When Jesus came to Sychar, everyone had a different role to play. The disciples went to get food. Jesus stayed to introduce living water to a woman who carried new life to the village. The village came seeking and embracing.
We believe in partnerships. Working partnerships.
SWG does not sell anything and does not provide grants for programs or projects. Our partnerships require everyone to have a role in their sphere of influence. We believe that a good partnership leverages natural relationships of multiple parties to bring synergy in outcomes. Our partnerships have been formed to facilitate projects, host educational programs and provide interventions in cross-cultural conflict.
If you are interested in partnering with us, help us know what you want to do by filling out our project worksheet. You may use the online form below, or download and complete the .docx version.
Education in peace is important to us. We have had multiple educational collaborations on many different levels, both formal and institutional, as well as informal and community-focused. Our educational collaborations emerge when an institution or organization identifies a need or “gap” in what they do, which calls for creation of some form of peace education. Our role is to develop courses and curriculum to fill that need.
Peace Studies Doctoral Program
In 2006, Overseas Council recognized that few theological school faculty were equipped to teach peacemaking and so encouraged the Asia Graduate School of Theology (AGST) to develop a doctoral program in Peace Studies.
This partnership between AGST and Peacemaker Ministries resulted in a distance learning program that meets by cohort for one residential block every year for three years. Karl represented Peacemakers to work on both course and curriculum design. He continues in his role as head of the PhD program.
This program has a core of courses designed to meet the practical and skill-building needs represented in a Doctor of Ministry degree, and then adds additional course work with a higher level dissertation for those seeking the PhD in Peace studies. The program is built on a theological foundation, requiring all those admitted to enter with a Masters of Divinity or an equivalent of bible and theology. Most participants in the program have not had a background in social research, although this program requires a field research component for the completion of the dissertation. Personal transformation and skill building with academic competence are the goals of the program.
The doctoral program is accredited through the Asian Graduate School of Theology (AGST) and hosted by the International graduate School of Theology in Manilla (IGSL), Philippines. A distinctive note of this program is the character of the networking provided by the schools. AGST is a consortium of nine Filipino seminaries providing a common platform for graduate programs offered through partner schools who individually host a given program.
In 2006 Overseas Council approached both Peacemaker Ministries and the AGST to see if a doctoral program in reconciliation studies could be created so that member seminaries through Asia and beyond might have faculty equipped to teach and model biblical peacemaking. As a part of the AGST network, IGSL stepped forward and offered to host the program since they had experience with DMin programs. With a short time to plan, the first cohort began their residence courses in October, 2007. A planning committee representing five schools in Manilla worked on the initial curriculum, and today the program offers a DMin degree with a PhD in Peace studies for those who desire and need the added academic recognition. Peacemaker Ministries no longer actively participates in the program, although the Karl and Chip were both part of the original team from Peacemaker Ministries and continue through SWG to work with IGSL and AGST in providing teaching and counsel.
The program is portable, which means that course blocks can be offered in geographic regions where social and religious conflict are current and ripe, allowing for unique learning and engagement. Off-site courses have been held in Mindanao and Nagaland, India, two areas of significant community and religious conflict in recent years. The unique features of the program draws participants from Africa, Asia and the U.S., which adds to its multi-cultural learning environment. Faculty are drawn from around the globe and often have unique qualifications and rich experience in peacemaking with significant teaching experience.
Although most participants are used to library research, this program stretches them to focus on people and social research. The program is accredited by the Philippines Commission on Higher Education, whose requirements for residency hours and the face-to-face hours must be used. This also means that on-line courses are not possible, which adds to the number of courses that must be taught face to face in Manila. In addition, most participants come from a socially-rich learning environments and are fully employed, which can make it difficult for them maintain their academic learning momentum between residency blocks, as well as during the dissertation research and writing phase.
