Ted is the founder and coordinator of the Restorative Church project. He now lives in Duluth, Minnesota.
After being introduced to restorative justice through Mennonite Central Committee workers on Pine Ridge Reservation in the early 90s, Ted has worked in the fields of restorative justice and conflict resolution in Kansas, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. His area of specialty, since the late 90s, is facilitation and training for restorative conferencing that includes harming and harmed parties, along with support people.
He now works as a restorative consultant and trainer for the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking (University of Minnesota, Duluth), helping new programs nationwide to get established, and training new facilitators. As an adjunct teacher, he has taught restorative justice courses at University of Minnesota Duluth and Bethel University. Since 2014 he has served on the Advisory Council and Board of Directors for the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice.
In 2003, Ted expanded his restorative facilitation work into the realm of church communities, developing workshops and providing reconciliation services in partnership with the Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference. He currently serves on the Conflict Management Support Team for Central Plains Mennonite Conference.
Since 1998 Ted has been a regular contributor of articles for the Mennonite magazine on themes of communication and conflict for church audiences; he also writes book reviews for Mennonite World Review. (These periodicals have now merged into the Anabaptist World. See some of Ted’s articles below.) In 2013, Ted launched his restorativetrainer.com website (ended in 2021) which featured several blog series on biblical narratives and restorative themes (soon to be added to this site; see below for listing).
In 2016 Ted founded the Agape Peace Center in Duluth, MN, which is a ministry initiative of Central Plains Mennonite Conference. That same year, the seeds for the Restorative Church project were planted in conversation with Chris Marshall from New Zealand. Read more about how things developed.
View a listing of Workshops and Trainings led by Ted Lewis
View two samples of Ted’s powerpoint presentations: (available by request)
- Biblical Foundations for Bridge-Building Styles of Communication
- Rene Girard and God’s Restorative Justice
While Ted’s vocational calling is rooted in restorative justice, he also works as…
- Acquisitions Editor for Wipf & Stock Publishers (Eugene, OR) where he started the Restorative Justice Classics Series
- Executive Director for the International Jacques Ellul Society which includes the coordination of Ellul reprints and new translations.
- University of Minnesota (MA in Religious Studies with conflict focus) 1991
- Bethel University, MN (BA in Biblical and Theological Studies) 1983
Presentation by Ted Lewis at Hope College in Michigan (2017) Hope for Restoration: Radical Hospitality and Prison Reform Conference (organized by the inmates of Handlon Correctional Facility). Starts at 2:22:00 — ends at 3:21:00. Includes powerpoint of RJ basics.
Recent 2020 Article by Ted Lewis: Francis Schaeffer and Peacemaking Dialogue Article Full title: “Bridge-Building Conversations: Common Elements in Relational Peacemaking and Francis Schaeffer’s Apologetic Ministry”
Read a “Truth and Trust” speech on a restorative vision for Duluth, given at the CJMM lynching memorial day, June 15, 2021. Read also Ted’s article “No Justice, No Peace: A Restorative Perspective” 2020
Sermon panel video from Woodland Hills Church (July 25, 2021) “Where Love and Justice Kiss” (start panel at 36:30 time marker) Ted shares an RJ story about a church that burnt down, and also distinguishes the vulnerability of disempowerment from the vulnerability of re-empowerment.
Webpage for WHC 2022 Cultivate Class Information — Restorative Justice: Blending Truth, Mercy, Righteousness and Peace
Panel participant in the Worship Institute Symposium at Calvin University (Feb 2023): Moving from Walls of Hostility toward Christian Unity
Articles by Ted Lewis published in the Mennonite (now Anabaptist World)
The Four Renderings re: Good and Evil (2008)
True Evangelical Faith (2009)
The Power of Apology (2011)
Mulling and Murmuring (2013)
Philemon and Forgiveness (2016)
The PLOUGH Magazine (Aug 22, 2016): Restorative Justice: Returning Good for Evil
Previous blog series by Ted Lewis on biblical narratives and restorative themes:
- Clashes in the Book of Acts
- Isaac and Peacemaking
- Jacob and Grounding
- Joseph and Pain
- Philemon and Forgiveness