Transforming Congregational Conflict and Communication

An online short course

Taught by Betty Pries, PhD, CMed

Dates: April 12 – May 23, 2023

Early registration deadline: March 22
Final registration deadline: April 5

Conflict in the congregation is one of the most difficult experiences pastors and lay leaders will encounter while in ministry. Conflict can destroy congregations. Done well, however, engaging differences can be a sign of vitality, energy and spiritual maturity. 

Drawing from biblical, theological, practical and spiritual sources, this course will explore the possibilities and pitfalls of courageously engaging in differences within congregational life and in building congregational cultures that nurture the tender balance between honesty and kindness and that generate faithfulness and joy.

Short course students are expected to read assigned materials and complete short assignments, writing in an online discussion forum. Students manage their own time to meet weekly assignment deadlines.

This online short course includes an optional evening video conference meeting with one or both professors each week of the course. The live video conference meetings will take place from 9 to 10 p.m. ET on Monday evenings throughout the six-week course. The meetings will be recorded for participants who aren’t able to attend.

Hear from Betty about this short course

Betty Pries specializes in providing mediation, training, facilitation, coaching and consulting services for businesses, not-for-profit organizations, governments and churches. She is a sessional faculty member at AMBS. 


Anabaptist Short Course Bundle discount!

Only $995 US total for four Anabaptist short courses.* Register online and select the bundle price.

*NOTE: Resisting Christian Nationalism with the Gospel of Peace is not included in the Anabaptist Short Course Bundle.

Short course details

How short courses work

Courses are offered online and typically last six weeks each.* Short course students are expected to complete coursework on their own and post to an online forum weekly. Some short courses also include optional, weekly, live video conversations. These conversations are typically recorded for class members who cannot attend.

Short courses explore topics like Anabaptist history, biblical study, spiritual and ethical issues, worship, and more. These non-credit courses involve readings from textbooks and online articles and include written forum discussion. You won’t receive a grade, but readings and discussion are comparable to seminary-level work, and professors assume you have critical thinking skills and some previous academic study.

*Resisting Christian Nationalism with the Gospel of Peace is four weeks long.

Online course requirements

You will need:

  • High speed internet access
  • Access to a computer with a web browser, a word processing program, and a PDF file reader (such as Adobe Reader)
  • An email account
  • Basic computer skills
  • One or two textbooks selected by the professor, available from a web source

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available. Upon the completion of course requirements, you can earn 2.4 CEUs.* However, no academic credit is awarded and these courses do not meet any requirements in the AMBS Master of Divinity or Master of Arts programs of study.

*Resisting Christian Nationalism with the Gospel of Peace earns 1.7 CEUs.

Before you register

Online learning is not for everyone. To help evaluate your skills and abilities to benefit from an online course, please follow this link to a quiz provided by Washington Online. Question 5 asks about available time to devote to the course. Short courses require, on average, 5-10 hours per week rather than the 10-15 hours mentioned in the quiz. With this in mind, we encourage you to take the quiz and find out whether you are a good candidate for online learning.


Before the early registration deadline, cancellations will be refunded, less US$50. After this date, cancellations will be granted credit, less US$50, toward a future short course within one year. Refund credits must be requested within one week of the beginning of the event.

Questions? Contact us!

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