Bethel University

Affiliated with the Baptist General Conference, Bethel University offers a 34-hour bachelor’s degree in reconciliation studies that includes a mandatory term of study at Cornerstone Christian College in Cape Town, South Africa. At present, the major primarily focuses on racial and cultural reconciliation. With a curriculum drawing from the fields of restorative justice, conflict transformation, religious studies and justice and peace studies, the university says this degree is distinctive in that “its core understanding of reconciliation emerges from a Jesus-centered theological foundation.”

The South Africa term centers around an in-depth study of the reconciliation process that took place there after the apartheid system ended. In South Africa, students enroll in four classes offered by Cornerstone Christian College, plus two additional classes on South African history and culture. Bethel University also offers a 19-hour reconciliation studies minor that does not include the study abroad component.

Department co-chairs:
Dr. Harley Schreck
(651) 638-6104

Dr. Curtiss DeYoung
(651) 635-8611

Butler University

Butler University offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in peace and conflict studies. The major requires 36 credit hours of study, including six hours of internship or service-learning, intended for students “interested in issues of violence, conflict, social justice, ecological integrity, human rights and peace.”

Core courses within the major include community mediation and international conflict and peacebuilding. Internship and service-learning opportunities in Indianapolis include the American Friends Service Committee, Earth Charter Indiana, the Peace Learning Center, and the Borgen Project to abolish global poverty. This curriculum requirement can also be fulfilled through a semester internship in Washington D.C. or a study abroad experience. Butler University “strongly encourages” its students to study abroad in one of the programs offered in more than 40 countries.

Program Director:
Dr. Craig Auchter
(317) 940-9571

College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University

Students enrolled at the College of St. Benedict, a Catholic women’s college, and St. John’s University, a Catholic men’s college, take classes together under a joint academic program. In the peace studies department, students apply humanities and social sciences methods to the study of violence and peace.

Core courses for peace studies majors include classes on nonviolent struggle, mediation and conflict resolution, an internship and a capstone seminar. Additionally, each major takes elective courses in an individually developed focus, such as human rights, ethics of war, or public health.

For their internships, students spend a minimum of 160 hours in a placement relating to their focus area. This component of the curriculum, plus other “service-learning” activities, reflects the College of St. Benedict’s and St. John’s University’s emphasis on community-based education.

While the two schools, about six miles apart, share academics, they maintain separate campuses, athletic teams and other programs. Both universities emphasize Benedictine Catholic values, including peace, sustainability and community, in all facets of students’ lives.

Program Administrator:
Dr. Jeffrey Anderson
(320) 363-3047

Creighton University

Creighton University is committed to a Catholic, Jesuit vision of “competence, conscience and compassion in service of a faith that does justice.” Through its Justice & Peace Studies Program in the Department of Cultural and Social Studies, Creighton offers an interdisciplinary major in Justice & Society intended for students interested in careers in faith-based social change and social justice. Graduates will be prepared to “advocate for and with the poor and marginalized, and be insightful, faithful, lifelong agents for social justice and peace.” The curriculum has a strong grounding in social sciences theory and methods; it also requires extensive study of Catholic teaching related to peace and justice.

Creighton offers Encuentro Dominicano, a semester of study, service, immersion, and reflection in the Dominican Republic. In summers, faculty-led programs in recent years have taken students to China, Tanzania, Peru and South Africa, where the focus is often on justice and peace issues.

Program director:

Dr. Roger Bergman
(402) 280-1492



DePaul University

DePaul University, the country’s largest Catholic university, began offering a major in peace, justice and conflict studies in 2009. It emphasizes conflict analysis and intervention across a spectrum of different types of conflict, from international warfare to governmental, communal, organizational and interpersonal levels. Students in the program also spend significant time studying the root causes of conflict; they take part in “frank debate about the efficacy” of nonviolent and violent means of social change.

The peace, justice and conflict studies curriculum requires 52 credit hours of coursework, including the capstone in the general education program, as well as study of conflict resolution, social change, activism, human rights, poverty, and fine arts relating to war and peace. Each major must complete a 100-hour internship. Students can also receive academic credit towards the peace, justice and conflict studies major through DePaul-sponsored study abroad trips to El Salvador or Colombia, and elsewhere, as arranged with an adviser.

The program encourages students to pursue a double major. Common complementary majors include history, political science, international studies, public policy, religious studies, and women’s and gender studies. DePaul allows applicable courses to count towards both majors. A 24-credit peace, justice and conflict studies minor is also offered.

Depaul also offers two combined degree programs: a BA, with an MA in Journalism, and a BA, with MS in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Both allow three graduate courses to be done during the senior year and the degree completed in a summer and one academic year.

Program Director:
Dr. Mary Jeanne Larrabee
(773) 325-1147

DePauw University

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
(765) 658-4157

Earlham College

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.

Program Director:
Dr. Joanna Swanger
(765) 983-1660


Goshen College

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.

Department chairman:
Dr. Joe Liechty
(574) 535-7802

Hastings College

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.

Program Chair:
Dr. Robert Kettlitz
(402) 461-7347

John Carroll University

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
(216) 397-6656