STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 04/21/2014
Linda Colleran is excited about the many ways that Gordon teaches students about peacemaking and reconciliation. “We learn about war in school, but we aren’t taught specifically how peace happens. And peacemaking is 100 percent biblical,” she says.
In the Design Center and College Communications, Linda oversees the budget, student employees, electronic communications, the bookstore and other areas. As a volunteer mediator in the Essex County (MA) courts, she helps parties to small civil lawsuits communicate and reach a mutually acceptable resolution. “Too many people don’t realize that mediation is an alternative to full-blown litigation,” she says. “When people are having a conflict, they don’t sit down and talk to each other. But amazing things can happen when they do.”
She mediates in other settings, too. Linda launched this second vocation eight years ago when she became involved with the North Shore Community Mediation Center (NSCMC); she now serves on its board.
Gordon is also a rich context for peacemaking and mediation. Linda is involved in the Peace and Conflict studies minor, and led a student group last year on great peacemakers—and NSCMC trains Gordon student interns to mediate in schools to help students resolve interpersonal disputes. “It is really exciting and inspirational to know that students in this program are taking their rich experiences, knowledge and skills out into the world,” she says.
Linda has undergone training through the Massachusetts Bar Association, Community Mediation in Cambridge, and the Public Conversations Project. She is contemplating an additional advanced degree that integrates cross-cultural understanding with peacemaking.