Pilgrim Pathways: Notes for a Diaspora People

Incarnational Discipleship

A Brief History of The Fellowship of Reconciliation

I am going to write some brief historical sketches of  major grassroots, contemporary peace organizations–with special concentration on religious, especially Christian, organizations and especially those in North America (because I know them best).  The “modern” peace movement began in Europe and North America in the 19th C.  In North America, a major root was the largely Christian movement to abolish slavery with its stronghold in the Northern United States, but also with Canadian participants, especially after the Fugitive Slave Act meant that runaway slaves were not safe until they reached Canada.  Although 19th  C. North America  had a Christian peace witness from Mennonites, Dunkers (now called the Church of the Brethren) and some smaller sects, the major Christian peace witness to the larger, ecumenical church at this time was by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) who made up a disproportionate amount of the leadership of the Abolitionist movement.

Because of the Quaker peace witness, many non-Quaker abolitionists, such as William Lloyd Garrison (a white newspaper editor raised as a New England Baptist) and Frederick Douglass (a former slave, editor of The North Star, and lay-preacher for the African Methodist Episcopal Church) and Sojourner Truth (former slave and traveling preacher) were pacifists who hoped that slavery could be abolished without war–though some later, reluctantly endorsed the Civil War after Lincoln added the abolition of slavery to his war aims.  The evangelical preachers of the Second Great Awakening, including Charles Finney, Timothy Dwight Weld, Jonathan Blanchard, Alexander Campbell  and others were also pacifists and crusaders against slavery, child labor, and for the rights of women.

Opposition to Pres. James Polk’s War on Mexico (1845-1848), which was a thinly disguised ploy to gain territory and to break the Missouri Compromise and spread slave states all the way to the West Coast, was found across the religious and political spectrum. Not until the Vietnam War would an American War have such widespread opposition from the American people themselves.  That opposition produced the first U.S. peace societies, the beginnings of a widespread anti-war movement–one that grew again following the U.S. Civil War and which united political conservatives and liberals at the end of the 19th C. in opposition to the Spanish-American War (in which the U.S. took over the Spanish colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico) and the Philippine-American War (in which the U.S. gained colonies in the Philippines, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Samoa).

In Europe, similar movements were growing in response to numerous 19th C. wars, including the British war in Burma, the revolutions against the Spanish throughout Latin America,  the Crimean War, the Savoy Revolt in India, the Boer War in South Africa, the British War in Afghanistan.  The beginnings of discontent with these long series of wars probably began with the 18th C. Napoleanic conquests.   In addition to Christian influences, the European peace movement drew from the growing body of international law in the 19th C. (with more institutions for international arbitration and law), and from two rival economic philosophies–the global free trade movement (wars disrupt business) and the various labor and socialist movements–both Marxist and non-Marxist versions (labor was likely to see most wars as exploitations of the poor by international capital).

Alfred Nobel, capitalist with a guilty conscience after inventing dynamite and making his fortune on munitions, was convinced at the turn of the century by his secretary Bertha Suttner (an author aand activist in the peace movement) to make one of his Nobel Prizes in his will dedicated to peacemakers, bringing new prestige to the movement.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation (F.O.R.) was birthed with the First World War.   In the aftermath of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in Serbia,  peace activists, especially Christian peace activists, realized that a pan-European war could erupt.  In August of 1914 an international group of church leaders, clergy and laity, gathered in Switzerland to make a last ditch attempt to stop the war.  The conference had barely begun when word came that the fighting had begun–they were too late.  Conference attendants raced to rail stations to return to their home countries before the borders would be closed.  At a railway station in Germany, two of the conferees, a British Quaker named Henry Hodgkin (who taught philosophy at Queens College, Cambridge University) and a Lutheran minister named Friedrich Siegmund-Schutlze (who was, astonishingly, chaplain to the Kaiser!) clasped hands and pledged that because they were Christian brothers they, personally, could never be at war and they would seek to work for peace between their nations, regardless of the policies of their respective governments!

Back in the U. K., Hodgkins quickly acted on his promise. He convened an ecumenical Christian conference at Queens College from which about 20 individuals declared that they could not conceive of God as a nationalist and that they would not agree to a moratorium on the Sermon on the Mount for the length of the war. From this meeting the British chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation was born.

Travel during wartime is uncertain, but a year later Hodgkins came to New York City and convened a meeting of interested pacifists at Union Theological Seminary in NYC that included some of the most influential theologians and ministers and laypeople of the day including Reinhold Niebuhr (who would, in the ’30s, break with the F.O.R. and forever after be a severely harsh critic of Christian pacifism), Ernest Lefevre (who followed Niebuhr’s break and then went further and became a neoconservative!), John Haynes Holmes (prominent Unitarian minister), Jesse Wallace Hughes (prominent labor leader who would later found the more secular War Resisters’ League), and others.

In Germany, Rev. Sigmund-Schultz’s opposition to war and the Kaiser’s war aims quickly led to loss of his position as the Kaiser’s personal chaplain.  He was soon imprisoned until 1917.  Upon release from prison, Rev. Sigmund-Schultz founded the German chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Internationaler Versöhnungsbund, which is a thriving branch of the F.O.R. today.  After Hitler’s rise to power in the ’30s, Sigmund-Schultz was an early outspoken critic and died in a concentration camp.

