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What is Mediation?

Discover, What is Mediation from Grace College’s award-winning mediation team at our mediation camp. Learn skills for conflict mediation

When two parties have a legal dispute, a civil trial can often prove expensive, complicated, and time-consuming. Because of this, many take advantage of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, which seek to resolve a case before it reaches litigation. Mediation, one of these methods, offers a valuable, effective alternative to trial.

But what is mediation?


What is mediation?

From the Latin medius, or “middle,” mediation involves a neutral and unbiased third party who aids both parties in resolving a dispute. Unlike a formal court case, the final decision is left completely up to both parties. The mediator serves not to render a verdict, but to facilitate dialogue and assist in the negotiation process.

Mediation first appeared in some ancient civilizations, such as biblical Israel, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and China. In the American legal system, it emerged as a response to the abundance of labor disputes arising in the 1960s and 1970s.

Conflict mediation benefits parties who cannot resolve a disagreement on their own but must maintain a professional or personal relationship, like those involved in work or divorce disputes.

Mediation sessions can be court-ordered, but they are often voluntary. In any case, both parties can refuse to settle on an agreement. If they do settle, however, they can sign a binding contract that outlines the terms of the arrangement.

Because mediation stresses constructive values, like creativity, problem-solving, and conflict resolution, many high schools and colleges offer clubs that prepare students to compete in mock meditation competitions.


Mediation at Grace College

Grace College has a record-breaking mediation team, which placed first in several categories at the Central Florida University Conciliator Tournament this year. In 2023, the team placed 8th worldwide at the International Law School Mediation Tournament, a graduate-level competition. The team was invited to Italy because of its success in 2022, placing first in several categories at the International Academy of Dispute Resolution undergraduate mediation tournament.

“I am so honored to work with the fine students we have on the mediation team,” said Dr. Mark Norris, professor and coach of Grace College’s mediation team. “They embody Matthew 5:9, which says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.’ They have a wonderful testimony and are superior peacekeepers. The team members are eager to teach high school students what they have learned.”


This summer, high schoolers with an interest in debate, public speaking, or diplomacy will have the opportunity to learn from Grace’s award-winning mediation team at its first-annual mediation camp. The camp will take place July 15-19 from 12-4 p.m. and is open for those 14-18 years of age. 


Learn more about Grace College’s upcoming mediation camp

Tagged With: About Grace College, Department of Humanities, School of Arts and Humanities