The Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University is working with the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) to co-create the Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution, and they are offering a discount to NAFCM members (see below for more details).  The certificate is intended to enhance the mediator’s skills at initiating, educating, and facilitating processes that address conflict collaboratively, revealing opportunities to effect positive systems change. The system may be the family, the workplace, the neighborhood, institutions such as local government, public safety, education, or any setting where two or people connect.

The Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution will provide space to explore the nexus between larger social structures that currently facilitate economic and racial inequalities, unequal access to justice and educational systems and our work as community mediators. This will be a time to sharpen your skills, within a small group setting, for:

  • analyzing the factors underlying disputes,
  • recognizing power differentials among disputants,
  • applying appropriate processes that will assist those in dispute to create choices that may revolutionize their conflict, and,
  • using mediation, negotiation, coaching and facilitation to assist people.

To strengthen their work, The Carter School is offering the certificate to NAFCM members at a reduced rate.  While NAFCM has four levels of membership (institutional, program, associate, student), to receive this benefit you must be a program member or associated with the community mediation center and volunteering at least 70 hours a year at the center.  Out-of-state NAFCM program members will save a minimum of $3,000 from the current standard on-line cost. NAFCM program members who are residents of Virginia will save a minimum of $1,700 from the current standard on-line instate cost.  Your estimated total credit hour tuition cost will range between $7,150 (if you already have your mediation certification) to $8,250 (if you need to obtain your mediation certification)!   The application fee will be refunded on the first semester’s tuition bill. 

You can learn more about the certificate program here: Certificate Program   
You can verify your NAFCM membership here:  NAFCM Verification

You can learn more about a NAFCM Program Membership for community mediation centers here ($200/year): Member Categories & Benefits - National Association for Community Mediation (

Please be aware that only up to 15 applicants will be accepted into this certificate program, and the deadline for Fall 2021 is May 15, 2021 (this Saturday!). So, if this is of interest to you, don’t hesitate!

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