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Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation

The Nature of Conflict

The Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at ACU explores the nature of conflict. Conflict exists in homes, marriages, schools, churches and businesses. It can disrupt an educational or work setting and destroy peace and harmony in the home and family. Lifelong friendships can end, relationships can be harmed, and church congregations may split as a result of conflicts that continue or escalate. Settling conflicts is one of the primary tasks of leaders in every field of work.  An important task within secular and faith communities alike is to aid in reconciliation between individuals or groups involved in a dispute.

Conflict Resolution as a Calling

How can we, as thought leaders and innovators of reconciliation, become more equipped to settle these conflicts that we encounter every day? For those wanting to delve deeper, to become true agents of change, answers are found within the conflict resolution degree and certificate programs at ACU. This program will provide students with cutting-edge skills in conflict resolution in an online setting.

Program Benefits

  • This program is designed to prepare students to analyze conflicts that occur in homes, workplaces, within the faith community and any place people regularly gather, to determine solutions for conflicts that occur over a variety of issues.
  • A critical component of resolving conflict through a faith lens, the program teaches facilitation of problem-solving that will allow meaningful, grace-propelled reconciliation based on Agape love and Koinonia.
  • Students learn to address conflicts in a proactive manner so as to manage resolution effectively and professionally.
  • Faculty guide students based on time-tested and cutting edge techniques in resolving conflict.  
  • The course materials are reviewed, re-emphasized to ensure mastery, and then reinforced through practical application.

Who Is This Program For?

This program serves professionals engaged in any career:

  • Individuals pursuing careers in business, as students become leaders and managers.
  • Those pursuing careers in education, both for teachers and administrators.
  • Those working in higher education settings become more skilled in managing classrooms and departments.
  • Individuals in counseling and ministry.

The primary purpose of the online graduate degree program and certificate in conflict resolution at ACU is to equip individuals and enable graduates who exhibit the following characteristics:

  • They are recognized and utilized as peacemakers.
  • They are well-versed in conflict theory and are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively manage conflict.
  • They possess the capacity for advancement into positions of leadership and service in a wide range of professions
  • They mentor and challenge others to pursue Godly lives of collaboration and reconciliation.

What Will I Learn?

Students will learn how to provide reconciliation assistance for individuals, organizations and churches, as well as providing opportunities for service and experience to other students and graduates.

    • Negotiation and Mediation
    • Conflict Theory and Communication
    • Managing Conflict in the Workplace or Church or School
    • Advanced Mediation: Marital Disputes
    • Conflict Management Systems Design
    • Identity, Culture, and Conflict
    • Dispute Resolution and the Legal System
    • Ethics and Conflict Resolution
    • Organizational Behavior

Conflict Resolution Curriculum

Coursework in this online graduate program at ACU has been designed to provide students with an extensive knowledge in the theory of conflict and its management. The coursework contains consistent emphasis on reconciliation and reflects the importance of maintaining relationships and forgiveness of others, even when the parties disagree. Each student is introduced to content knowledge and strategies that help to foster relationships of those they encounter. They will be immersed in using practical skills to help others improve their relationships and learn how to effectively move parties with conflicts to a place of agreement.

Program Structure and Application Process

The Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (MACRR) is offered through the Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution:

  • This degree is a 36-credit hour program with no thesis requirement.
  • In lieu of a thesis, students are instead required to participate in mandatory residency sessions.
  • ACU also offers a 15-credit hour graduate certificate in conflict resolution that is beneficial for any professional or leader.
  • Both the Master of Arts degree in conflict resolution and the certificate courses in conflict resolution are offered in an online graduate setting.
  • For both programs, a mandatory residency session is required, in which students garner direct experience in applying techniques and strategies learned through their coursework. The emphasis in putting to practice and developing conflict resolution skills through residency, places students leagues ahead.
  • A practicum counting for 6 credit hours is also part of the programs in the conflict resolution at ACU in their online graduate program. The fulfillment of these practicums is arranged in conjunction with the program advisor to give students an opportunity to use these skills under the mentorship and supervision of faculty.
  • Admission into ACU’s online graduate degree and certificate programs in conflict resolution do not require any specific undergraduate major, but is open to all undergraduates who achieved a cumulative B average from a regionally accredited college or university. Letters of recommendation and a purpose statement delineating the reason the student wishes to enter the program are required. A telephone or personal interview may be requested, as well.

Conflict Resolution Graduate Certificate Option

The Center for Conflict Resolution also offers a 12-credit hour graduate certificate in conflict resolution designed specifically for educators. This unique program includes online coursework and a one-week residency session for the development of practical skills and for preparing trainers of mediators in the school setting.