Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Christian Colleges/Universities in U.S. with Peace Studies Programs

As a service, I thought I would list all the U.S.  colleges and universities that have programs with names like “peace studies,” “peace and global studies,” “peacebuilding and conflict resolution studies,” etc. I found there were enough that I decided just to  list the church-related ones and do the others in a separate post.   Typically, such programs are multi-disciplinary involving faculty from several departments including international studies, history, philosophy, religious studies, international law, economic development, and/or political science or sociology. The earliest such programs in the U.S. were in institutions related to the “historic peace churches” (Mennonites, Church of the Brethren, and Friends/Quakers), but it has spread beyond them.  Almost all of them include considerable emphasis on language studies and on study-abroad, especially in conflict areas.

American University in Washington, D.C.  Private research university related to the United Methodist Church and not to be confused with “American Universities” around the world which are usually sponsored by the U.S. State Department.  4400 Massachussetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20016.  Highly selective and quite expensive.  Offers an M.A. in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution that is highly regarded.

Arcadia University was until 2001 known by the somewhat ridiculous name of Beaver College, which is even sillier when you understand that this co-ed institution began life in 1853 as Beaver Female Seminary. (You can’t make  stuff like that up.) 450 South Easton Road, Glenside, PA 19038.  Originally founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, Arcadia today is related to the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), but has an independent board and an ecumenical spirit.  Arcadia’s mission is to prepare students specifically for a shrinking, global society.  It has a College of Global Studies and students are encouraged to  do part of their studies abroad.  Offers an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution. One can also earn a joint M.A./M.P.H. (Master of Public Health) or a Certificate in International Studies presented with another undergraduate or graduate degree.

Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 3003 Bentham Avenue, Elkhart, IN 46517.  AMBS offers an M.A. in Peace Studies.  They also offer this M.A. as a joint degree with a Master of Social Work degree.  AMBS’ Master of Divinity degree has a peace and conflict studies concentration available.

Bethany Theological Seminary 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374.  This is the official seminary of the Church of the Brethren, one of the Historic Peace Churches.  Peace and Justice emphases are found throughout the curriculum, but one can also get a Peace and Justice concentration for either the Master of Divinity or Master of Theology degrees.

Bethel College in North Newton, KS is affiliated with the Mennonite Church, USA.  It is a private, 4-year co-ed liberal arts college of about 500 students.  Tuition is currently just under $16,000 per year which is below that of most private colleges and about 89% of students receive some form of financial aid.  Bethel houses the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution which both acts internally to administer the school’s Peace and Conflict Resolution program and externally sponsors projects in international peacebuilding.  Offers a minor in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies or a Certificate in Conflict Management to be added to any other degree program.

Bryn Mawr College101 North Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.  Founded by Quakers and originally a women’s college, Bryn Mawr is still informed by Quaker values. It offers a B.A. in Peace and Conflict studies in a joint curriculum  with Haverford College and Swarthmore College.  Bryn Mawr’s strong International Studies program is related to this.

Chapman University, One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866.  Founded (as Hesperian College) by and affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Chapman deliberately timed things to begin within one hour of Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in order  to honor his vision of equal education for all people.  It is today a large, comprehensive university with seven consituent colleges or schools.  Offers a B.A. in Peace Studies at Wilkerson College of Arts and Humanities that includes a Model United  Nations option.  Courses in Peace, Conflict and Human Rights are also integrated into the M.A. in International Studies.  Other features include the Albert Schweitzer Institute  and the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Studies.

College of St. Benedict-St. John’s University 37 S. College Avenue, St. Joseph, MN 56374 is, as its name suggests, affiliated with the Catholic Church. The College of St. Benedict (for women) and St. John’s University (for men) are partnered liberal arts colleges located respectively in St. Joseph and Collegeville, MN–about 3 miles apart. Students attend classes together at both institutions.  They jointly offer a B.A. in Peace Studies.

Creighton University  2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE.  It is a comprehensive Catholic university founded in 1878 by the Society of Jesus and still a Jesuit-run institution.  It’s College of Arts and Sciences has a multi-disciplinary program in Justice and Peace Studies (the order is very Jesuitical!) which offers a Justice and Society major  leading to a B.A. or a minor in Justice and Peace Studies.  There is also a $1,000 Justice and Peace Studies Scholarship  offered in honor of former Congressman Walter H. Capps. 

DePauw University 313 South Locust Street, Greencastle, IN 46135.  Despite its name, Depauw is primarily an undergraduate liberal  arts college,  but it has a School of Music that offers graduate degrees.  Founded in 1837 by the Methodist Church as Indiana Asbury College, DePauw remains affiliated with the United Methodist Church today.  Offers a B.A. in Conflict Studies. 