In 1919, after the war ended, the F.O.R. created an International branch (IFOR), headquartered first in Switzerland and today in Alkmaar, the Netherlands.  There are today 85 national branches of IFOR, on every continent on the globe.  The International Fellowship of Reconciliation and some of its national member branches (including the U.S. branch) have broadened from being ecumenical Christian organizations to interfaith pacifist organizations (but still religiously based).  Other branches, such as the Fellowship of Reconciliation in England (F.o.R. E.) are still specifically Christian, perhaps in reaction to the strong secularization of the wider culture.

The F.O.R. and its various branches have been involved in nonviolent struggles for justice and peace throughout the twentieth century until today.  They were early supporters of Gandhi’s work in South Africa and then India and helped to plant FOR branches among the Gandhians while learning Gandhian nonviolence theory and adding it to their religiously based pacifism.  Six (6) prominent members of the IFOR have won the Nobel Peace Prize (Jane Addams, USA, 1931; Emily Green Balch, USA, 1946; Chief Albert Luthuli, South Africa, 1960; Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., USA, 1964; Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Northern Ireland, 1976; Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Argentina, 1980) and literally hundreds of others have been nominated for it and hundreds of its members have won other peace and human rights prizes.  IFOR has nongovernmental status at the United Nations as it works to create a culture of nonviolence, peace, and justice.

In the U.S. branch of IFOR, as well as in the British branch and, perhaps others, many members also belong to religious peace fellowships specific to their faith or denomination, some more organically connected to the F.O.R. than others (e.g., the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, the Jewish Peace Fellowship, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, the Muslim Peace Fellowship, the Lutheran Peace Fellowship, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Disciples Peace Fellowship, the Catholic Peace Fellowship, etc.)  There are also regional branches of the U.S. F.O.R.–I have served on the board of the Louisville Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation which meets monthly on the campus of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The U.S. branch of the F.O.R. has often spun-off other organizations during its various campaigns.  For instance, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) began when F.O.R. board member Roger Baldwin sought to protect civil liberties guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution that were being trampled during World War I–especially the rights of conscientious objectors to war.  Likewise, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) was founded by staff members of the F.O.R. during the 1940s, especially James Farmer, Bayard Rustin, and George Houser–beginning with students at the University of Chicago Divinity School.  The F.O.R. was involved in the Civil Rights movment, the movement against nuclear weapons, to stop the Vietnam War (and every war thereafter), work to end the death penalty and work for prison reform, to end apartheid in South Africa, to free Burma from military rule, to end U.S. support of dictatorships, to work for women’s rights, labor rights, and, since the 1990s, the rights and equality of LGBT persons.  F.O.R. workshops on nonviolence in the Philippines laid the groundwork for the nonviolent people power revolution in the ’80s–and similar stories can be repeated around the world.

The F.O.R.’s role in various nonviolent campaigns and peace efforts has not usually been widely noted.  For instance, the role in the Civil Rights movment is mentioned in most history books, but seldom in any public celebrations of the achievements of that struggle.  But the FOR and its members have never been about getting “credit,” but about experimenting with the power of love and nonviolence and forgiveness as a force for personal and social change.

I have been a member since 1983.  Only recently returned from the U.S. army as a conscientious objector, I went twice to Nicaragua with the movement Witness for Peace, which aimed to stop the civil war and the Reagan-backed terrorists known as the Contras.  On my second trip unarmed into this war zone, most of the delegation happened to be members of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, of which I had never heard. Upon my return to the states, I joined up and have counted my membership to be one of my deepest commitments.

The F.O.R. is not perfect and has made mistakes.  A major mistake, in my view, happened just after its birth.  As Paul Alexander shows in his Peace to War:  Shifting Allegiances in the Assemblies of God, the early Pentecostals, especially the AoG, were pacifist and strongly opposed WWI. (They did not officially abandon pacifism until 1967.) But there was little contact with Pentecostals or other conservative Christian groups by the members of the F.O.R. at that time, who were mostly liberal, mainline Christians who looked askance at conservative groups.  That view has changed, but a major opportunity that would have strengthened both groups was lost.

Nevertheless, some of the strongest activists and theologians for peace have come from the ranks of the Fellowship of Reconciliation–and do so still.

Here is a partial list of famous members of IFOR or one of its branches:

