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
King’s University College is a Catholic institution affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. It offers a major in social justice and peace studies that examines structural injustice in the world and “calls for social action to transform the world in the interests of equity and the pursuit of peace.” The program is “consciously rooted in the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.”
The curriculum includes four core courses offered by the social justice and peace studies department – many of which are on changing “special topics” within the field – with the remaining classes drawn from a wide range of other disciplines. Students are required to fulfill a mandatory service requirement.
The university offers “experiential learning” programs that examine issues of social justice and peace in El Salvador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, India and other destinations. It also sponsors the Centre for Social Concern, which supports research, awareness and engagement on social justice and peace in Canada and globally. The centre brings speakers to campus, encourages student activism and works closely with the social justice and peace studies program.
Dr. Patrick Ryan
In 1948, Manchester University launched the first undergraduate peace studies degree program in the country. Today, the university offers an interdisciplinary major in peaces studies with concentrations in several different areas related to conflict resolution, nonviolence and international studies. The curriculum is based on a relatively large group of core courses that examine conflict transformation, nonviolence, war and peace, philosophy, religion, environmental studies and social movements. As a whole, the program aims to “explore the frontiers of nonviolent alternatives to conflict.”
Manchester University maintains a close connection to the Church of the Brethren, one of the historic “peace churches.” Its Peace Studies Institute, which sponsors conferences and public programs on issues of peace and justice, and an active undergraduate peace club also serve as another resource to undergraduate peace studies majors.
Dr. Katy Gray Brown
A Catholic college that embraces community and social action as one of its core values, Manhattan College has offered a peace studies major since 1971. The program is designed to educate students in solutions-based approaches to “problems of war, injustice, genocide and violence.” Central to the program’s philosophy is an understanding of “positive peace” that implies justice and harmony between people, rather than a simple absence of violence.
Majors in the program are required to study theories of peace and justice as well as current and historic conflicts in the world. An internship or a “field project” – some sort of practical, off-campus training in a relevant skill or topic – is also required. The college’s location in New York City offers students “numerous opportunities for internships and participation in peace and justice activism.”
Dr. Kevin Ahern
Director of Peace Studies
The peace and conflict studies major at Messiah College, which maintains ties to several Christian traditions including the historically peaceful Anabaptist movement, focuses on “the Christian foundations for peacemaking and reconciliation.” Through a required class, plus an internship or practicum, students also learn mediation and reconciliation skills, and have opportunity to receive certification as basic conflict mediators in the state of Pennsylvania. Theological and religious studies are also important parts of the core curriculum, which is augmented by electives in history, sociology, political science and other related fields.
Peace and conflict studies majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad through Messiah College’s international studies program, with affiliated programs in more than 40 countries. They are also encouraged to spend a semester at its Philadelphia campus, where students live in an intentional community setting while experiencing urban life and taking classes through Temple University. The college’s major and minor programs in peace and conflict studies is a part of its Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan Studies, which also hosts a series of peace lectures and sponsors the student peace fellowship.
Dr. Anne Marie Stoner-Eby
(717) 766-2511 ext. 2046