Earlham College 801 National Rd. West, Richmond, IN 47374, is a 4 year liberal arts college related closely to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).  It’s educational philosophy is shaped by both the liberal arts tradition (rather than a technical or research university) and by the perspectives of Friends’ beliefs–viz., that there is “that of God in everyone,” that all are equal and must be treated with equal  dignity, the commitment to search for Truth, to live simply, and to work for peace with all.  Earlham offers an interdisciplinary B.A. in Peace and Global Studies (PAGS), modified from its original Peace and Conflict Studies program.  All in the program must take courses in economics, history, philosophy, politics,  and sociology/anthropology.  Within the major, students choose one of the following focuses:  Conflict Transformation, Religion and Pacifism, Social Theory and Social Movements, International War and  Peace, African-American Civil Rights, Women and Social Change, Environmental Studies,  or a Student-Designed focus.  Earlham’s PAGS program is affiliated with both the Indianapolis Peace Institute and the Plowshares Project, which is a collaborative effort between the peace studies programs  of Indiana’s 3 Historic Peace Church-related colleges:  Earlham (Friends), Goshen (Mennonite), and Manchester (Church of the Brethren).

Earlham School of Religion 226 College Avenue, Richmond, IN 47374.  Since Unprogrammed Friends do not have pastors, this is one of the few Quaker seminaries and the oldest one.  It offers both an M.Div. and an M.Min. with a Peace and Justice concentration.

Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Rd., Harrisonburg, VA 22602 is a Mennonite Church, USA related university containing an undergraduate liberal arts college and a theological seminary and graduate school.  The undergraduate program offers a B.A. in Peacebuilding and Development  and a minor concentration in Peacebuilding.  Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding runs a Graduate Program in Conflict Transformation leading either to a 15 hr. Certificate in Conflict Transformation or an M.A. in Conflict Transformation.

Eastern Mennonite Theological Seminary, 1200 Park Rd., Harrisonburg, VA 22602. The seminary offers a Certificate in Theology for Peacebuilding which can be added to either the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Religion degrees.  One can also earn and dual M.Div./M.A. in Conflict Transformation.  (You have to wonder why more Christian seminaries, of whatever denomination, do not offer concentrations and degrees in peacebuilding and conflict transformation–for healthier congregations if nothing  else!)

Fresno Pacific University 1717 South Chestnut Avenue, Fresno, CA 93702.  Founded in 1944 by Mennonite Brethren (a Pietist offshoot of the Mennonite Church), Fresno Pacific is the only accredited church-related university in California’s Central Valley.  The undergraduate college offers a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.  The graduate school offers an M.A. in Peacebuilding and Conflict Studies as well as Certificates in Church Conflict and Peacemaking, Mediation, Restorative Justice, School Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking, Workplace Conflict Management and Peacemaking, and a Personalized Certificate in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies.

Goshen College  1700 S. Main Street, Goshen, IN 46526. Is a liberal arts college closely affiliated with the Mennonite Church, USA.  It offers a B.A. in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies and a minor in Peace and Justice studies.  International education and service learning is emphasized throughout the curriculum for both faculty and students. (Most faculty spend their sabbaticals in service rather than just in writing.) Goshen is a participating member of the Plowshares Collaborative.

Guilford College,5800 W. Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, NC. 27410.  Founded  and closely related to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) first as a boarding school, then, beginning in the 1880s, as a 4 year liberal arts college.  Quaker values still inform the school, including its  educational philosophy.  Offers both a B.A. and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.  Related programs include a B.A. in International Studies and one in Justice and Policy Studies.

Gustavus  Adolphus College  800 W. College Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082.  Founded in 1862 as a Lutheran boarding school, it is now a four year liberal arts college closely affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S.  Offers a Peace Studies minor.

Hamline University 1536 Hewittt Avenue,  St. Paul, MN.  Closely associated with the United Methodist Church.  The undergraduate college offers a B.A. in Social Justice.  The Law School has a Center for Dispure Resolution which offers several conflict resolution certificates.

Haverford College. 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 19041.  Founded in 1833 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Haverford is a most selective liberal arts college. Though not formally related to any Friends Meeting today, Haverford’s educational philosophy and atmosphere is still deeply shaped by Quaker values and numerous Friends are still found among its faculty and students.  Haverford hosts a Center for Peace and Global Citizenship whose programs include a B.A.  In the next year or so, Haverford will be reorienting to offer a B.A. in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights. It cooperates with the Peace and Conflict Studies programs at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore, but the Haverford program concentrates more strongly on the human rights tradition. 

Juanita College 1700 Moore Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652.  Founded in 1872 by the Church of the Brethren on the Juanita River.  Instead of Majors and Minors, Juanita College emphasizes a core curriculum of  liberal arts with additional “programs of emphasis.”  It’s Department of Peace and Conflict Studies offers 3 such “POEs”:  B.A. in Communication and Conflict Resolution, one in Peace and Conflict Studies and one in Peace and Conflict Studies with a secondary emphasis.

Manchester College 604 College Avenue, North Manchester, IN 46962.  Affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, Manchester is a small, selective, Christian liberal arts college.  Established in 1948, the Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution at Manchester actually began the field of peace studies which has now spread even beyond Christian circles.  Manchester offers a B.A. in Peace Studies with concentrations in either interpersonal/intergroup conflict studies, international and global  studies, or an individualized concentration.  There is also a Peace Studies minor. Manchester’s Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution is part of the Plowshares Collaborative that coordinates the peace studies programs of all three Historic Peace Church-related colleges in Indiana: Earlham, Goshen, and Manchester.  The Institute publishes Nonviolent Social Change  previously called the Bulletin of the Peace Studies Institute.

