The Institute is dedicated to developing and sustaining rich partnering relationships with indigenous political and religious leaders that prepare a foundation for reconciliation. Through these partner relationships, next generation peacemakers can be identified and trained to expand faith-based reconciliation efforts in regions where identity-based conflicts have prevented peaceful coexistence. Faith-based reconciliation is an alternative approach to traditional diplomacy and negotiating peacemaking, and it differs from these methods in that it is principally a spiritually based effort to soften hearts. Accordingly, participants in FBR training will explore eight core values that seek to create a reconciling spirit for healing the historic wounds that energize hostility between communities. By learning how to build bridges between opposing community leaders, trainees will be equipped to facilitate the trust-based joint problem solving needed to overcome distrust and hostility and resolve a range of societal issues.
Active involvement of political and religious leaders is the key to the success of regional FBC training. Initial outreach to these leaders will seek to gain their support for conducting FBR workshop in which they participate in order to develop their ownership of the FBR process and their active involvement in planning the follow-on FBD training. As planning for FBD training progresses, the leaders will be asked to help plan the venue and provide material support for the month-long training period. The leaders will also be asked to identify participants for the student-led FBR workshop conducted during the fourth week of training.
The Institute, a distinctly faith-based enterprise, will draw on Jewish, Christian, and Muslim transcendent values that reflect God’s covenant relationship with these faith traditions and His desired blessing of all peoples through Abraham. Rather than operating as a “bricks and mortar” institution, the Institute will develop faith-based approaches to reconciliation by working and indigenous religious and political partners in regions at risk. Tailoring FBR activities to the needs of Faith Communities the Institute will draw on locally available resources and promote the advocacy of respected leaders to create an enduring reconciliation movement within faith communities.
- Initially in each region the Institute will work closely with political and religious leaders to form a partnership with a core of senior indigenous leaders, promoting interest in FBR by involving them in an initial FBR workshop. The intention is for them to become the regional expression of FBR.
- Based on the success of this initial workshop, the participating leaders would identify approximately 20 spiritually mature candidates whose orientation to faith-based diplomacy and potential as future faith leaders would enable them to pursue reconciliation as a collective work of faith.
- The candidates would participate in a week-long FBR workshop and assessment by the Institute staff and their sponsoring organizations.
- Approved candidates would participate in a follow-on one month period of instruction and mentoring conducted locally designed to equip them with the skills needed for planning and conducting FBR activities. The intentionally rigorous and personally challenging instruction would seek to develop the relational skills, motivation, and spiritual maturity needed to conduct FBR activities in challenging environments.
- Following the training of the initial cadre of reconciliation practitioners, the Institute would work in an advise and assist role with sponsoring organizations to plan follow-on FBR activities at other locations within the region.
- The Institute would support trained personnel through a network that shares best practices and assist and advise them in training additional cadres to expand FBR activities within the region.