With courses drawn from more than 15 academic departments, the conflict studies program at DePauw University takes a broad approach to the study of different kinds of conflict, from the intrapersonal to the international levels. Conflict studies majors have significant freedom to choose their coursework, based on a learning contract students develop with their academic advisors early in the process. Each learning contract identifies two themes of study that a conflict studies major will pursue, such as international diplomacy and organizational conflict.
As seniors, conflict studies majors must take a seminar course that includes a significant research project. The topics of these senior seminars vary widely, depending on the instructor’s specialty and interests. DePauw also offers a five-course minor in conflict studies.
While the university maintains a nominal affiliation with the United Methodist Church, faith-based understandings of, or approaches to, the study of conflict are not an emphasis of the conflict studies program.
Dr. Brett O’Bannon
Earlham College offers a Peace and Global Studies, or PAGS, program that allows students to “explore strategies for constructing a just and peaceful world.” PAGS has a much larger core curriculum than many other colleges’ peace and conflict studies programs, made up of 9 required classes that begin with a series on economics, history, philosophy and politics. In addition to the core curriculum, PAGS majors pick a series of classes to form a concentration in one of the following areas: 1) Religious Pacifism; 2) Law & Justice; 3) Praxis (Social Movements); and 4) Fourth-Generation Peace Studies (drawing upon postcolonial theory). PAGS majors must also complete an internship; a senior research project that includes a community presentation; and a senior thesis.
The program also emphasizes experiential learning through opportunities for semester-long study in Jordan, the U.S.-Mexico border region, or other opportunities, and/or through participation in the college’s many active student groups involved in progressive causes.
Earlham College is affiliated with the Society of Friends (Quakers), a traditional “peace church.” Quaker values, including the quest for peace and justice, remain an important part of its institutional mission.
Dr. Joanna Swanger
Nonviolence, social justice and positive societal change are emphasized across the university’s entire curriculum and in its mission statement, as befits a university that maintains strong ties to one of the traditional “peace churches,” the Mennonite Church. Yet the university is clearly committed to educating people of all faiths in peacemaking theory and practice, as shown by its Center for Interfaith Engagement .
The undergraduate major in peacebuilding and development includes core studies of the theory and practice of social justice and social change, plus a series of classes in philosophy, political science, economics and contemporary issues of peace and justice. Many of the professors in the program, and the university in general, have lived in other countries and demonstrate commitment “to work for justice at home and around the world.” Majors must also complete a practicum, often through the Washington (D.C.) Community Scholars Program.
Eastern Mennonite University also offers a five-year accelerated MA in Conflict Transformation degree in collaboration with its Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). CJP offers a graduate program that draws peace practitioners from around the world to campus (Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is a graduate). It sponsors a variety of other peace and justice programs and initiatives, including an annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute, which hosts between 150 to 200 people from around 40 countries. With more than 2,800 participants in its 20 years of existence, SPI has initiated several similar initiatives around the world, 12 of which were featured in a 2015 issue of Peacebuilder magazine.
Founded in 1917, Eastern Mennonite University was an early proponent of requiring all students to participate in cross-cultural studies; the majority of students spend a semester abroad through one of the university’s many cross-cultural programs.
EMU Undergrad Admissions Dept., (800) EMU-COOL
-or- CJP Graduate Admissions, firstname.lastname@example.org, (540) 432-4490
Affiliated with the Mennonite Church, Goshen College offers a major in peace, justice and conflict studies that is “rooted in Anabaptist-Mennonite theology and history.” The program looks at conflict from a range of perspectives, from issues of international war and peace to “applying peacemaking perspectives and skills to personal relationships and all aspects of community life.” In addition to required courses on Biblical Themes of Peace and Mediation, majors choose from a variety of classes on peace and justice topics and skills, as well as courses in economics, political science and history. An internship experience is also required for majors.
Goshen College also offers minors in conflict transformation studies and peace and justice studies.
Goshen requires students to participate in intercultural study, and 80 percent of the student body goes abroad through the college’s Study-Service Term (SST). A ground-breaking program that has been offered for more than 40 years, SST destinations are in developing countries, where students live with local host families and focus on intensive language and cultural studies before working on a voluntary service project.
Dr. Joe Liechty
The Peace Studies program in the Center for Geographies of Justice at Goucher College emphasizes training in research, analysis, writing, team-building, dialogue and collaboration, through studies of nonviolence, human rights, social movements, causes of economic disparities, consumption and conflict, among others. We use these skills and theories to analyze and understand the causes, history and persistence of conflicts. We are particularly interested in strategies for peace building in a number of social and political settings and seek to propose alternatives to structures of oppression.
