Institute for Conflict Studies

Enrollment limited! Agenda now available.

Small sessions that build understanding, collegiality, and critical thinking.

Join us in fall 2018 for practical training in dispute resolution, offered by the Institute for Conflict Studies at Cardinal Stritch University! These short courses, which also provide CLE credit, are designed for professionals in business, law, health care, education, public service, and nonprofit management. See the upcoming schedule for our Fridays at Stritch sessions starting October 12th!

Read instructor Eva Soeka's guest essay in our Summer edition of the Stritch Magazine: Discovering collaboration, creativity, innovation and understanding through conflict.

Retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and Institute for Conflict Studies instructor Janine P. Geske, J.D., discusses the importance of conflict studies and conflict resolution.

Upcoming Classes


1:00-5:00p.m. • $295 • Instructors: Mark Gmach & Lyle Maryniak • Limit: 18 students
(This session involves pre and post session work.)


1:00-4:00p.m. • $195 • Instructor: Michael Rust • Limit: 25 students
(This session will be submitted for 3EPR credits for attorneys.)


1:00-4:00p.m. • $195 • Instructor: Moira J. Kelly • Limit: 20 students

Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution

About the program:

  • 12 credit graduate certificate (credit-bearing)
  • Comprised of four three-credit course
  • Structured as a once a week three hour seminar with one hour online
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
  • Designed for leaders and managers in business, healthcare, education, nonprofits, and government

The certificate will begin on February 25 with a foundation course, 'Dispute Resolution: Negotiation and Mediation'. This is a three-credit course which will meet once a week for six weeks for three hours; there will be an additional one-hour of online coursework. This course will be followed on April 7 by the course, 'Managing Conflict in the Workplace'.

Course Descriptions

Dispute Resolution Processes: Negotiation and Mediation:

This course provides the student with a basic understanding of two commonly-used processes used to resolve conflict. The student will be exposed to concepts of reactive devaluation, framing, reality-testing and other similar concepts. This course is a foundation course and prerequisite for the three remaining courses in the graduate certificate.


Managing Conflict in the Workplace

This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of processes used to manage conflict in the workplace. These include collective bargaining, ombuds, peer review, and internal and external mediation. This course will be taught using extensive role plays.


Cultural Competence and Conflict:

This course is designed to study how race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and generational identity conflict, particularly organizational alignment. The course will utilize materials from Project Implicit to help students develop self-awareness. This course will be taught using extensive role plays.


Capstone in Dispute Resolution:

The capstone will provide the student to learn how to research and analyze a topic in an interdisciplinary methodology. Students will be given the option of selecting a real life case study or a broader research topic in the field to use for their capstone project.

Featured Instructors

Howard Bellman

Mediator, Arbitrator, and former Secretary of the Department of Industry, Labor, and Human Relations

Danielle Carne

Carne Dispute Resolution

Janine P. Geske

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice

Laila V. Hick

Northwestern Mutual, Vice President, Transformation

Eva M. Soeka

Executive Director, Institute for Conflict Studies and former Director of Marquette University's Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution

Lyle N. Maryniak, M.S., CLF

Adjunct Professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering

Mark J. Gmach CLU, ChFC, MSFS, CRCP

Adjunct Professor at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and The American College

How to Register

Register by calling Eva M. Soeka, Executive Director of the Institute for Conflict Studies, at 414-410-4182 or by email at


About the Institute for Conflict Studies at Cardinal Stritch University

The Institute for Conflict Studies is designed as an interdisciplinary forum for people engaged in a wide range of professions to enhance their understanding of conflict.  Participants learn about processes such as negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and public policy consensus building to help them identify, prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts in their everyday work and community lives.