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LCC International University > News and Events > Growing Skills in Dialogue for Peaceful Change Continues at LCC

Growing Skills in Dialogue for Peaceful Change Continues at LCC


Deep dives and icebergs are a part of navigating our conflict-affected world today. To support positive change and nurture a culture of peace it takes not only skill; it takes curiosity, compassion, and courage in empathic communication and understanding to be effective.  At LCC International University,  we take peacebuilding, creativity, and skill development seriously.  On August 18-20, 2023, the peace Center for Dialogue and Conflict Transformation hosted a Training of Trainers in Dialogue for Peaceful Change (DPC). The event was led by head coach Colin Craig,  from Northern Ireland.   During the event, participants dove into conceptual understanding and application of skills needed for more effective peacebuilding in various contexts and facilitation training in conflict dynamics and change resistance. This intense training strengthens LCC’s peacebuilding core principles as a leader in the region in helping others find ways to resolve and transform conflict.

Key elements emerging in this field caused participants to think deeply about the nature and challenge of training others in conflict-affected societies. Michael McDougle, an instructor in LCC’s core course of civic engagement and conflict transformation shared that “ The DPC training was unique in that it allowed me to use my strengths while also pushing me out of my comfort zone. One growth area was in helping me develop my empathetic communication skills. I hope to utilize this training in everyday conflict and in helping others come to a peaceful resolution to their conflicts.”

This collaborative LCC group included a counselor, a residential life support staff worker and instructors in  psychology, humanities, and international relations/conflict transformation studies. As Naomi DeBoer (an LCC trauma counselor) shares from her experience  “I have a deep respect for the work of peace building. It is a long and slow work, it is not easy, but it is desperately needed in our fractured world. I feel deeply grateful for the growth and learning that has happened through DPC training and Colin Craig’s wisdom and experience that he has passed down!” These thoughts were felt by all who participated.

The peace Center at LCC hopes to continue to offer workshops in navigating conflict and change that highlight embodied learning and the need for empathic communication- something all of us need in our daily lives to help nurture a culture of peace at home, at work, in our communities and our world. Along with the others, Dr. Travis Myers, a professor in humanities speaks on behalf of their DPC accomplishment when he stated “ LCC's Peace Center is even better positioned and prepared now for serving the flourishing of communities in the Baltic, Eurasia, and other global regions represented by our extremely international student body. May God abundantly deploy us and thereby make us agents of reconciliation, healing, and transformation."   

These associate trainers of DPC will continue to develop skills and lead ongoing workshops with the center for students, staff, and the wider community in an evidence-based approach as they help others navigate conflict and change in our complex world. Giedrė Norman, a seasoned instructor at LCC in the area of conflict transformation and mediation, captures the essence of the experience “ The training has facilitated important collective learning that empowers LCC peacebuilding potential. No less importantly, the time spent together helps me think about the depths and intentionality of peace pedagogy. Creating sustainable change requires to construct an ethos of mindful, purposeful peace practice. It’s good to have fellow travelers on this long journey!”

By Naomi Enns

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