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Certificate in Faith in Change and Conflict


Change and conflict are a part of life, but they can be challenging to navigate. What does the Bible teach us about conflict and change? How can we apply our learning in our own faith context and in our churches and communities?

Cliff College is delighted to be running this short course in partnership with the Methodist Learning Network and Place for Hope as part of the Positive Working Together initiative.

Conflict is part of life; it can be creative, destructive, and transformative. Many people – including those in faith communities – can struggle to find helpful ways to respond to change, transition, tension and difference. Some structures, cultures, systems and habits can make it difficult for people to hear each other well, and relationships may break down.

We also know that there is much transformational potential in conflict. Knowing that there is help and support available can be a great source of hope for those experiencing difficulties and divisions within their congregations and communities.

In the video below, former student Graham Jones shares about his experience of the course and why he recommends it to others.

Course content

This short course runs over two three-and-a-half-day sessions, and will cover four units:

Unit 1: Introduction to Conflict Transformation and Personal Development

We understand how conflict, change, and transition operate in others and in our churches when we understand how it operates in ourselves. Unit 1 guides us through this journey and introduces us to the course, and to the context in which we will be applying our learning.

Unit 2: Communication and Facilitation Skills

Honing facilitation and communication skills is essential as we lead others through times of change and transition. This unit offers a bedrock of learning for the following units.

Unit 3: Conflict and Mediation Skills

In this unit, we dig deeply into some of the skills needed for transforming conflict, for hosting difficult conversations, and for working together to transform the culture of our churches and communities.

Unit 4: Conflict in the Context of Faith

What are the specific dynamics at play in church contexts when we encounter change and difference? What does the Bible teach us about conflict and change? How do we apply our learning in our own faith context? These are some of the questions explored in this unit.

Course structure

This course is taught at Cliff College and run in partnership with the Methodist Learning Network and Place for Hope. It will be led by Katie Bradley and supported by Place for Hope staff and practitioners.

There will be time for teaching and theory, practical skills workshops and personal reflection, alongside social space. We aim to provide a relaxed pace of learning and to equip students with skills and resources for individual and church-based ministry.

Participants can gain a Cliff College Certificate by successfully completing an assessment following the teaching weeks.

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Place for Hope accompanies and equips people and faith communities so that all might reach their potential to be peacemakers who navigate conflict well.

Place for Hope aims to resource the church and wider faith communities with peacemakers and to accompany groups navigating conflict and difficult conversations in our faith communities.

The core values of Place for Hope include:

  • Courage and compassion – being bold and working with loving kindness.
  • Challenge and trust – unafraid to go to the difficult, uncomfortable places, and going there with care, humanity, and empathy.
  • Inspiration and effectiveness – fostering prophetic and creative voices alongside workable approaches.
  • Integrity and fairness – honouring our differences and diversity and enabling respectful processes.

Find out more about the work of Place for Hope on their website.

I’m thrilled that I did this course. It is so practical and has equipped me to handle change and conflict more effectively and transformationally. I highly recommend this course.

District Pastor

The tools offered were helpful and hopeful.

Well constructed and well paced.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with Place for Hope, who have a proven record in this important area of work and ministry. Learning how to work through issues of conflict and become practical peace-makers is relevant to all levels of life (personal, local, national and international) and this course aims to equip students with skills and resources to help them to navigate our changing times.'
- Ian White, Short Course Programme Leader, Cliff College

8-11 May and 12-15 June 2023. Bookings are open - book here.

The cost of this course is £395.00 and includes all teaching materials, tutorial support and meals and refreshments through the course.

Accommodation and breakfast at Cliff College for both teaching blocks costs an additional £135; this can be booked separately following your confirmed course booking. Additional nights can be booked at an extra payment for those travelling a distance in readiness for the (mid-morning) Monday start.

A non-refundable deposit of £79.00 secures your place on the course, and is payable either by card or by BACS when booking. The balance of fees should be paid up to 2 weeks before arrival. At this point key resource materials to allow pre-course reading and subject orientation will be sent to you.

If you have any questions about the booking process, please contact shortcourse@cliffcollege.ac.uk.