Many of our students already have advanced degrees. Some come for the learning itself, not just the degree, because they have a passion to explore the dynamics of relationships. They seek a reliable and a powerful practice that builds social capital and helps individuals take agency in their lives and achieve a stronger civil society.

Our faculty and graduate students engage in reflection, scientific inquiry and academic discussion, drawing on theory as well as their own professional practice and personal experience. Students customize a program with faculty that speaks to their specific interests to push their thinking forward, synthesize new ideas and take action within their own communities.

The students that come to the IIRP are:

  • motivated by a sense of justice to create a more fair and participatory world.
  • determined to learn how to manage conflict and foster respect and empathy.
  • eager to engage individuals to have voice in decisions that impact them.
  • hungry to foster responsibility and learn how to hold people accountable for their actions.


Academic Year 2016-2017

Conflict Resolution 11 5.76%
Counselor 6 3.14%
Criminal Justice 4 2.09%
Executive Leadership 5 2.62%
Human or Social Services 16 8.38%
Other 61 31.94%
School Administrator 27 14.14%
School Counselor 18 9.42%
Teacher 39 20.42%
Youth Worker 4 2.09%

Our students have listed their profession as: teacher, school counselor, school administrator, criminal justice professional, counselor, social worker, youth worker, executive leadership, pastoral work, conflict resolution, human or social services, agency director, college faculty, attorney, librarian, music therapist, school-based restorative practices facilitator, software engineer, community organizer, director of college residential life.

The majority of our students are from outside of Pennsylvania; many are from outside the U.S.

Students Globe 2018

Higher Education for a New Century

I recently had the pleasure of representing the IIRP at the New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum. Racial equity, free speech, and the arrival of Generation Z on campus were some important topics that inspired passionate discussion. However, higher education is undergoing changes that are less obvious than these headline-grabbing themes. These changes might transform our entire concept of college, university and adult learning.

There is a widespread perception that the return on investment in higher education is unclear. Beyond the cost of tuition, recent research indicates that the learning experience frequently fails to reliably develop the competencies that students and employers value most.

The IIRP is a graduate institution designed for the 21st century. Learning centers on real-life, personal and professional challenges and projects. Most of our students remain engaged in their current job roles while they study.

The benefits of this education to the outside world can be clearly seen in these pages: helping adolescents avert violence and bullying; allowing communities to talk about their most divisive issues, etc.

Our courses are largely blended, asynchronous and online — allowing our students to participate from anywhere in the world.

Traditional, professor-centric classroom learning increasingly cannot compete with new tech-savvy, adaptive and blended learning. The next generation expects an education experience that is engaging, flexible and student-centered.

Here, faculty-centric lectures have generally been replaced by faculty-facilitated online group engagement. Our mission and curriculum, while universally beneficial, are highly specialized. This is a strategic strength. It means that IIRP faculty are the world’s leading experts in the ideas and competencies they teach. You can read about them in this magazine.

The future of higher education will encompass a wide range of smaller, nimbler, more specialized niche providers delivering competency-focused learning that is highly responsive to students’ and employers’ needs. There will be increased demand for skills-specific learning that teaches quantifiable hard and soft skills that employers value and students can use immediately.

At the IIRP, simple governance structures, lean leadership hierarchies and a culture of innovation mean that we can devote time and resources to student support, content creation and innovative delivery methods. We focus on the things that matter most to our students.

Higher education needs are changing fast. In a future of greatly increased options, the IIRP will push this innovation curve by offering increased creativity and responsiveness to better meet the needs of 21st century learners.

John W. Bailie, Ph.D. 


John W. Bailie, Ph.D., is President of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP). Dr. Bailie is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences on education reform and civil society development. He has initiated major research projects on restorative practices in schools and frequently publishes on the application of restorative practices in leadership, social innovation, adult learning and education reform.

Dr. Bailie is also Visiting Faculty, Teachers College, Columbia University. He studied English, art and military science at Norwich University and accounting and logistics at the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School; received his Master of Restorative Practices and Youth Counseling from the IIRP; Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from MIT and holds a Ph.D. in Education and Adult Learning from Lesley University.

Dr. Bailie lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife Erin, their four children and an ever-growing array of pets.

Twitter: @JohnBailieIIRP
LinkedIn: John W. Bailie, Ph.D.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Blog: President's Blog

All humans are hardwired to connect. Just as we need food, shelter and clothing, human beings also need strong and meaningful relationships to thrive.

Restorative practices is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities.

Restorative practices is being applied in the following settings:

  • K-12 and Higher Education
  • Community Health
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Criminal Justice
  • Counseling and Social Work

The IIRP Graduate School is devoted to scholarship and research, graduate education, professional development, world conferences and innovative civil society projects around the world.


The IIRP Board of Trustees are holders of the organizational trust and mission. Our trustees bring many different perspectives and experiences in fields such as law, higher education, faith, public education, private foundations, government relations, management and child welfare, which mirror the numerous arenas where restorative practices are being implemented.

When we say IIRP alumni are change agents, we know what that really means.

It’s that they are so knowledgeable and compassionate upon graduation they can see things no one else does and walk into situations with the answers. Our alumni understand that for real change to happen, it has to come from a vision and responsibility that's shared by all stakeholders.

Our alumni can walk into a room and ask the right questions, employing a reliable process that engages people in the right conversations. They know that this process will help everyone discover answers together, and that these answers have a better chance of enduring when the going gets tough.

Working in underfunded schools or economically disadvantaged communities, IIRP alumni are skilled in helping children and adults not just speak up against something, but find a way to stand together, discover their power and resources and create positive change.

In courts and probation settings, alumni work with individuals who have been harmed, those that cause the harm, and those who have been impacted by others’ crimes to foster empathy and identify what needs to change to keep people safe and make things right.

In business settings and political arenas, our alumni know how to model constructive and honest conflict, build relationships and develop the social capital to hold people accountable for their actions and achieve results. 

Benefits for IIRP alumni

  • Professional support and job postings on IIRP Graduate School Community LinkedIn group
  • 15% registration discount to the IIRP’s World Conferences
  • Lifetime subscription to IIRP’s Restorative Works Magazine
  • Free Trainings of Trainers (normally $1,800 each) to help alumni bring IIRP-licensed training to their organization or locale.
  • Invitations to alumni gatherings and events

Alumni Spotlights