Introduction to Restorative Justice: A Global Social Movement

Course Available
3 Units
Online Fixed-Date

Course Description

The First Step to Change:  Learn About the Restorative Justice Philosophy and How Its Application Leads to Successful Leadership

This seven-module asynchronous online course introduces the philosophy and practices of restorative justice.  Restorative justice is a global social movement with applications ranging from the way a teacher responds to minor misbehavior in school classroom to prosecutors' support of a crime victim’s desire to confront the offender to a society’s healing approach in the aftermath of war or genocide. Restorative approaches draw upon a variety of justice traditions that, in many ways, challenges the Western legal tradition of adversarial adjudication and punishment. Participants will be introduced to the ethical framework that guides restorative approaches and a variety of applications. One leading assumption of this course is that a student interested in applying restorative justice in one particular setting, such as a school, will be most successful when they understand a broad range of restorative perspectives and practices.

This course is one of the options for the first of three required courses for the Restorative Justice Facilitation and Leadership Certificate, developed by the University of San Diego's Center for Restorative Justice, housed in the Leadership Studies Department in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences and facilitated by the Division of Professional and Continuing Education.  The certificate curriculum combines an academic understanding of restorative justice with experiential learning to ensure skillful facilitation, with the goal of building a new generation of restorative justice leaders.

This course can be taken in lieu of EDU-X779R, Restorative Justice for Campus Sexual Harm toward certificate requirements.

Course Details

Number of Units: 3.0 graduate level extension credits in semester hours

Who Should Attend: This course provides continuing education for those that want to learn more on and implement restorative justice in lieu of the traditional punishment practices.  This includes K-12 educators, and those working for higher education institutions, workplaces, community organizations, and criminal justice agencies. There is a growing need for skilled practitioners who understand the philosophical underpinnings of restorative justice, its varied applications, and self-reflective, nuanced practice.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to regulations from the U.S. Department of Education, the University of San Diego is unable to enroll students in its online programs who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. This restriction does not apply to applicants interested in a campus-based program. If you are from one of these states/district, please contact Professor Justine Darling ([email protected]) for advice about our program.

Course Format:  This course is offered in Online Fixed-Date (fully online) and spans a 14-week schedule. This course is asynchronous, there are no set days or times to be online but there are specific weekly assignment deadline dates within the course.

Course Materials: Two text books,

Refund Policy: To receive a refund, students need to drop the course through the MyPCE@USD student account portal before midnight (11:59PT) on the third day of the course. The refund of the course fee will be returned less a processing fee of 10% of the course tuition. No refunds will be issued after this deadline.

Enrollment Open Through:  Maximum enrollment is met, or through the first day of the course, whichever happens first.

Technical Requirements

ADA Accommodations:  The Center for Restorative Justice is committed to promoting knowledge and academic excellence for all learners. The University of San Diego's Disability and Learning Difference Resource Center helps students with verified disabilities obtain meaningful academic accommodations and support to help improve access to the Center for Restorative Justice and courses.  If you are a student who would like to be considered for academic accommodations, please visit USD's Disability and Learning Difference Resource Center's website and follow the instructions under Requesting Services.

Course Options

Course Date Units Price
EDU-X785R – COHORT-009 20 Aug 202407 Oct 2024 3 $1195

Introduction to Restorative Justice: A Global Social Movement

20 Aug 202407 Oct 2024
Online Fixed-Date
Justine Darling

Once you have enrolled in your course, log in to your account to access the Academic Integrity Policy. A Welcome email will be sent no later than 48 hours prior to your first course meeting. This email will include directions on how to log into your Canvas portal.

What You Will Learn

  • Understand the philosophy and practice of restorative justice from an ethical and philosophical consideration of the goals and consequences of various approaches to punishment
  • Distinguish various applications of restorative justice in a variety of institutions from a cross-cultural perspective
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the research on restorative justice including the criteria used for assessment of restorative programs
  • Assess the strategies and effectiveness of restorative justice implementation through critical assessment of grassroots (bottom-up) and administrative (top-down) initiatives


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Online Fixed-Date

Online Fixed-Date: Online fixed-date courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that enables you to collaborate with your instructor and other students in a shared, online learning environment. These courses have fixed start and finish dates, but as an online student you will have 24/7 online access to your classroom assignments, syllabus and course resources. Our online fixed-date courses allow you to work on your assignments anytime, although you are required to complete the assignments by specific dates.

How is the learning structured? In an online fixed-date course, you and your classmates will proceed through the curriculum together, collaborating in a shared learning experience. Each online fixed-date course is asynchronous, meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime, although required to complete the assignments by specific dates. The course is designed with learning modules where all of the content is grouped into weekly assignments. Each module covers one or more topics. Within each of the learning modules, you can expect the following components:

  • Module introduction that outlines what you can expect to learn in the module.
  • Required readings (textbook, articles, journals, etc.) and presentations (audio and/or video).
  • Assignments with due dates (which may include: written assignments, journal entries, research, blogs, etc.) based on the readings and presentations.
  • Discussion forum where you answer prompts from the instructor and interact with your classmates.
  • Module conclusion to review the topics and what you should have learned.
  • Typically, there is a final project, paper, or exam due in the last module that culminates all of the topics covered in each of the learning modules. You’ll find that the design of the learning modules has a rhythm to help you manage your time in the course.

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My instructors were great, they were very knowledgeable on the topics we learned about. They were open and honest communicators that were always available for additional conversations.

This course has taught me so much more about restorative justice and its surrounding movements, and although I had an idea of how it would influence my professional life, I did not anticipate that it would also transform me on a personal level. I’m so grateful for all I’ve learned so far, and I’m looking forward to the next two courses in the certificate program!

This is my first time engaging in the education system as a learner since I graduated with my Masters in 2010. This course was phenomenal. While it was difficult for me at time to manage the readings on top of life and my work, I got so much out of the course that I am grateful for. It was definitely worth it.