  • Rev.  Paul Jones, Episcopal bishop removed from his diocese in Utah because of his pacifism and opposition to WWI.
  • Norman Thomas, Presbyterian minister turned union organizer and leader of the Socialist Party, USA.  Ran for U.S. president on a Socialist and  pacifist platform 5 times.
  • John Haynes Holmes, Unitarian minister.
  • Jane Addams.
  • Alfred Hassler, American Baptist leader.
  • Bayard Rustin, African-American Quaker, labor and civil rights leader–not as well known as others because he was gay in a time when that was literally illegal in most of the U.S.
  • James Farmer, Jr., African-American Methodist minister and founder of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
  • Glenn Smiley, Methodist pastor and advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • A. J. Muste, Congregationalist minister turned Quaker who led the F.O.R. through the middle of the 20th C.
  • Lillian Smith, Southern novelist.
  • G. H. C. MacGregor, Scottish New Testament scholar.
  • Andre Trocme, French Reformed pastor-theologian who led the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon to hide 5,000 Jews from the Nazis, thus saving them from the Holocaust.
  • Dorothy Day, co-founder and motivating spirit of the Catholic Worker movement.
  • Clarence Jordan, radical white Baptist New Testament scholar who founded the interracial farming community known as Koinonia in South Georgia in 1942.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
  • John M. Swomley, Jr., Methodist theologian and ethicist.
  • Thomas Merton, Trappist monk.
  • Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., Catholic priest, poet, biblical scholar, and radical anti-war activist.
  • Martin Niemöller, German Lutheran pastor who was held as Hitler’s personal prisoner during WWII.
  • Martin Buber, Jewish philosopher.
  • Maurice Friedman, Jewish philosopher, Buber scholar, and one of the founders of the Jewish Peace Fellowship.
  • Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Argentine sculpter, writer, and nonviolent activist who won the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Hildegard Goss-Mayer, German peace activist whose workshops on nonviolence in the Philippines sowed the seeds for its 1986 nonviolent revolution.
  • Elise Boulding, Quaker sociologist.
  • Howard Thurman, African-American mystical theologian.
  • Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Catholic laywoman and co-founder of the Irish peace movement and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
  • Cesar Chavez, Mexican-American labor and civil rights leader; co-founder of the United Farmworkers of America.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist priest, leader of the Buddhist nonviolent protest against the Vietnama war; nominated for the Nobel Peace prize by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Joseph Lowry, African American Methodist pastor and civil rights leader.
  • John Dear, S.J., Catholic priest, pastor, author, and nonviolent activist.
  • Rabia Terri Harris, founder of the Muslim Peace Fellowship.
  • Walter Wink, United Methodist New Testament scholar.
  • John Howard Yoder, Mennonite theologian.
  • Vincent Harding, African American Mennonite historian.
  • Edwin Dahlberg, former president of the Northern Baptist Convention (now American Baptist Churches, USA) and the National Council of Churches, USA.
  • Walter Rauschenbusch, theologian of the Social Gospel (for the last year of his life).
  • Glen H. Stassen, Baptist ethicist.
  • George Edwards, Presbyterian New Testament scholar.
  • Jim Forest, founder of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship.
  • Barbra Deming, Quaker, feminist.
  • Albert Einstein, ‘Nuff said.
  • Rabbi Leo Beerman, rabbi of Temple Leo Baeck, Los Angeles.
  • Sami Awad, founder of Holy Land Trust and the Palestinian News Network
  • Rev. Rick Ufford-Chaise, Presbyterian minister, founder of BorderLinks, past-presiding officer of the Presbyterian Church, USA.
  • Rev. Glen Gersmehl, Executive Director of the Lutheran Peace Fellowship
  • Rev. Susan Mark Landis, Executive Director of the Mennonite Peace and Justice Support Network
  • Rev. Mel White, co-founder of Soulforce–using Gandhian and Kingian nonviolence to combat the spiritual oppression of LGBT folk in the church and society.
  • Charles Raven, Anglican theologian
  • H. H. Farmer, British NT scholar
  • Jean Lassere, French Reformed pastor and theologian and friend of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  • Danilo Dolci, the “Sicilian Gandhi” who faced Sicili’s Mafia with Gospel nonviolence.
  • Ibrahim Rainey, Imam and co-founder of the Muslim Peace Fellowship
  • Joan Chittister, OSB, a Benedictine prioress.
  • Gene Sharp, Quaker and historian who has done more to analyze the “nuts and bolts” of nonviolence than anyone.

Far too many more to count.


August 31, 2011 Posted by | blog series, heroes, human rights, nonviolence, pacifism, peace, peacemakers | 5 Comments

Pentecostal Passion: A Poem by Ken Sehested

My friend, Rev. Ken Sehested, is a bit of an odd duck. (No wonder we’re friends. 🙂 ) A Texas Baptist by conviction and upbringing, he swam upstream enough to quit football when a student at Baylor so that he could devote more time to his studies! (A male athlete voluntarily quitting FOOTBALL–the REAL dominant religion of the South–in order to be more studious is unheard of in the South. In Texas, the debate would be over whether to call in the psychiatrists or begin a heresy trial!) He then bucked tradition further by studying for the ministry NOT in one of the six Southern Baptist seminaries, but in the ecumenical Union Theological Seminary, a school with a reputation for liberalism in that most un-Southern of places, NEW YORK CITY! He not only married a woman minister (Rev. Nancy Hastings Sehested), but put her calling first–moving to her pastoral placements in Atlanta, then Memphis, and, finally, Asheville, SC.  Ken was the founding Director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America and led that fine organization for two decades. Today, is one third of a co-equal pastoral team (along with Joyce Hollyday and Nancy Hastings Sehested) of the ecumenical congregation, Circle of Mercy, in Asheville, NC–a self-declared peace church jointly affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the Alliance of Baptists.  Ken is also a poet and writer on theologically-related topics.  This poem of Ken’s was inspired by his study of Ezekiel 34:1-14; Acts 2:17; Romans 8:22.

Pentecostal Passion

Pentecostal power has little to do with

exaggerated religious emotion. But

such power, when granted,

has everything to do

with passion, with conviction.

It’s not your head that

you lose4–it’s your heart,

which falls head-over-heals

in love with the vision of dry bones

re-sinewed and aspired to life.

When such power erupts, they

probably will call you crazy.

“Have you lost your mind?!”

Yes, we will say, because

these days the mind has

become acclimated to a culture

of war; has become inured to

the ravages of poverty in a culture

of obesity; has become numb

to ecological wreckage.

When Pentecostal power erupts, all

heaven’s gonna break loose.

The boundaries will be compromised;

barriers will be broken; and

borders will be breached.

Economies of privilege will be fractured

and the politics of enmity will be impeached.

