution area, and you are seeking to acquire and develop specialized skills in the area of tribal, ethnic, racial, cultural, religious or sectarian conflict prevention, management, resolution or peacebuilding, our ethno-religious conflict mediation training program is designed for you.

You are a professional in any field of practice and your current or future job requires advanced knowledge and skills in the area of tribal, ethnic, racial, cultural, religious or sectarian conflict prevention, management, resolution or peacebuilding, our ethno-religious conflict mediation training program is also right for you.

The ethno-religious conflict mediation training is designed for individuals or groups from diverse fields of study and professions, as well as participants from different countries and sectors, especially those from government agencies, the media, the military, the police, and other law enforcement agencies; local, regional and international organizations, educational or academic institutions, the judiciary, business corporations, international development agencies, conflict resolution fields, religious bodies, diversity, inclusion and equity professionals, and so on. Anybody who wants to develop skills in the resolution of tribal, ethnic, racial, community, cultural, religious, sectarian, cross-border, personnel, environmental, organizational, public policy, and international conflicts, can also apply.

Read the course description and schedule of classes, register for the class term of your choice, and select the class option (residential or virtual) that is convenient for you.

To be conferred a Certified Ethno-Religious Mediator certificate at the end of this program, participants are required to complete two assignments.

Participant-Led Presentation:

Each participant is encouraged to select one topic from the recommended readings listed in the course syllabus or any other topic of interest on ethnic, religious or racial conflict in any country and context; prepare a PowerPoint presentation with no more than 15 slides analyzing selected topic using ideas drawn from recommended readings. Each participant will be given 15 minutes to present. Ideally, the presentations should be done during our class sessions.

Mediation Project:

Each participant is required to design a mediation case study on any ethnic, racial or religious conflict that involves two or multiple parties. After completing the mediation case study design, participants will be required to use one mediation model (for example, transformative, narrative, faith-based, or any other mediation model) to do a mock mediation during the role play sessions. 

Upon successful completion of the training, participants will receive the following benefits:

  • Official Certificate designating you as a Certified Ethno-Religious Mediator
  • Inclusion on the Roster of Certified Ethno-Religious Mediators
  • Possibility of becoming an ICERM Instructor (We will train you to train others)
  • Continuous professional development and support

The course is divided into two parts.

Part one, “ethnic, racial and religious conflict: understanding the dimensions, theories, dynamics, and existing preventive and resolution strategies,” is a study of the topical issues in ethnic, racial and religious conflicts. Participants will be introduced to the notions and dimensions of ethnic, racial and religious conflicts, their theories and dynamics across sectors, e.g. within the economic and political system, as well as the role of the police and military in ethnic, racial and religious conflict; followed by critical analysis and assessment of the preventive, mitigation, management and resolution strategies that have been used historically to ease civic/social tensions & reduce ethnic, racial and religious conflict with varying degrees of success.

Part two, “the mediation process,” aims at studying and discovering alternative and practical strategies for participating/intervening in resolving ethnic, racial and religious conflicts, with a focus on mediation. Participants will be immersed into the mediation process while learning the different aspects of pre-mediation preparation, tools & methods of conducting a productive mediation, and processes of reaching a settlement or an agreement.

Each of these two parts is further subdivided into different modules. In the end, there will be an evaluation of the course and a professional development orientation and assistance.

The different methods used by ICERM to train people in ethnic, racial and religious conflict mediation are classified according to the theoretical and practical impacts they have on trainees. While the theoretical aspect of our training is called the cognitive method, the practical aspect is known as the behavioral method.

Cognitive Methods

Cognitive methods consist of introducing the trainees to the theoretical framework of ethno-religious mediation. The methods under the cognitive approach provide the trainees with general theoretical knowledge of ethno-religious conflicts and alternative dispute resolution, with particular reference to mediation. These methods are systematically and schematically used to expose the trainees to the theories and rules of ethno-religious mediation.

For the realization of its cognitive training methods, ICERM has adopted the following training approaches: lectures, demonstrations, and discussions.

