We want all conversations to be civil and respectful

CPL Facilitator Certification Program

 Are you passionate about bridging the political divide and fostering civil dialogue across different perspectives?  Do you want to enhance your communication skills and become a more effective facilitator, leader, or educator? If so, we invite you to apply for our new CPL Facilitator Certification Program.

To obtain this certification, applicants must successfully complete CPL Moderator Training, perform well on assessments that will evaluate their knowledge, skills, and attitudes as a facilitator, and log 30 hours of facilitation time, some or all of which can be done moderating at Crossing Party Lines events.

Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect when you earn this credential:

  • You will make a positive difference in your community and society by creating more opportunities for dialogue and deliberation among people who have different views and values, helping them develop mutual respect, understanding, and trust. You will also inspire them to take action on the issues that matter to them.
  • You will enhance your resume and stand out as a candidate who can communicate effectively, work collaboratively, handle diversity and complexity, and is committed to continuous learning and improvement.
  • With a clear understanding of the standards and expectations of quality facilitation, you will increase your confidence and competence as a facilitator or team leader.
  • You will have access to a network of peers and mentors who can support you in your professional development.


The training is free of charge, though we ask that our students moderate at least three CPL meetings as a show of appreciation. 

Certification, which involves additional assessments, coaching, and observation time, costs $295.

Don’t miss this chance to advance your career and make an impact as a facilitator of conversations between people with different ideologies and political views.

Upcoming Trainings:

SessionDatesRegistration Link
Winter 2024January 22 — March 3Registration Link
Summer 2024July 15 — August 25Registration Link
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    CPL 300: Moderator's Training

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    The Two Types of Depolarization

    Depolarization — the work of reducing toxic polarization — is best understood in terms of the two types of polarization that shape our interactions and perceptions in today’s politically charged climate:

    1. Affective Polarization

    Affective polarization revolves around emotions and feelings. It refers to the emotional divide between individuals or groups with differing political views. It’s about how people feel about others who hold opposing ideologies.

    • Us vs. Them: In affective polarization, people tend to see those on the other side of the political spectrum as part of an “us vs. them” mentality. Emotions like anger, fear, and distrust often come into play.
    • Emotional Reactions: When encountering someone with opposing views, affectively polarized individuals may experience heightened emotions. They might feel threatened, defensive, or even hostile.
    • Echo Chambers: Social media and personalized news feeds can exacerbate affective polarization by reinforcing existing beliefs and isolating individuals from diverse perspectives.

    2. Cognitive Polarization

    Cognitive polarization focuses on thought processes and cognitive biases. It pertains to how people think about the views of others.

    • Discounting Opposing Views: Cognitive polarization leads to a tendency to discount opposing viewpoints without critically evaluating them. People may jump to conclusions, assuming that differing opinions lack validity or logical soundness.
    • Us vs. Them (Again): Just as in affective polarization, cognitive polarization reinforces the “us vs. them” mindset. It hinders open-mindedness and intellectual curiosity.
    • Intellectual Echo Chambers: Cognitive polarization occurs when people surround themselves with like-minded sources, reinforcing their preconceptions and avoiding exposure to alternative perspectives.

    The Interplay Between Affective and Cognitive Polarization

    Affective and cognitive polarization often feed into each other. Emotional reactions (affective) influence how we process information (cognitive), and vice versa.

    Breaking the Cycle: CPL recognizes that depolarization  requires us to address both affective and cognitive aspects. Encouraging empathy and  active listening is not enough.  We must also teach critical thinking and intellectual humility if we are to truly bridge the gap.

    About Bridging

    Bridging refers to the intentional effort to reduce toxic polarization by fostering understanding, empathy, and communication between individuals or groups with differing political views. It aims to build connections and discover our shared humanity, ultimately bridging the gaps that divides people along ideological lines.