Certificate in Faith in Change and Conflict

We know conflict is part of life and can be both creative and destructive. We notice that 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.

Accepting these realities, and wanting to offer a positive response, following a hugely successful first year of the course, Cliff College is delighted to again be running the Short Course Certificate in Faith in Change and Conflict in partnership with the Methodist Learning Network and Place for Hope as part of the Positive Working Together initiative, and under the leadership of Abdul Rahim, Lead Trainer, Place for Hope supported by other Place for Hope staff and practitioners.

Knowing there is help and support available can be a great source of hope for those experiencing difficulties and divisions within their congregations and communities, and Place for Hope have a proven record in helping individuals and faith communities find both support and ways through the difficulties. Find out more about Place for Hope, and the Certificate course below.

Only 16 places available. This was a very popular course last year – so book early!

Place for Hope

What is Place for Hope? 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 – 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.

Abdul Rahim is Lead Trainer – Positive Working Together


Abdul is a mediator, facilitator and trainer with over ten years’ experience in facilitating complex multi-party, multi-issue dialogue processes within and between local authorities, the third sector and communities. A practicing Muslim, Abdul has worked across England, and more recently in Scotland using civic mediation processes to build understanding and relationships across communities where racial and cultural tensions are evident. He has experience of international conflicts, working with survivors of the Tsunami Disaster in Sri Lanka, and with marginalised Roma communities in Slovenia.


Course Details

The course is delivered over two x 3 1/2 day blocks of teaching at Cliff College, Monday-Thursday in late April and mid June 2020. After time for registration and rooming, the first session starts mid morning on the Monday, and ends at lunchtime on the Thursday of each teaching block. For those travelling a distance, and wanting to arrive earlier, extra B&B accommodation can be booked on site on the Sunday evening.

The course is for all in leadership (ordained, lay, formal, informal) in our churches who want to deepen their learning about conflict, change and transition in faith contexts, in order to strengthen their skills base for local application.

Over the two 3 1/2 -day sessions at Cliff College, the course 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.

Timetable structure:  The teaching aspect of the timetable is delivered via introductory talks, group seminars and workshops with practical as well as theoretical applications. To allow participants opportunity for times of personal reflection and social space amongst the teaching, the timetable is deliberately flexible with  some evening work balanced off with afternoon free time to allow a more relaxed pace of learning. The course aims to enable new learning and provide the student with skills and resources for individual or church based ministry in the areas of Change and Conflict. A summary timetable will be sent to you nearer to the teaching blocks of the course by the course leadership.

Quotes from 2019 participants

“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

“A vital course”, “The hospitality was excellent”, “Beyond what I expected”, “Well constructed and well paced”, “My ministry skills were honed”, “The tools offered were helpful and hopeful”.

‘We are delighted to again be working in partnership with Place for Hope, who already have a proven record in this area of work and ministry. Learning ways to work through issues of conflict, and become practical peace-makers is relevant on all levels of life (personal, local, national and international), and this course is an important contribution to that learning. Ian White; Programme Leader; Short Course Programme, Cliff College.

Students say of the Short Course Certificate programme: “It was all totally invaluable and I wouldn’t change a thing.” “Informative, challenging, reflective, resourcing, encouraging, enabling and empowering.” “It will be hard to hold me back on things I will do!  I need to go back, reflect, pray, discern the next steps.  But as a ‘way of doing and being’, it’s been brilliant to take that away.”

Participants gain a Cliff College Certificate by completing the required assessment work following the teaching sessions. Successful students will be invited to the Cliff College graduation ceremony. Students can choose not to do the assessment work by ‘auditing’ the course.


Cliff College Certificate in Faith in Change and Conflict

Mon 27th–Thur 30th April & Mon 8th-Thur 11th June 2020 (Please note: attendance is required at both blocks of teaching)

Maximum of 16 participants, so book early!

The cost of £525.00 includes all teaching materials, tutorial support, all board and 6 nights accommodation in single en-suite rooms. (Additional nights can be booked at an extra payment for those travelling a distance in readiness for the Monday morning start).

A non refundable deposit of £75.00 secures your place and is payable on your acceptance of the place offered. The balance of fees should be paid on arrival or before. 

For course bookings or enquiries about Cliff College, contact: shortcourse@cliffcollege.ac.uk  / 01246 584203

For more details of the course content, contact: abdul.rahim@placeforhope.org.uk


Cliff College is a registered charity: No. 529386

Call: +44 (0) 1246 584200


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