Restorative Conversations

Restorative Conversations: Peacemaking @ Wheaton College


To create Gospel motivated spaces where Wheaton College members can participate in restorative conversations, in part, through listening to and considering the perspectives of others to cultivate peacemaking that also fosters health relationships with God and with each other in Christ.  


Wheaton College members voluntarily join a covenantal community who commit to each other an intention to love God and one another.  Seeking peace (Ps. 34:14) through listening (James 1:19) and considering the needs of others (Philippians 2:4), are practical ways to express love.  As believers, peacemaking is central to our faith.  It’s a way of life toward which Christ’s reconciling love compels us (Matthew 5:9).  Research also demonstrates a key to communicating with others in conflict is related to understand their underlying needs and expectations.  


A diverse team of people at Wheaton College have been learning ways of facilitating restorative conversations that are concerned with cultivating relationships through listening to each other’s perspectives before discussing issues and exploring action steps.  This team is excited to make restorative conversations accessible to groups of students, staff, and faculty.


Restorative conversations are centered on cultivating healthy relationships through listening, which may require some re-framing from the current way of communicating, which is centered on advancing one’s perspective and position.  For some members of the Wheaton College community, restorative conversation practices offer a new way of being together.  Restorative conversations are a time-tested practice, offering a hopeful way of relating to one another during conflict that is different from the current way, which can be a barrier preventing us from communicating with each other.  Where there is no communication, there is no relationship.    

What to Expect

There are four parts to a restorative conversation: 1) getting acquainted; 2) building relationships by clarifying values and guidelines; 3) addressing the issues; and 4) developing action plans.  If your team, department, program, or friendship group wants to explore participating in an initial 90-minute restorative conversation, please email  Depending on the type and level of conflict, more than one 90-minute conversation may be helpful.


Joanne Beck (Human Resources), Paul Chelsen (Student Development), David Cho (Multicultural Development), Tanya Egler (Multicultural Development), Stevener Gaskin (Intercultural Arts & Media), Dan Haase (Christian Formation & Ministry), Justin Heth (Residence Life), Billye Kee (Multicultural Development), Toussaint Whetstone (Student Wellness), Carrie Williams (Student Care Services).

September 2023