The revenge of the Beloved is the

reversal of Babel’s bequest.

“I will pour out my Spirit,”

says the LORD; Poured out

not for escape to another

world beyond the sky but

here, amid the dust. Poured out

not on disembodied spirits but

“upon all flesh.”  It is to the

agony of abandonment that Heaven

is aroused.  Queer the One Who

fashions a future for the disfavored.

The groaning of creation is both

an ache and an assurance.  We

dare not insulate ourselves from

the one, lest we be deafened to

the other.  Birth is at work.

Though the labor is prolonged,

provision is tendered.

Pentecostal power is the wherewithal

by which we wager our lives on

the surety of this promise.


Ken Sehested

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Biblical interpretation, liturgy, peace, Pentecost, poetry, worship | Leave a comment

Peace Sunday: 1,000 Candles, 1,000 Cranes

The following song by the folk group, Small Potatoes, was sung by my friends Donna and Dan Trabue at church today.  It says more than I can and it always makes me–the grandchild of a World War II veteran who fought in the Pacific and the friend of several Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals–cry my eyes out.

Rich Prezioso, ©1999 Tatertunes Music, BMI

My grandmother had three sons
She dreamed about her children’s children
Then came 1941
Only one son would see the war end

Joseph died marching in Bataan
Frank on the sands of Iwo Jima
The day the bomb destroyed Japan
She thanked God and Harry Truman

She blamed the “godless Japanese”
For having crushed her sweetest dreams
One thousand candles for my sons
Every day I will remember

In Illinois, far from her past
Miss Nakamura still remembers
She was six when she saw the flash
That turned the world to smoke and ashes

Mother taught her daughter well
Run from the fire to the river
There she found a living hell
But not a mother or a father

Though she survived with just a scrape
Her family vanished into space
One thousand suns, a thousand cranes
Everyday I will remember

My grandmother had three sons
She never dreamed she’d have a daughter
But at the age of eighty-one
She met a nurse named Nakamura

It was a question only meant
To make some talk and pass the hours
About a picture by the bed
A photograph of two young soldiers

Hatred and anger stored for years
Slowly melted into tears
One thousand candles, a thousand cranes
Everyday I will remember

I’ve a picture in my mind
Of two women slowly walking
August 6th, 1985
Walking to church to light a candle

And they once asked me to explain
Why grown men play such foolish games
One thousand candles, a thousand cranes
Everyday I will remember

August 7, 2011 Posted by | History, hymns, Just Peacemaking, liturgy, peace, worship | Leave a comment

Pentecost Sunday: Come Holy Spirit!

1On the day of Pentecost [a] all the Lord’s followers were together in one place.   2Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting.   3Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there.   4The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.   5Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem.   6And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages.   7They were excited and amazed, and said:

Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee?   8Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages?   9Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia,   10Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome,   11Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.

12Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, “What does all this mean?”

13Others made fun of the Lord’s followers and said, “They are drunk.”

14Peter stood with the eleven apostles and spoke in a loud and clear voice to the crowd:

Friends and everyone else living in Jerusalem, listen carefully to what I have to say!   15You are wrong to think that these people are drunk. After all, it is only nine o’clock in the morning.   16But this is what God had the prophet Joel say,

17“When the last days come,

I will give my Spirit

to everyone.

Your sons and daughters

will prophesy.

Your young men

will see visions,

and your old men

will have dreams.

18In those days I will give

my Spirit to my servants,

both men and women,

and they will prophesy.

19I will work miracles

in the sky above

and wonders

on the earth below.

There will be blood and fire

and clouds of smoke.

20The sun will turn dark,

and the moon

will be as red as blood

before the great

and wonderful day

of the Lord appears.

21Then the Lord

will save everyone

who asks for his help.”

22Now, listen to what I have to say about Jesus from Nazareth. God proved that he sent Jesus to you by having him work miracles, wonders, and signs. All of you know this.   23God had already planned and decided that Jesus would be handed over to you. So you took him and had evil men put him to death on a cross.   24But God set him free from death and raised him to life. Death could not hold him in its power.   25What David said are really the words of Jesus,

“I always see the Lord

near me,

and I will not be afraid

with him at my right side.

26Because of this,

my heart will be glad,

my words will be joyful,

and I will live in hope.

27The Lord won’t leave me

in the grave.

I am his holy one,

and he won’t let

my body decay.

28He has shown me

the path to life,

and he makes me glad

by being near me.”

29My friends, it is right for me to speak to you about our ancestor David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is still here.   30But David was a prophet, and he knew that God had made a promise he would not break. He had told David that someone from his own family would someday be king.

31David knew this would happen, and so he told us that Christ would be raised to life. He said that God would not leave him in the grave or let his body decay.   32All of us can tell you that God has raised Jesus to life!

33Jesus was taken up to sit at the right side [b] of God, and he was given the Holy Spirit, just as the Father had promised. Jesus is also the one who has given the Spirit to us, and that is what you are now seeing and hearing.   34David didn’t go up to heaven. So he wasn’t talking about himself when he said, “The Lord told my Lord to sit at his right side,   35until he made my Lord’s enemies into a footstool for him.”   36Everyone in Israel should then know for certain that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ, even though you put him to death on a cross.

37When the people heard this, they were very upset. They asked Peter and the other apostles, “Friends, what shall we do?”

38Peter said, “Turn back to God! Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven. Then you will be given the Holy Spirit.   39This promise is for you and your children. It is for everyone our Lord God will choose, no matter where they live.”