Manhattan College Manhattan College Pkwy., Bronx, NY 10471.  Manhattan College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college in the Lasallian tradition founded in 1853 in Riverdale, the Bronx, New York (despite its name, the school is no longer on the island of Manhattan).  Offers a B.A. in Peace Studies that is multidisciplinary and deals with arms races and war, economic, political and social justice, conflict creation, management, and  resolution, nonviolent philosophies and strategies of resistance, and world community and world government.  The first course in peace studies was offered at Manhattan College in 1958 and it has had a complete B.A.  program since 1971. The program offers several prestigious fellowships, internships, and scholarships, semesters in Washington, D.C. or the New York legislature in Albany.  There is a Model United Nations option and plenty of placement counseling beyond graduation.

Messiah College One College Avenue, Grantham, PA. 17027.  This is a small liberal arts college founded by and closely related to the Brethren  in Christ Church, a Pietist offshoot of the Mennonites.  Through its Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Wesleyan, and Pietist Studies, Messiah offers a Minor in Peace Studies. (I would have guessed that Messiah offered more than a Peace Studies minor. Surely, they should be upgrading this program.)

Swarthmore College 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081. Swarthmore is a most selective, private, liberal arts college founded by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).  Today the school is non-sectarian, but Quaker values still inform its educational philosophy.  The Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore offers a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies.  As well, students in any major can add a minor in Peace Studies.  The program at Swarthmore is multidisciplinary and participates jointly with the Peace and Conflict Studies programs at Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College, the Tri-College Consortium.  Swarthmore’s library boasts  one of the largest collections of primary documents related to peace and justice movements in the  world.  It is part of the Greater Philadelphia Higher Education Peace and Social Justice Consortium.  Swarthmore also  hosts the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

University of Notre Dame 54801 Juniper Road, Notre Dame, IN 46556.  The University of Notre Dame du Lac (or just Notre Dame) is a private, Roman Catholic national research university in Notre Dame, IN, near the town of South Bend and 90 mi. East of Chicago, IL.  Admission is highly competitive. Over 70% of incoming students graduated in the top 5% of their high school class.  Once an all male school, women, first admitted in 1972, now comprise 47% of the undergraduate student population. Once nearly all white, minority enrollment has more than tripled in the last 20 years.  Notre Dame houses the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.  Through the Kroc Institute, students may earned a B.A., M.A., or even Ph.D. in Peace Studies–in a multidisciplinary setting working with several departments in Notre Dame.  This is one of the very few places offering a Ph.D.  in Peace Studies.

University of San Diego  5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110.  The University of San Diego (USD) is a private, comprehensive Roman Catholic university in the City of San Diego.  It offers over 60 degrees (Baccalaureates, Masters’, and Doctorates) in six separate schools. One of those schools is the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.The Kroc School at USD contains an Institute for Peace and Justice, a Conference Venue, and a Trans-Border Institute.  The Kroc School offers a minor in Peace Studies for undergraduates and an M.A.  in Peace and Justice Studies for graduate students.  Each year one or two distinguished peace scholars (who  are usually also activists) are brought to USD as Joan B. Kroc Peace Scholars.

University of St. Louis, One Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO.  SLU is a medium sized Catholic university in the Jesuit tradition.  Now offers a Certificate in Peace  and Justice Studies.

University of St. Thomas 2115 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105.  The University of St. Thomas is a comprehensive university founded in 1885 by Archbishop  John Ireland. It’s an archdiocesan university.  They have a B.A. and a minor in Justice and Peace Studies.  One of my peacemaker heroes, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer teaches there.

Villanova University 800 E. Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085.  Villanova is a medium sized Catholic university in the Augustinian tradition.  Has a Center for Peace & Justice Education.  Offers either a minor or concentration in Peace and Justice Education. The Center publishes the Journal for Peace and Justice Education.

Walsh University 2020 E. Maple St., North Canton, OH 44720.  A Catholic university founded by the Brothers of Christian Instruction.  The Department of Social Sciences offers a Peace Studies minor.

That’s all the specifically Christian colleges or universities in the U.S.  with Peace Studies programs that I have found.  If I have missed some, please alert me and I’ll add to this list. 

Believe it or not these programs are quite controversial.  During the Bush years, many conservative magazines and websites ran articles and advertisements  against these programs, saying that they had declared war on America!  Let’s face it:  Peacemaking is subversive of the status quo–regardless of which party controls the government or  who lives in the White House (or any other nation’s seat of government). When peacemakers come on the scene: Jesus or Buddha or Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. or Aung San Suu Kyi or Thich Nhat Hanh or Badshah Khan or Dorothy Day–they are always seen as troublemakers and disturbers of the peace, rather than as peacemakers.


August 25, 2009 Posted by | education, peace, peacemaking | 30 Comments