Lectures

ICERM LectureLectures constitute an important part of the cognitive methods used at ICERM to introduce trainees to the theoretical aspect of mediation. ICERM trainers are highly educated and well experienced mediators with specialized skills needed to clearly present and teach trainees the various aspects of ethno-religious mediation. In these lectures given by highly experienced scholars and professional mediators, trainees will be introduced to the histories and dynamics of ethno-religious conflicts, mediation and religious dialogue. They will be exposed to the theories, aspects, and processes of mediation and religious dialogue. In order to achieve the purpose of these lectures, course syllabus, training manuals, books and other relevant materials will be given to the trainees. This will allow trainees to read and digest the topics covered at their leisure.

At ICERM, lectures are accompanied by visual aids to help participants visualize and understand clearly the concepts that they are being taught. ICERM’s lectures involve interactions between the trainers and the trainees. These interactions may be in the form of reading, sharing ideas, asking and answering questions, written exercises, etc.

Demonstrations

ICERM Training ImageIn addition to lectures, ICERM trainers use the demonstration method as a means to teach through examples or real life scenarios. This method is a visual display of how ethno-religious conflicts can be resolved through mediation and dialogue. Trainees are trained in ethno-religious mediation through concrete examples and case studies within the context of their cultures and countries. ICERM trainers use demonstration to explain facts through the aid of a combination of visual evidence and associated reasoning, for instance, pictures, plays, movies, and films. This training approach helps trainees to develop interest in and retain what they have been taught, and apply them to their personal experiences and real life-situations in their various communities and countries. ICERM trainers will also demonstrate how a mediation process is done from the beginning to the end, while showing this to the trainees.

Discussions

ICERM Training DiscussionMediation training at ICERM involves active interaction both among the trainees and between the trainees and the trainers through group and collaborative discussions. These interactive discussions form an integral part of the lecture method and make it more effective and interesting. Sequentially, lectures will be followed by discussions, questions and answers. In other words, mediation theories and processes will be communicated to trainees through the lecture method, and then understanding with original contributions is conveyed back to trainers by trainees through group and collaborative discussions.

ICERM training program creates a framework that discourages trainees from becoming passive listeners. Trainees are encouraged to develop critical thinking ability, learn to evaluate ideas, concepts and principles, procedures and even policies on the basis of clearly set criteria. All the participants are seen as members of a group with diverse backgrounds and experiences needed for the benefit of all.

This method helps ICERM trainers assess the level of impact mediation training has made on the trainees. It helps to ascertain if the concepts are well understood by the trainees, and if they have mastered the skills and competences needed for ethno-religious mediation and dialogue in their various communities and countries. The discussion method also creates room for the emergence of new initiatives and innovations in the training programs through the individual contributions of the trainees.

Behavioral Methods

ICERM uses the behavioral methods of training to introduce trainees to the actual practice of ethno-religious mediation through real or simulated mediation processes. Through this method, trainees are given the opportunity to put into practice the theoretical knowledge they acquired during the cognitive aspect of the mediation training program. ICERM strongly believes that the acquisition of the theoretical knowledge of ethno-religious mediation alone is not sufficient for trainees to become good and efficient mediators. In addition to mastering the theories and rules of mediation, potential mediators in the field of ethno-religious conflict resolution are required to develop practical experience by practicing mediation in a guided mediation setting. In this on-the-job training framework, practical skills, competences and attitude change are developed through experience.

An important aspect of the behavioral method of training is the fact that ICERM trainers provide feedback to the trainees regarding their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities aimed for individual improvement.

In order to achieve the expected results of this method, ICERM trainers will give practical training to the trainees in the form of mediation games and simulations. Trainees will also be given the opportunity to observe real mediation processes conducted by ICERM practitioners and highly experienced mediators. Mediation games and simulations are designed to reproduce or simulate events, circumstances, techniques, strategies and processes that take place in mediation. The trainees are given the opportunity to behave and act as mediators in a guided mediation setting.

The various examples of the behavioral methods used by ICERM trainers include: mediation behavior-modeling, mediation games, case studies, role plays, in-basket technique, etc.