40Peter told them many other things as well. Then he said, “I beg you to save yourselves from what will happen to all these evil people.”   41On that day about three thousand believed his message and were baptized.   42They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread [c]and prayed together.

43Everyone was amazed by the many miracles and wonders that the apostles worked.   44All the Lord’s followers often met together, and they shared everything they had.   45They would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it.   46Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread [d] together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely,   47while praising God. Everyone liked them, and each day the Lord added to their group others who were being saved.

Acts 2  Contemporary English Version.  I’ll reserve commentary for a post tomorrow. Today, let the Word speak.

June 12, 2011 Posted by | Church, diversity, economic justice, Holy Spirit, mission, nonviolence, peace, Pentecost, Pentecostals, race, sexual orientation | Leave a comment

Colleges/Universities with Peace Studies Programs

On my former blog, Levellers, I posted a list of Christian colleges and universities in the U.S. with peace studies programs.  Many found it useful and people emailed me with additions and links to other lists.  Here is an updated list that includes more than specifically Christian institutions and is not restricted to the United States.  This post will become a link on the “Peace Groups” page so that it will remain easily accessible.  As a father of a high school student considering majoring in peace studies, I know that this resource could be helpful to many, including pastors, youth ministers, parents, and guidance counselors–as well as those considering such studies themselves. [Update: Molly graduates high school on Friday, near the top of her class, 3.905 GPA in the International Baccalaureate program at J. M. Atherton High School. In the Fall, Molly will matriculate at Eastern Mennonite University (see below) where she will major in Peacebuilding and Development, possibly double-majoriing in Spanish, and EMU even considers her a likely candidate for the 5 year M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies through their Center for Peacebuilding and Justice! She wants to work for the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Carter Center or similar work. I am a very proud father!]  MLW-W

Colleges & Universities in with Peace Studies Programs

U. S. Programs:

Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX) is a Christian university related to the conservative wing of the  Stone-Campbell movement.  All branches of that movement promoted gospel nonviolence at their origins, but most in all branches have lost that heritage.  I hope ACU is recovering it with it’s program.   It offers an M.A. in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation.

Agnes Scott College (Atlanta, GA) is a women’s liberal arts college related to the Presbyterian Church, USA.  It offers a minor in Human Rights which can be added to any major, but would especially compliment an Agnes Scott B.A. in International Relations, Political Science, Philosophy, Religious Studies, or Women’s Studies.

American University(Washington, D. C.) A United Methodist-related university.  AU’s School of International Service offers a Certificate in Peacebuilding with any undergraduate major.  Also offers a Certificate in International Peace and Conflict studies.  It also offers an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Studies.  Hosts a Peacebuilding and Development Institute.  Also, AU’s Ph.D. program in International Studies offers a doctoral concentration in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.   Also offers an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs.  AU also has several research centers which promote peacebuilding, including a Human Rights Council, a Center for Global Peace, Nuclear Studies Institute, Justice Programs Office, and Center for Islamic Peace.

Arcadia University (Glenside, PA).  Presbyterian Church (USA)-related.  Offers an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ).  ASU’s School of Social Transformation has a B.A. and a B.S. in justice studies as well as a minor in justice studies and a certificate in human rights.  ASU’s Graduate School offers both an M.S., a Ph.D., and a joint J.D./Ph.D. (in cooperation with ASU’s law school)  in Justice Studies.  Also offers a graduate certificate in Socio-Economic Justice.  This is a nice reminder that while Arizona’s politicians are creating oppressive and unjust laws and public policies, they do not reflect the entire state.  ASU is one institution working in a very different direction.  I’d like to see faith-based peace and justice projects in places like Arizona, too.

Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) (Elkhart, IN) offers a peace and justice studies concentration in its Master of Divinity degree as well as an M.A. in Peace Studies. One can also earn a dual degree M.A. in Peace Studies with a Master of Social Work (MA/MSW). Rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition with its theology of nonresistance and pacifism, these are some of the strongest such programs in the nation.

Barnard College (New York, NY) is a non-denominational liberal arts college for women closely associated with Columbia University.  It offers a joint major in Human Rights with any other major (e.g., Political Science). One can also cross-register with Columbia University’s famed B.A. in International Studies.

Bethany Theological Seminary (Richmond, IN) offers Peace & Justice concentrations in both its Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Theology (Th.M.) programs.  This is the graduate theological seminary of the Church of the Brethren, one of the Historic Peace Churches.  Once called “Dunkers” or “German Baptist Brethren,” the C.O.B. is a 300 year old denomination that began in Schwarzenau, Germany as a fusion between Mennonites and radical German Pietists.  Persecution led the Schwarzenau Brethren to transplant themselves to Pennsylvania.  The peace and justice concentrations are rooted in the Pietist emphasis on compassionate spirituality and the Anabaptist emphasis on pacifism and nonviolence.

Bethel College (North Newton, KS) is a Mennonite college and offers a minor in  peace, justice, and conflict with any major.

Berea College (Berea, KY), a non-denominational Christian college founded by radical abolitionists with a focus on educating the poor (especially African-Americans and those from Appalachia), has a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies that can go with any major. (Because I know the professor who created this minor, I have great hopes that the program evolves into a major leading to a B.A.)

Bluffton University (Bluffton, OH) is a Mennonite liberal arts university focusing on undergraduate liberal arts education with a few graduate programs.  It offers a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Boston College (Boston, MA) is a Catholic college in the Jesuit tradition.  It has a number of graduate programs but because there’s already a Boston University (related to United Methodists), BC will always be “Boston College.”  Offers a minor in “Faith, Peace, & Justice.”

