Academic Certificate in Conflict Transformation

Earning the Conflict Transformation Certificate and learning from others within the cohort has been of immeasurable value. This course has been fundamental as I prepare to work with a religious nonprofit in Northern Ireland that focuses on peaceful reconciliation and community building.

- Leah Judge, 2014

The next cohort will begin Sept. 2, 2014.


About the Program

Members of the first cohort of the Conflict Transformation Certification program

Members of the first cohort of the Conflict Transformation Certification program

The Academic Certificate Program in Conflict Transformation, a nine-month, four-course program, provides participants with practical and creative peace-building approaches used to help transform conflict and heal divided societies in constructive and sustainable ways.

This innovative certificate is built around four courses designed to equip participants with dynamic  and imaginative approaches to the constructive transformation of violent conflict within and between communities.

Through comprehensive online instruction and two collaborative weeks in Northern Ireland, this four-course certificate will emphasize the creative processes and structures of conflict transformation, proffering participants with theoretical and practical methods of identifying and responding to rival narratives — religious, ethnic, tribal, or otherwise — and destructive structures that stimulate and sustain violent conflict.

Through academic learning, critical thinking sessions, tailored field studies, established and emerging intervention methodologies, and problem-solving and practitioner workshops, participants will collaborate to develop creative peace-building and reconciliation strategies to take back to their respective communities and areas of vocation.

Hear From Our Students

Watch the video below to find out how the Academic Certificate in Conflict Transformation Program is impacting students.

Program Highlights

The academic delivery of the certificate program will be accomplished through blended instruction.  Each of the first three courses will be conducted over eight weeks though comprehensive online instruction.  The fourth capstone course will involve four weeks of independent case study research, followed by fourteen days of intensive practitioner workshops and a tailored field study in Northern Ireland.

Unit 1:  IR8305 Conflict Transformation:  Theory and Practice
Unit 2:  IR8351 Identity, Religion, and Violent Conflict
Unit 3:  IR8352 Models for Engagement and Encounter
Unit 4:  IR9302 Capstone Field Study Course (culminates in two-week field study project in Northern Ireland)

Application Requirements

  • Submit online application
  • Two official copies of transcripts with degree awarded from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
    • International students must provide transcript evaluation(s).  Only evaluations from the following will be accepted: or or
  • Current resume/CV
  • Personal statement (700-900 words)
  • TOEFL/IELTS (international students only; those who are citizens of countries where English is not an official language must demonstrate competency in English)
    • Minimum TOEFL score for admission is 80 internet-based
    • Minimum IELTS score is an overall band of 6.0 with no individual band score below 5.0
    • Scores may not be more than two years old
    • Test scores should be sent directly to St. Mary’s University Graduate Admissions from ETS.  St. Mary’s ETS code is 6637.
      • For information about tests, including testing dates and cost, please contact your Consulate or Educational Testing Services (ETS) (

Documents should be sent to:

Attn:  Graduate Admissions Office
St. Mary’s University
One Camino Santa Maria
San Antonio, TX 78228

Apply Now

Cost and Scholarships

Cost of the academic certificate program is $11,000. This includes tuition and fees for online courses and room/board, ground transportation, and program facilitation in Northern Ireland (airfare to Northern Ireland is not included). Full or partial scholarships may be available to students living or working in developing countries and/or conflict and post-conflict regions.  Interested students will need to submit a letter requesting scholarship consideration along with their full application.

Professionals and academics may consider this academic certificate to grow in their current vocation and/or be more competitive in their fields. Some of those fields may be:  humanitarian aid programs, international contracting/purchasing, conflict mediation, Foreign Service, military intelligence, military foreign affairs/attache, international public health officers, USAID, DEA, and U.S. Border Patrol.

Next Steps

Would you like to receive more information or are you ready to apply?

Graduate Admissions

Aaron Tyler, Ph.D.
Chair, Graduate International Relations

Learn More about the Certificate Program in the Graduate Catalog Apply Now