Dialogues for peacebuilding and empowerment

There will be frequent opportunities across the conference and pre-conference to build peace, to foster understanding and to improve inter-faith dialogue.

Hands and desk

Dialogue opportunities for peace building

Building connections and understanding at the conference can help to bring about peace, preparing us for times when the bonds between us need to be strong. Throughout the conference there will be multiple opportunities for chaplaincy practitioners to learn from each other and from other experts in the field. 

All of our conference events encourage greater dialogue, helping to build peaceful connections and understanding across religions and beliefs, cultures and continents, regions and nations. 

Panel discussions

Conference panels will include some of our keynote speakers plus invited guests. Some sessions will consider broad questions, some much more specific.

To include:

  • The borders of our lives
    • How boundaries and borders impact the way we engage within and between learning communities and local communities (Tuesday)
  • The future of Muslim chaplaincy
    • A look at the different approaches taken in training and by appointing institutions (Tuesday)
  • Peaceful dialogue in times of conflict
    • How better conversations during times of conflict depend on both inclusion and leadership (Wednesday)
  • Reconstructing chaplaincy according to different lights
    • How chaplaincies have been defined by Christian funding, leadership and oversight; panelists share the costs and challenges of redefining and re-purposing chaplaincy to different standpoints, religions and beliefs (Thursday)
  • Putting religion and belief on the university agenda
    • How doing so can build peace and liberation (Thursday)

Workshops and presentations 

To include:

  • A week-long immersion experience at the US/Mexico border
    • A project from Queens University in North Carolina (with Margaret Commins and Joey Haynes)
  • Going Barefoot: A Dialogical Experiment in Human and Land Relating
    • A sustained, vulnerability-based dialogue method with a focus on human and land relating (with Jan Fuller from Elon University, North Carolina)
  • Making possible "campus conversations" addressing the "freedom of religious expression"
    • Conversations with Ricky Waters from Auckland (chaplain and also a trustee with the Religious Diversity Centre in Aotearoa, New Zealand)
  • Religion is Optional, Meaning is Mandatory: Facilitating Programs for the Unaffiliated
    • Conversations with Monica Sandford (Rochester Institute of Technology in Henrietta, New York)
  • Responding to Self-Harm and Other Distressing Mental Health Presentations in Students and Staff
    • Balancing appropriate responses with self-care for chaplaincy practitioners (with Kate Harford from Oxford Brookes University, England)
  • Students AND Chaplains as Multi-faith Learners
    • Exploring helpful tools to understand our students’ growth and challenges (with Jan Fuller of Elon University in North Carolina and Sam Bailey of Oberin College, North Carolina)


Our keynote speakers will tackle crucial topics such as:

  • Peacebuilding lessons from Israel and Palestine for the university setting
  • Peace in Ireland, Britain and the EU
  • Racism, colonialism and Brexit
  • Religion and belief as agents of peaceful change for university culture

Special events

  • The big prejudice dinner: we dive into deep conversations regarding our prejudices, ask daring questions, and are being vulnerable together, all while sharing a nourishing meal.

Tours and peacebuilding visits

Optional tours and peacebuilding visits include:

  • Visits to local faith communities and places of connection between people of diverse religions and beliefs (Tuesday)
  • Tour to the National Coal Mining Museum, which tells the story of political conflict, hard labour and upheaval in Britain (Wednesday)
  • Tour to the National Holocaust Centre and opportunity to listen to a survivor's testimony

Additional opportunities

In addition to the above, our opening and closing ceremonies will focus on peace between peoples and the planet, offering opportunities to nurture peaceful dialogues within and between faiths.

Our mid-week international marketplace will also allow for an open sharing of ideas and experiences.

Events at the University

Browse upcoming public lectures, exhibitions, family events, concerts, shows and festivals across the University.