Become a Restorative Justice Leader by Developing Skills to Put Into Practice

A representation of a restorative justice facilitation of a circle technique showing five people sitting in a circle

Restorative justice is a global social movement with growth in a variety of settings including K-12 schools, 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. The certificate combines an academic understanding of restorative justice with experiential learning to ensure skillful facilitation.

This three-course certificate provides a comprehensive introduction to restorative justice facilitation and leadership through both online coursework and a skill-building intensive workshop held at the University of San Diego's campus*. 

*EDU-X786R will be available with the option of in person or online depending on the cohort. Check the schedule to see which cohort you will want to sign up for depending on the format you would like to take EDU-X786R.

The Restorative Justice Facilitation and Leadership Certificate is offered by the USD 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 is designed for professional practice with the goal of building a new generation of restorative justice leaders.

Who Should Attend

This certificate program is for people wishing to deepen their understanding of restorative justice, become skillful restorative facilitators, and lead efforts to implement Restorative Justice programs and policies.  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.

The courses in this certificate program receive graduate level extension credits from the University of San Diego.  These credits are designed for professional growth and salary advancement (if applicable) and are not accepted toward a degree program at the University of San Diego.  USD Undergraduate/Graduate Students:  If you are interested in taking graduate level courses in Restorative Justice to be applied toward a USD degree program, please contact the Center for Restorative Justice for more information.

To receive information on USD's Center for Restorative Justice and receive email notifications, please visit the Center for Restorative Justice.

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. If you are from one of these states/district, please contact Professor Justine Darling ( for advice about our program.

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.

Schedule and Fees

Course # Required Courses (9 Units) Cohort




Introduction to Restorative Justice: A Global Social Movement
(3 Units)


Restorative Justice for Campus Sexual Harm
(3 Units). Only available for Cohort 009

Jan 30 - May 14, 2024

Sep 3 - Dec 10, 2024


Sep 5 - Dec 12, 2024


EDU-X786R Restorative Justice Facilitation and Skill-Building Intensive
(3 units)


Jun 4 - Jul 2, 2024

Jan 13-17, 2025


EDU-X787R Restorative Justice in Practice
(3 units)

Aug 27 - Dec 18, 2024

Jan 29  - May 7, 2025


C = Classroom; OFD = Online Fixed-Date; OSP = Online Self-Paced; IS = Independent Study Self-Paced
*Schedule and Fees are subject to change.

Scholarship Information

Click here for more information on scholarships available for the next term. Any questions about the scholarship program can be directed to Justine Andreu Darling at

Get More Information

If you have any questions about certificate enrollment, curriculum, or other opportunities for Restorative Justice education please complete the inquiry form below and you will be contacted.


Program Details

Complete the requirements below to earn a professional certificate in Restorative Justice Facilitation and Leadership. The certificate can be completed in less than 9 months. Read Certificate Benefits and Policy.

  • Complete 3 required courses, EDU-X785R*, EDU-X786R and EDU-X787R (total of 9 units)
    *EDU-X779R (possible future offering Spring 2025) can be substituted for EDU-X785R

Enroll in this certificate program, by enrolling in EDU-X785R, or EDU-X779R (when offered), EDU-X786R and EDU-X787R. Courses must be taken in order. Please note that EDU-X786R is currently offered in both online, and in-person options depending on the cohort. The in-person option is a one week intensive face-to-face workshop that spans four days at the University of San Diego's campus. Check each cohort before signing up, for the dates, as they vary.

  • 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 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
  • Understand the relationship between theory and practice of restorative justice
  • Distinguish and apply various restorative practices, especially circles and conferencing
  • Demonstrate competence in restorative process from pre-dialogue preparation to dialogue facilitation to post-dialogue mentoring and support
  • Develop strong commitment to facilitation self-reflection and co-facilitator debriefing and support for ongoing skill development
  • Create a community of practice for continued learning
  • Practice the tenets of restorative leadership and consider one’s role with the larger restorative justice movement

This program is approved by the following third-party funding source(s):

  • Department of Veterans Affairs - Post 9-11, Yellow Ribbon, etc. (VA)

For students using third-party funding, please contact Enrollment and Student Services at to begin the registration process. Please have your funding source details readily available.

"[The Instructors'] engagement with and support of students were exceptional. I was not expecting the strong sense of community that we built (over Zoom!) during the program, and appreciate the network of support and new colleagues and practitioners that I now have. It was a great foundational course both in terms of philosophy/values and also practice. I hope very much that there will be a second, advanced series that might be offered as a continuation of the deep-dive into RJ and the skill building. Thank you for an amazing year, and for the professional and personal growth you have given me.", Camille Lizarríbar, Tufts University

"This was an AMAZING program and I HIGHLY recommend it!", Danielle Spilker-Wilson, San Diego District Attorney

"You are all so incredible--thank you for doing this! I have learned so much, met so many thoughtful and interesting people, and I am looking forward to another class in the fall! ", Bonnie Talbert, Harvard University

Additional Details

Required fields are indicated by .