General News News Releases

Canadian School Of Peacebuilding Welcomes Renowed Instructors to Campus for Week Two

Professors Marc Gopin, Karen Ridd, and Harry Huebner featured in School’s second session

For release June 9, 2010

The second session of Canadian Mennonite University’s (CMU) Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP), running June 21 to June 25, will feature three renowned instructors, each to teach a weeklong intensive course that will shed further light on the issues surrounding peace, justice, and conflict resolution.

Professor and Rabbi Marc Gopin of George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Arlington, VA will teach Agents of Change in Intractable Conflicts: Lessons from Middle East Peacebuilding, based on his book, To Make the Earth Whole: The Art of Citizen Diplomacy in an Age of Religious Militancy.

Karen Ridd, sessional instructor in Conflict Resolution Studies at The University of Winnipeg (UWinnipeg) and associate of Training for Change in Philadelphia, is teaching Peace Skills Practice, which will examine numerous approaches to dealing with conflict and give participants the opportunity to practise peacebuilding.

CSOP’s second session will also offer the course Mennonite Approaches to Peace and Justice, taught by Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at CMU and co-founder of Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Gopin, Ridd, and Huebner are part of a group of 12 instructors participating in CMU’s second-annual CSOP, which offers eight one-week intensive courses in peacebuilding, social justice, and conflict resolution, divided into three sessions, for academic credit and professional development. CSOP offers insights and perspectives from, and to, peacebuilders from all faiths, countries, and backgrounds.

The first session runs from June 14 through June 18 and brings together seven instructors for courses in the music of social justice, indigenous practices of nonviolence, and contested food systems. The third and final session will be held June 28 to July 2, featuring Howard Zehr on Perspectives on Restorative Justice and Lois Edmund on Congregational Peacebuilding.

Canadian Mennonite University, through Menno Simons College (MSC, CMU’s campus at UWinnipeg) and its southwest Winnipeg Shaftesbury campus, offers one of the most comprehensive undergraduate programs in peace and conflict studies in the world.



Marc Gopin, Rabbi, Professor of Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, and the Director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (CRDC) at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR).

This course will help participants examine and measure in a new way the dynamics of their own potential impact on war and peace. It explores: the theory and practice of positive incremental change and citizen diplomacy; a central case study from the Middle East; and the philosophical and spiritual ethics, East and West, of decision making in conflict.

Marc Gopin
Marc Gopin is the James H. Laue Professor of Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, and the Director of the Center on Religion, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Gopin has lectured on conflict resolution in several countries and numerous academic institutions. He has trained thousands of people worldwide in peacemaking strategies for complex conflicts in which religion and culture play a role. Gopin conducts research on values dilemmas as they apply to international problems of globalization, clash of cultures, development, social justice and conflict and he has engaged in back channel diplomacy with religious, political and military figures on both sides of conflicts. Gopin was ordained as a rabbi at Yeshiva University in 1983 and received a PhD in religious ethics from Brandeis University in 1993.


Karen Ridd, Sessional Instructor in the Conflict Resolution Studies department of UWinnipeg, Associate of Training for Change in Philadelphia, and Associate Trainer for Resolution Skills Centre.

Participants examine a variety of approaches to dealing with conflict in diverse locations such as: first party conflicts (responding to your own conflicts), third party to conflicts (helping others in conflicts) and learning to recognize the cultural elements of conflict resolution (moving beyond your own culture). Students will practice the role of the peacebuilder in situations when gossip, venting, and advice-seeking are being experienced.

Karen Ridd
Karen Ridd is a dynamic educator, facilitator and speaker with experience throughout North America and overseas, including El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Thailand and Cambodia. Karen is presently a sessional instructor in the Conflict Resolution Studies department of The University of Winnipeg, an associate of Training for Change in Philadelphia and as well as an associate trainer for Resolution Skills Centre. Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts (1984), a Master of Arts in Peace and Justice (2009), a Diploma in Mediation Skills, and has been working and studying in the field of conflict resolution since 1986. Karen began her affiliation with Mediation Services in 1995, when she became the Training Coordinator, responsible for carrying out and developing trainings, as well as overseeing the program as a whole. Karen presently lives in rural Manitoba, and is the delighted mother of Ben and Daniel. She has received numerous honours for her work, including the 1992 Government of Canada 125th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation Governor-General’s Award, the 1990 Canada YM/YWCA Peace Medal and the 1989 Manitoba International Human Rights Achievement Award.

In collaboration with Mennonite Central Committee Canada

Harry Huebner, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Theology at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, author, formerly with Mennonite Central Committee in Jerusalem, and co-founder of Christian Peacemaker Teams

This course draws from the professor’s experiences in peacemaking as one who has been involved in both Christian Peacemaker Teams and Mennonite Central Committee. It examines peace and justice literature by both Mennonite and non-Mennonite authors, including John H. Yoder, Gordon Kaufman, J. Denny Weaver, A. James Reimer, Duane Friesen, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Stanley Hauerwas, and it seeks to develop a viable peace/justice theology especially for organizations like MCC.

Harry Huebner
Harry Huebner graduated from University of Manitoba with a BA in Philosophy/Psychology and an MA in Philosophy. He earned his PhD in Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College. Harry has been teaching at Canadian Mennonite University and its predecessor colleges from 1971 – present. He took one year off to do PhD work in Toronto from 1974-5 and served with Mennonite Central Committee in Jerusalem from 1981-3. Harry was also involved in the founding of Christian Peacemaker Teams. In his spare time Harry enjoys traveling, especially to the Middle East. Harry Huebner hails from Crystal City, Manitoba. He and his wife Agnes attend Charleswood Mennonite Church, where Harry has taught Sunday School, has been Congregational Chair, and has served in several conference and MCC committees.


For CSOP information, contact:
CSOP Co-Director Valerie Smith; Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 315
Canadian School of Peacebuilding at CMU
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2

For CMU information, contact:
Nadine Kampen, CMU Communications & Marketing Director; Tel. 204.487.3300 Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.
Winnipeg, MB R3P 2N2