Ron Claassen, D.Min.

Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies Director
Professor Emeritus of Peacemaking and Conflict Studies
Professor Emeritus of Leadership Studies
4882 E. Townsend Ave.

What programs do you teach in?

Peacemaking and conflict studies and leadership and organizational studies


D.Min., San Francisco Theological Seminary, 2005
M.Div., Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, Elkhart, IN, 1981
M.A., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 1968
B.A., Fresno Pacific College, Fresno, CA, 1967

Professional and Service Experience

I am both director of the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies and a member of the faculty of the Fresno Pacific University. I have served as a teacher, pastor, consultant, trainer and mediator in church, business, school, VORP and other settings. I am the founder of Fresno VORP (Victim Offender Reconciliation Program). I also serve as a mediator and trainer with Mennonite Conciliation Service. I have consulted and trained people in conflict management and mediation throughout the United States and abroad.

Professional Affiliations

  • Licensed Mennonite minister - Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Central California Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution, president
  • Mediation Associates, since 1985
  • Mennonite Conciliation Services

Publications and Presentations


  • "Two Useful Models for Implementing Restorative Justice," in ACResolution, Summer 2004
  • "Our Way vs. My Way," in Christian Leader, January 2004
  • "Building Peace: The Victim Offender Reconciliation Program Approach and Its Growing Role in Communities," in Restorative Justice: Repairing Communities Through Restorative Justice, edited by John Perry, published by American Correctional Association, Lanham, MD, 2002
  • Monthly articles in the newsletter of Victim Offender Reconciliation Program 1985-1999
  • "Punishment or Accountability," in The Bar Bulletin, June 1998
  • "Offender Makes About Face After VORP Community Justice Conference, Boot Camp," with Jay Griffith in The Bar Bulletin, June 1998
  • "Community Justice Conference Process Involves People Who Need to Know," in The Bar Bulletin, June 1998
  • "Community Justice Conferencing: Expanding Restorative Justice in Fresno County, California," Community Corrections Report, 1997
  • "Creating Space for Dialogue," a chapter in Community Disorders and Policing, edited by Tony Marshall, published by Whiting and Birch, London, 1992
  • "Reconciliation: A Call to Wage Peace Against Crime," in The Christian Leader, January 1995
  • "Conflict Across Cultures: Research and Training," in Conciliation Quarterly, Summer 1994
  • "VORP Mediators are Skillful Volunteers," in Conciliation Quarterly, Summer 1992
  • "Vision: Mystical and Practical," in Criminal Justice Network Newsletter, Fall 1989

Presentations (selected):

  • "Discipline That Restores--Building Character to Restore Respect, Cooperation" (keynote address) and "Responsibility" (follow-up workshop) at the Baltimore County Public Schools Character Education Conference, February 2010
  • "Promoting Shalom: Healthy Conflict Management our Lives and Congregations" presented at the El Camino Real Spring Clergy Conference, San Juan Batista, February 2010
  • "Restorative Justice and Classroom Elementary: How the Administering of Discipline with Students can be a Teaching Moment about Peacemaking and Faith" at the School Religious Conference, Loyola Marymount University, October 2009
  • Training session for trainers at Lima (Ohio) City Schools, September 2009
  • Restorative justice talks at the Bakersfield Bar Association and Boalt Law School, U.C. Berkeley, June 2009
  • Plenary speaker for the first Restorative Justice Conference in Israel initiated by the Ministry of Justice National Center for Mediation and Conflict Resolution and the University of Tel Aviv Law School and Graduate School of Social Work, May 1 and 2, 2002. Also led three half-day pre-conference workshops sponsored by the Ministry of Justice on the theory and practice of restorative justice.
  • "Family Group Conferencing" at the national conference of the Academy of Family Mediators in San Francisco, June 1998