Boston Theological Institute (Boston, MA) is a consortium of 10 seminaries and divinity schools in the greater Boston area:  Andover-Newton Theological Seminary (United Church of Christ & American Baptist); Boston College—School of Theology and Ministry (Roman Catholic—Society of Jesus);  Boston College Theology Department (Roman Catholic—Society of Jesus); Boston University—School of Theology (United Methodist);  Episcopal Divinity School (Episcopal Church, U.S.A.); Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Evangelical Protestant); Harvard Divinity School (Ecumenical and Interfaith); Hebrew College (Rabbinical Seminary); Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Greek Orthodox);  Saint John’s Seminary (Roman Catholic—Boston Archdiocese).  Boston Theological Institute offers a Certificate in Conflict Resolution  and students from any member institution can take courses in any member institution by cross-registration.  A consortium this large should be able to develop this program beyond the certificate level.

Brandeis University (Watham, MA) is a Jewish-founded private university that offers an M.A. in Coexistence and Conflict.

Bridgewater College (Bridgewater, MA) is a college of the Church of the Brethren, one of the “Historic Peace Churches.”  It offers a Minor in Peace Studies.

Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA) is a Quaker-founded liberal arts college for women.  In addition to a major in International Studies, Bryn Mawr offers a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies that can be added to any major.

Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA) is a private, non-sectarian, university with a primary focus on undergraduate liberal arts education. It was founded in 1846 by Baptists but has no relation to any faith group today. It offers a minor in Peace Studies.

Butler University (Indianapolis, IN) was founded by abolitionist Christians from the Stone-Campbell Movement (and is still loosely related to the most liberal branch of that movement, the Christian Church-Disciples of Christ) in 1855. It’s a small, Midwestern university with a focus on undergraduate studies.  It offers a Minor in Peace Studies.

California State Polytechnic University (CalPoly) (Pomona, CA) has a Nonviolence Studies minor at the Ahimsa Center for Nonviolence which is an integral part of the CalPoly campus. “Ahimsa” is a Hindu word for ‘non-harming” and Mohandas K. Gandhi used it to explain his philosophy of active nonviolence for social change.

Chapman University (Orange, CA) is related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), one of the 3 denominations rooted in the Stone-Campbell movement, a movement that began with a commitment to gospel nonviolence.  At its Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Chapman offers both a B.A. and a Minor in Peace Studies.

Clark University (Worcester, MA) is a small, New England research university with a liberal arts orientation.  Committed to scholarship and inquiry that addresses human imperatives on a global basis.  In addition to having the only Ph.D. program in Holocaust Studies, Clark has an undergraduate Peace Studies minor.

Colgate University (Hamilton, NY) is a small, elite university founded by Baptists (but no longer related to any denomination or Christian in orientation) that offers both a B.A. and a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, MN) & St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN)  The College of St. Benedict is a Catholic women’s college and St. John’s University is a Catholic university for men.  The 2 schools (about 3 miles apart) function as one institution with students from both taking all classes at both institutions. They have a peace studies department that offers a B.A. in peace studies and a peace studies minor.

Columbia University’s Teacher’s College (New York, NY), the graduate school of education at Columbia University,  offers a Peace Studies concentration that helps teachers to spread peace education programs in secondary schools.

Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), a research university founded by industrialist Ezra Cornell, has a peace studies concentration in its international studies program.

Creighton University (Omaha, NE), a Catholic University in the Jesuit tradition,  offers a Justice and Society major and a minor in Justice and Peace studies.

DePauw University (Greencastle, IN) is a United Methodist university with a B.A. in Conflict Studies.

Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA) is a Catholic University founded by the Congregation of the Holy Ghost (the Spiritans).  DU’s Graduate School offers a Certificate in Conflict Resolution.

Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisburg, VA) is a Mennonite university with a B.A. in Peacebuilding and Development and a Minor in Peacebuilding.  EMU’s Graduate School offers both a Certificate and an M.A. in Peace and Conflict Transformation. EMU runs a Center for Justice and Peacebuilding which also offers a Summer Peacebuilding Institute.  All programs are rooted in both the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition of gospel nonviolence/Christian pacifism and the modern disciplines of peace studies and conflict transformation. Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian Lutheran woman who led the women’s peace movement that ended their 20-year old civil war, and who was one of the 2011 winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, is an alumna of EMU’s peacebuilding programs.

Eastern Mennonite Seminary (Harrisburg, VA) is a Christian theological seminary founded and run by the Mennonite Church, USA. It is rooted in the Anabaptist tradition.  Students from all Christian traditions are welcome, and EMS has a special relationship with the United Methodist Church.  Peace and justice emphases are found throughout the curriculum, bu,t in conjunction with EMU, it offers a dual degree of an M.Div./M.A. in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation.

Earlham College (Richmond, IN), founded by and related to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)  offers a B.A. in Peace and Global Studies (PAGS). Earlham’s PAGS major is one of the strongest in undergraduate peace studies and offers a core curriculum plus a choice of 8 different concentrations or foci:  1) Conflict Transformation, 2) Religion and Pacifism, 3) Social Theory and Social Movements, 4) International War and Peace, 5) African-American Civil Rights, 6) Women and Social Change, 7) Environmental Studies, or 8) a student self-designed focus.  In every focus, the PAGS major or minor is interdisciplinary and rooted in both the Christian spirituality of classic Friends/Quaker tradition and the modern peace studies discipline.  In 2002, the Plowshares Collaborative was formed to strengthen the peace studies programs between Earlham (Quaker), Goshen (Mennonite), and Manchester (Brethren) colleges, three liberal arts colleges related to the three Historic Peace Churches and all in Indiana.  Students at any of the 3 colleges involved in their respective peace studies programs can cross-register at any of the other schools.