Training in mediation is available to students, staff and faculty through a collaboration between the Mediation Club, the Peace Studies Program and a trainer from Baltimore Community Mediation. Upper-class students may elect to live in the Peace House.
The Peace Studies major at Goucher College is 44 credits and the minor is 27 credits. Goucher College requires that all students study abroad prior to graduation and offers three-week intensive and semester-long study abroad options. Peace Studies, along with the language and political science departments, requires a semester of study abroad in programs with specific relevance to peace and conflict. In 2017, the options include a program in the Balkans to study peace-building and post-conflict transformation, and the impact of international intervention in state formation, as well as a program in Uganda that focuses on foreign aid and international development. Goucher also offers study-abroad programs with peace studies content in Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Israel, Morocco, Norway and Thailand. Please consult our website for the most up-to-date information: www.goucher.edu/peacestudies.
Guilford College’s historical affiliation with the Quaker church is a significant influence on its peace and conflict studies program. Students are encouraged to examine conflicts’ roots, engage in an individual search for truth, embrace nonviolent social change, and learn practical problem-solving skills. The major in peace and conflict studies includes a series of core courses, a variety of relevant elective classes from related academic departments, and an internship. A peace and conflict studies minor is also available.
Guilford College’s Conflict Resolution Center is an on-campus resource that exists to address conflicts that arise between members of the campus community. The center offers students in the peace and conflict studies department an opportunity for practical experience using conflict resolution methods drawn from the school’s Quaker heritage: “understanding, listening and cooperation.”
Hampshire College uses a system of student-designed academic concentrations, rather than traditional majors, and belongs to the Five College Consortium, a group of five colleges in western Massachusetts – Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst – that run some joint academic programs and allow students to cross-register at other member schools. The Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS), based at Hampshire, is “designed to stimulate student and faculty interest in the study of critical international issues, especially those connecting issues of conflict and the environment.”
The peace and world security studies program based at Hampshire College places less overt focus on social justice and nonviolence than many other peace studies programs but does highlight the links between peace and environmental sustainability. Many of the classes offered to students in the program, both at Hampshire and through the Five College Consortium, emphasize analysis of contemporary issues, such as geopolitical conflict, terrorism, resource competition, and human rights. The flexibility of the academic programs at Hampshire College, however, gives students significant latitude to pursue individual interests.
Dr. Michael Klare
Hastings College offers a concentration in peace, justice and social change through its Sociology Department (sociology, criminal justice and human services administrations concentrations are also offered. The peace, justice and social change program places significant emphasis on sociological theory, research methods, and the application of knowledge.
The major is built around a core of sociology classes, plus six classes looking at issues and practices specific to peace, justice, and social change topics. Students are also encouraged to pick electives based on a specific topical concentration, e.g. environmental justice. A service-learning component and an internship where students work through a non-profit agency are also required.
Dr. Robert Kettlitz
The peace, justice and human rights program at John Carroll University, a Jesuit institution, views human rights as a “fundamental ethical obligation” and “peace as inseparable from justice.” The university offers a 36-credit major in peace, justice and human rights, with just three required courses and wide latitude to pick elective classes. This allows individual students to tailor the focus of their studies on a particular region of the world, specific global issue, or a theme related to peace, justice and/or human rights. The required courses include an internship and a capstone project that includes a research paper.
Values emphasized by the program include “political pluralism, cultural and religious diversity, ecological balance and nonviolent conflict resolution and transformation,” with a goal of providing students the knowledge and skills to “seek justice and promote peace.” A 21-credit hour minor is also available to undergraduate students.
John Carroll’s peace, justice and human rights program sponsors off-campus summer institutes to provide opportunity for experiential study of peace and human rights issues in places like Northern Ireland and South Africa.
Program Director: Dr. Richard Clark
Juniata College offers students “Programs of Emphasis” (POEs – the equivalent of a major) that allow them significant freedom to design their course of study and to build personalized degrees. The Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies offers POEs in peace and conflict studies, as well as in communication and conflict resolution. The peace and conflict studies POE emphasizes the study of violence, social justice, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and nonviolent social change. The program also offers individualized internship opportunities and supports both short and long term study abroad experiences and programs around the world, including Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Ecuador and many other countries. Students also graduate with specific skills sets including mediation, conflict intervention, peacebuilding through the arts, and group facilitation.
Students are encouraged to pursue personal interests and gain skills through experiential learning opportunities. The program offers funding for student research, travel, independent studies and internships.
Polly O. Walker, Phd
Director of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies