Peace-Building & Conflict Transformation

Conflict: always a matter of when, not if. Conflict is never really managed nor resolved, despite our faithful attempts. To many in the church, it can only be viewed as ungodly or even diabolic. But is this all there is to conflict for people of Christian spirituality? In this cohort conversation, field-tested faculty mentors seek to replace this conventional wisdom with a practical and positive vision for peace-building and conflict transformation. Using robust case study and constructive learning methods, participants leverage theology, theory, analysis and practice to cultivate restorative conflict intervention principles. This cohort explores mediation, forgiveness, reparative justice, and structural and policy change at the personal, community and regional/issues levels. Participants in this cohort will:

  • Solidify perspectives on the Church’s theological identity as a historic agent of peace-making and reconciliation.
  • Develop a wide theological, theoretical and analytical exposure to dimensions of conflict transformation processes (issues, actors, rules, structure and outcomes).
  • Distinguish between positions, underlying interests and conflictual methods practiced to advance those interests.
  • Gain increasing applied mastery in narrative mediation protocol, styles of conflict, organizational diagnostics for peace-building and transformational intervention.

Cohort Syllabi

DM915 Seminar I Foundations for Conflict and Peacemaking through the Church
DM916 Seminar II Peace Building & Conflict Transformation- Principles and Practices
DM917 Seminar III Ethnic-Racial Reconciliation
DM918 Seminar IV Organizing the Church for Conflict Transformation

Download the Cohort Card


Dr. Virginia T.  HolemanDr. Virginia T. Holeman is currently Professor of Counseling at Asbury Seminary, where she has served since 1995. Known as “Toddy” to one and all (that is short for her middle name), Toddy is passionate about teaching in general and about helping people learn how to repent, forgive, and reconcile. Toddy’s professional interests include active participation in the Kentucky Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and in the Christian Association for Psychological Studies. She is a licensed professional counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist in Kentucky. When not on campus, she is most likely in her flower garden in spring and summer.

Dr. Sègbégnon Mathieu Gnonhossou

With a commitment to socially engaged theological praxis, Dr. Sègbégnon Mathieu Gnonhossou is a Certified Trainer in workplace conflict mediation, a Board Certified Coach, and a court-approved Family Mediator at the Court of Justice of Kentucky. He’s been in ministry for the past 16 years and is most known for his passion for church renewal aimed at positive impacts on society. This has led him into a number of ministry ventures, including co-founding an indigenous missional movement (Mouvement Missionnaire pour l’Evangile de Christ), as well as current efforts at introducing restorative justice in neighborhoods and schools in Benin. Mathieu finds pleasure in spending time with his children, doing restorative mediation in schools and neighborhoods and using his intercultural abilities to serve immigrants in Lexington, Ky., especially those that are conversant in French. He loves to play and watch football, called soccer in the U.S.