Earlham School of Religion (Richmond, IN), a Christian graduate theological seminary in the Friends/Quaker tradition, offers an M.A. in Religious Studies with a concentration in Peace and Justice Studies. (ESR offers 4 concentrations for it’s M.A. program:  Biblical Studies, Christian Theology, Quaker Studies, and Peace and Justice Studies.)  ESR’s  Master of Divinity degree and Master of Ministry Degree both offer concentrations in Peace and Justice studies, too. All programs are rooted in Friends’ spirituality.

Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, PA) is a college of the Church of the Brethren, one of the “historic peace churches.”  It offers a minor in peace studies rooted in the Anabaptist and Pietist traditions of the Brethren.

Elon University (Elon, NC) is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.  Offers a Minor in Nonviolence Studies.

Emory University (Atlanta, GA) is closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church.  It offers a Ph.D. in “Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding,” but nothing on the undergraduate level.

Fairfield University (Fairfield, CT) is a Catholic university in the Jesuit tradition that offers  a minor in Peace and Justice Studies.

Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, CA) is a university of the Mennonite Brethren that offers an undergraduate minor in Peace Studies, as well as an M.A. in Peacemaking in Conflict Studies. The Mennonite Brethren Church is the U. S. branch of a German Pietist fusion with Polish and Ukrainian Mennonites, stemming from emigration to the U.S. (due to Russian persecution) in the 1870s. Mennonite Brethren consider themselves both Evangelical, Pietist, and Anabaptist and the peace studies programs flow from that core identity.  The graduate department of Fresno Pacific University also offers certificates in Church Conflict and Peacemaking, Mediation, Restorative Justice, School Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking, and a Personalized Certificate in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies.

Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA) is a multi-denominational theological seminary in the Evangelical Protestant tradition.  It has just begun a Just Peacemaking Initiative that I hope will result in a degree program in the near future.

Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA) is a Christian liberal arts college founded by and closely related to Lutherans. It has a minor in Peace Studies.

George Fox University (Newburg, OR) is a Christian college closely related to the Evangelical Friends (the evangelical branch of the Friends/Quakers). It offers a Peace Studies minor.

George Mason University (Fairfax,VA) is a public, secular university in suburbs of D. C. which offers  B.A. , B.S. , M.S. and Ph.D. degrees  in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.  Also has an M.S. in Peace Operations.

Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)  is the nation’s oldest Catholic University.  Founded by the Society of Jesus.  Has an M.A. in Conflict Resolution.

Goshen College (Goshen, IN) is a Mennonite college and offers a B.A. in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies.  It also has minors in both Peace and Justice and Conflict Transformation studies. Also offers a certificate for teachers in conflict transformation.  The chair of the department edits the Journal of Religion, Conflict, and Peace. All are rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite theological tradition.  Part of the Plowshares Collaborative which strengthens the peace studies programs at Goshen (Mennonite), Manchester (Brethren) and Earlham (Quaker) colleges.  Students in a peace studies program at any of the three Indiana schools can cross-register at any of the others.

Goucher College (Baltimore, MD), an independent, highly selective, liberal arts college with a strong international focus,  has a B.A. (and minor)  in Peace Studies.  Goucher is the first college in the nation to both require that all students spend some time abroad during their college career and to use considerable scholarship money to help make that possible without adding to student debt. Endowment funds are specifically set aside to help all students study abroad during their 4 years at Goucher.   A double major in International Studies and Peace Studies is possible at Goucher.

Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA) is a private, independent liberal arts college started prior to Iowa’s statehood by missionary teachers from Yale and Andover. Anti-slavery from its beginnings, Grinnell has always had a strong commitment to social justice and a strong internationalist outlook. In 2004, the Iowa Peace Institute (based in Grinnell, IA since 1987) transferred its assets to Grinnell College for the purpose of founding a new program in Peace Studies. So far, this program has resulted only in a minor concentration, but student interest is such that plans are afoot to offer Peace Studies as a major leading to a B.A. degree.

Guilford College (Greensboro, NC) is a Friends/Quaker college with a B.A. and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. It also offers a B.A. in International Studies and one in Justice and Policy Studies.  Drawing on the Friends/Quaker heritage, it combines the disciplines of peace studies and conflict transformation studies.

Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN) is a Lutheran liberal arts college.  Offers a Peace Studies minor.

Hamline University (St. Paul, MN) is a United Methodist university.  It offers a B.A. in Social Justice.  Hamline University’s Law School has a Center for Dispute Resolution which offers several certificates in conflict resolution.

Hampshire College (Amherst, MA) is the base for the Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS) B.A. of the Five College Consortium (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, University of Massachusetts at Amherst [UMASS-Amherst]).  The B.A. is only offered at Hampshire, but any student at any school in the Consortium can cross-register.  Hampshire College is a private, non-sectarian, liberal arts college founded as an experiment.  In 1958, the presidents of the 4 colleges Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, gathered to explore together the mission of undergraduate liberal arts education. Hampshire opened its doors in 1970 as an experiment that grew out of that re-thinking of the mission and methods of liberal arts education. It uses narrative evaluations rather than traditional letter or number grades.  Learning is student directed, multidisciplinary, multicultural. All students engage in original research, and all do service learning projects.  All students produce a graduate style senior research process before graduation.