Mediation Behavior-modeling

ICERM’s mediation behavior-modeling is designed to help trainees develop and acquire skills and techniques needed for effective and efficient practice of ethno-religious mediation. It provides the trainees with a practical example of how ethno-religious mediation is done prior to trying it.

Based on the theoretical knowledge gained from the cognitive aspect of the mediation training program, ICERM trainers will facilitate the mediation behavior-modeling by, first and foremost, making a recap of each mediation concept that the modeling intends to practically illustrate. Trainees must observe at a minimum one simulated, videotaped, or actual mediation. They will be asked to pay maximum attention to the specific skills, techniques and strategies needed for ethno-religious mediation. First of all, they will observe a real mediation process modeled in the video, and then apply the same skills, techniques and strategies in structured mediation role plays.

This practical method of learning is organized through the use of both live expert modeling (real mediation processes conducted by professional mediators and observed by trainees) and live amateur modeling (structured mediation role plays done by trainees). Both the expert and amateur modeling will be video-taped and individual scenes recorded for evaluation and feedback purposes. In the end, the performances of the professional mediators and those of the trainees will be shown side by side through split screen devices that allow the trainees to clearly see where improvements are needed, and where reinforcements should be provided for the development of ethno-religious mediation skills, techniques and strategies.

Mediation Games

ICERM mediation games are carefully designed to showcase how individual or group decisions can have negative or positive impacts on the whole group. The goal of these games is to help understand social interaction and decision making in mediation, negotiation and dispute resolution. In other words, mediation games shed light on the way stakeholders or parties in conflict behave when they come to mediation. They are skillfully created to reveal the essential nature of both conflict and collaboration, thereby enhancing our understanding of them.

The essential lesson trainees will learn from mediation games is the fact that when the parties in conflict act with a mutual interest to resolve their conflict collaboratively, they will be better off than if they were inclined to rigidly upholding their individual positions. The major indicator of this collaboration is called the “Nash equilibrium”. The Nash equilibrium helps in the analysis of the outcome of the strategic and collaborative decision-making of two or more parties in mediation.

Through the professional assistance of ICERM trainers and by actively participating in mediation games, trainees will be equipped with skills that will help them dictate exactly when the parties in mediation have reached the Nash equilibrium. For the acquisition of these skills, ICERM trainers will make use of the following selected games to train trainees: Prisoner’s dilemma, Tit-for-tat, Battle of the sexes, Coordination game, Stag hunt, Chicken, Hawk-Dove, Poker, Wardrop’s principle, Matching pennies, Rock-paper-scissors, Ultimatum game, Dictator game, Auction theory, and most classical board games including Go and Chess, etc.

Case Studies

Case studies constitute an important part of the behavioral methods used at ICERM to introduce trainees to the practical aspect of ethno-religious mediation. A careful examination and analysis of case studies will help trainees develop a global understanding of ethno-religious conflicts, and cultivate mediation skills, techniques and strategies for resolution.

ICERM trainers will provide trainees with short summaries of various historical instances of tribal, community, ethnic, racial, cultural, religious or sectarian conflicts in countries around the world, with particular focus on the stakeholders involved, the origins, causes, consequences, forms and places of occurrence of these conflicts, as well as the resolution strategies used to manage these conflicts. Each case study highlights some predetermined objectives, with a set of questions to be responded to at the end. In the course of their analysis, trainees will be required to pay maximum attention to the preventive and resolution methods used to resolve these conflicts, especially the role of the mediators when applicable.

The case study exercise is not only concerned with solutions to the questions, but most importantly, with the whole process or strategies of arriving at the solutions. Even when the trainees provide the right answers to the questions, they will be required to present and discuss their analysis or diagnoses of the cases following the mediation principles and under the guidance of ICERM trainers.

Role Plays

Another aspect of the behavioral or practical method of training used at ICERM is role play. Mediation role plays are simulations of particular mediation processes aimed at improving trainees’ practical skills and know- how in the mediation process. General description of the conflict situations and the roles of the parties in conflict and those of the mediators are distributed to the trainees who will participate as actors in the role plays.