These challenge and others have provided unique opportunities to respond creatively. For example, required courses on social science research are now part of the curriculum. The residency and face-to-face hours are now divided between twice-yearly meetings, rather than crowded into a single, month-long stay in Manila. Karl and Steve Hobson, Directors of the PhD and DMin programs respectively, spend a great deal of time counseling and coaching participants individually, to assist with their learning programs and time management. Karl has personally visited each participant in her or his home community to provide more tailored encouragement and advice.
Currently we have had two DMin graduates from Africa, both living in Zambia, and one PhD graduate from Sri Lanka. Several more are scheduled for this year’s graduation as the program is now fully accredited. We have a total of 15 participants divided in 3 cohorts from 12 countries, including Nigeria, Lebanon, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and the United States.
- Theology and Practice of Personal Peacemaking
- Negotiation and Coaching
- Comparative Peace Systems
- Building A Culture of Peace
- Community and Inter-faith Conflict
- Research in Peacemaking
- Community Development and Peace Building
- Shame, Honor and Storytelling in Peacemaking
- Economics and Restorative Justice in Peacemaking
- Healing Wounds of Violence, Trauma, Abuse
- Peacemaking in Marriage and Family
- Teaching and Curriculum Development
Interested in teaching or in learning more? Write to Karl Dortzbach, PhD Program Director.
Future Peace Studies Programs
We are committed to working with schools and seminaries to help establish Peace Studies and courses in their institutions, beginning with the home seminaries of our doctoral students. For more information, please contact Karl Dortzbach.
Community Education Programs
World Relief had an expanding micro-finance program in Burundi and recognized the opportunity to include peace education in that program. They requested Peacemaker Ministries to assist in creating a curriculum that could be taught in small blocks of time when the finance groups came together. Karl brought all this together in the TURAME curriculum.
Freedom to Lead as an organization has been gathering and training leaders in many countries utilizing oral training. But they recognized that conflict was frequent in the new churches that they were helping to form but those churches did not have the ability to turn to the bible or any other resource because they were non-literate. Karl worked with them to create an oral-based peace curriculum based on the life of David so their churches had both Bible story and peace education in an oral form that used story and pictures. It was field tested and continues to be used and edited.
BA and MA level course: Overseas Council, recognized the need for peace education among the seminaries they support and requested Peacemaker Ministries to create a course that could be adopted on the BA and MA level for teaching peacemaking to church leaders. Karl developed a multi-lesson course that has been taught and adapted in over thirty places.
There are numerous uses of story in peace-making models. One of our partnerships is with a graduate from the doctoral program in Peace Studies (AGST) who wrote his dissertation on how story telling can be a redemptive influence among refugees who have fled from violent national conflict. Our graduate, himself a refugee, is focusing primarily on one denomination working among a refugee group in Zambia. The project seeks to identify a way to help the denomination and its people to create sustaining ways of sharing their stories so that the next generation can be healed of bitterness and anger that otherwise tends to accompany their losses.
Mark’s group was asked by the First Vice President of Burundi to put together a youth soccer tournament as an initiative for peace in the country. Mark knew soccer well, but peacemaking put him on less familiar ground.
Our interventions have included conflict mediation, facilitation, training and coaching of individuals and groups, including:
- Assisting lawyers in numerous countries in the creation Christian alternative dispute resolution programs in their communities;
- Coaching seminary leaders through conflict interventions;
- Facilitating cross-cultural mediation for churches and organizations.
Sometimes a simple cup makes all the difference in changing relationships and the world. When he came to the well near the town of Sychar, Jesus had no cup and wanted a drink. The woman he met there had a cup and Jesus asked for her to share what she had.
Sychar Well Group is all about this sort of mutual sharing, giving and receiving what we have to share and receiving from others. To facilitate this sort of networking, we would like to know more about you, your gifts and experiences and what you can bring to others. But, we’d also like to know about the ways in which others can serve you and help you to fulfill your calling as a peacemaker.
Please take a few minutes to complete the form below. As God builds the Sychar Well network, we will use your information to link you with others.