In order to realize the objective of these role plays, trainees will be divided in groups, with ICERM coaches assigned to each group. Each trainee will be required to play both as a mediator and as a party in conflict at different times and intervals. While one group of trainees is role playing, the rest of the trainees will be asked to observe. This observation will help them analyze the roles of their colleagues and also identify their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.

At ICERM, role plays are video-taped and individual scenes recorded for evaluation and feedback purposes. In the end, a discussion session will be organized, and feedbacks given to the trainees by ICERM trainers in conjunction with the coaches.

In-basket Technique

The in-basket technique is used at ICERM to equip trainees with administrative and structural decision-making skills necessary for a successful mediation. This practical exercise helps trainees reflect on the various stages of preparations needed before the commencement of mediation. The in-basket technique simulates the type of decisions mediators usually make prior to conducting mediation. Trainees will be given many simulation exercises aimed at helping them assess and develop those decision-making skills required for a successful mediation.

For its realization, ICERM trainers will give each trainee one in-basket containing a packet of materials which includes a request for mediation, names and positions of the parties involved, nature of the conflict, and description of the role that the mediator is expected to play.

In the first part of the exercise, trainees will be required to exhibit good understanding of the task by reading the materials, analyzing and reflecting on the various preparation stages needed before the commencement of the mediation process. In the second part, they will be asked to present the results of their reflection and analysis, while focusing on the preparations they have decided to make before the beginning of the mediation. At the end of the exercise, these preparation options will be discussed with ICERM trainers, and their strengths, weaknesses and possible alternatives will be highlighted.

E-Learning

In addition to the on-site training, ICERM also provides online program using gotomeeting.com and gototraining.com technologies. The online program is initiated for interested candidates who cannot come for the on-site training sessions.

While the online program covers all the courses and uses the cognitive method described above, a hybrid or blended program that may not require a physical on-site presence will be required for the practical or behavioral aspect of the program before the award of a certificate. This blended program may be an online or residential practical training that covers all the exercises outlined in the behavioral method.

The online program makes use of all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. Essentially, it creates the opportunity for a computer or network-enabled transfer of knowledge and skills either in the form of out-of-classroom or in-classroom educational experiences through technology.

ICERM’s online program uses different types of technologies in the implementation of its e-learning activities. These technologies are divided into two groups: synchronous learning and asynchronous learning.

Synchronous Learning

ICERM’s synchronous learning technology is a mode of learning where all trainees are present at the same time, though located remotely in different places. It provides the framework for a simultaneous exchange of information across geographically dispersed locations at a scheduled time. With the aid of a timetable, trainees will know the exact time to connect to the E-learning Center (or E-Live).

Our synchronous learning technology includes virtual classrooms – online lectures delivered live to trainees – such as web conferencing and videoconferencing.

Asynchronous Learning

Trainees who are not able to participate in the synchronous learning technology due to time constraints or other reasons may opt for asynchronous learning. Asynchronous learning is a mode of learning that gives the trainees the opportunity and flexibility to participate in the cognitive aspect of ethno-religious mediation training program by having access to course materials according to their own schedule. Trainees who chose the asynchronous learning are not required to be together at the same time. ICERM trainers will teach and communicate with these trainees through electronic materials available in the e-learning platform or forum, print materials, e-mail, webinars, podcasts, video and audio recordings.

If requested, the ICERM Office will provide a letter of invitation if doing so will help participants gain permission from their professional bodies, procure travel funds, or obtain a visa. Consulates and embassies often need a lot of time to process a visa request; therefore we suggest participants request a letter of invitation at the earliest convenience. To request a letter of invitation, e-mail the ICERM Office at icerm(at)icermediation.org. Please include the full name, postal, and e-mail address of each individual requesting a letter of invitation. Be sure to also include the organization, agency, embassy or consulate to which your visa application should be addressed.  Letters of invitation will be e-mailed to the admitted requesting individual, NOT to the embassy or consulate. Please allow up to five (5) business days for processing your request.

Participants are responsible for the cost of transportation, accommodation, and feeding before and during the residential training in White Plains, New York.

Information about hotels and other types of accommodation will be posted on this page.

Become a Certified Ethno-Religious Mediator


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