Hastings College (Hastings, NE) is a Christian liberal arts college related to the Presbyterian Church, USA. Through its Sociology Department, Hastings College offers a B.A. in Peace, Justice, and Social Change.

Haverford College (Haverford, PA) is an elite liberal arts college founded by Friends/Quakers with a concentration in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights that can be added to any major.  Part of the Tri-College Consortium of Quaker colleges near Philadelphia (Haverford, Swarthmore, and Bryn Mawr) and the peace studies programs all cross-register within this consortium.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY) are two (2) independent colleges that function as one with a fully integrated curriculum, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York.  Originally, Hobart was founded in 1822 as a men’s college and William Smith was founded (1908) as a women’s college.  HWS now operates under a coordinate college system.  All students share the same campus, faculty, administration, and curriculum, but each college maintains its own dean, traditions, student government, and athletic department. Men graduate from Hobart and women from William Smith, but the two are so integrated that William Smith is not part of the Women’s College Coalition.  They offer a peace studies minor that can be added to any major, but works especially well with the International Studies & Political Science majors. Related programs include minors in Child Advocacy, Civic Engagement and Social Justice, Holocaust Studies, Law and Society, and Social Justice Studies.

Iliff School of Theology (Denver, CO) is a United Methodist Theological Seminary that offers a Justice and Peace Studies concentration within the Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Pastoral and Spiritual Care, and Master of Arts in Social Change degrees.

Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA) is a college of the Church of the Brethren, a historic peace church with both Anabaptist and Pietist roots.  It has a Department of Peace and Conflict Studies that offers Programs of Emphasis (i.e., majors) leading to a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies; Communication and Conflict Resolution; or Peace and Conflict Studies as a secondary emphasis ( second major).

Manchester College (North Manchester, IN) has a B.A. in Peace Studies housed at the Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution.  The discipline of Peace Studies began at Manchester College with the first B.A. in Peace Studies offered in 1948.  Related to the Church of the Brethren, a Historic Peace Church.  Part of the Plowshares Project of coordinated peace programs at Earlham (Friends/Quaker), Goshen (Mennonite), and Manchester (Brethren) Colleges.  Publishes Nonviolent Social Change:  The Bulletin of the Peace Studies Institute.

Manhattan College (Riverdale, NY) is a small Catholic college that offers a B.A. in Peace Studies.

Marian University (Indianapolis, IN) is a Catholic university in the Franciscan tradition that offers a Minor in Peace and Justice Studies.  The approach here is rooted in Franciscan spirituality.

Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI) is one of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities among U.S. Catholic universities.  Since 2007, it has had a Center for Peacemaking headed by my friend, Fr. G. Simon Harak, S.J., a Palestinian-American Christian, pacifist, moral theologian, and nonviolent activist.  Marquette offers an interdisciplinary minor in Justice and Peace studies open to everyone, but which coordinates well with an International Studies major. As of 2012, Marquette now offers a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Mary Baldwin College (Staunton, VA) is a historic women’s college related to the Presbyterian Church, USA.  It offers an interdisciplinary minor in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies.  It also has a related major (B.A.) in International Relations.

Messiah College (Grantham, PA) is a Christian College founded by the Brethren in Christ and, thus, in the evangelical, Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan traditions.  Messiah’s Sider Institute offers a B.A. and a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI) is a public university that offers a specialization in Peace and Justice Studies under the College of Social Sciences.

Millsaps College (Jackson, MS) is a four-year liberal arts college founded and closely related to the United Methodist Church.  It offers a minor in Peace Studies.

Nazareth College (Rochester, NY) is a Christian liberal arts college founded and very closely related to the Church of the Nazarene, an evangelical denomination in the Wesleyan Arminian tradition.  It offers a B.A. in Peace and Justice Studies.

Nova Southeastern University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) is a private research university that offers an. M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH) is a private liberal arts college and music conservatory that was founded by abolitionist evangelical Christians in the 19th C., but has long since become a secular/nonsectarian institution.  Offers a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies that can be added to any major, but does not substitute for a major or minor.

Ohio University (Athens, OH) is a top-ranked public university.  Offers a B.A. in War and Peace Studies .

Roanoke College (Roanoke, VA) is a Christian liberal arts college founded by and related to Lutherans.  It has a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Southern Methodist University (Plano, TX) is a research university related to the United Methodist Church.  Has an M.A. in Dispute Resolution.

Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA) is an elite liberal arts college founded by Friends/Quakers that offers a Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Tufts University (Medford, MA) is a university founded by Universalists and has both a Certificate and B.A. in Peace and Justice Studies.

University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, CO) is a public research university that offers a certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies.

University of Denver (Denver, CO) has a Joseph Korbel School of International Studies that offers M.A. degrees in International Development, International Human Rights, International Security, Conflict Resolution, as well as the traditional International Studies degrees.  It also has degrees specifically for people connected to the U.S. Peace Corps.

University of LaVerne (LaVerne, CA) was founded in 1891 by the Church of the Brethren, one of the “historic peace churches.” Although it has drifted considerably from its CoB heritage (only the campus minister must still be a minister in the CoB) and even brags on its website about how well it meets the educational needs of active duty and reserve military (!), U of LaVerne still offers a Minor in Peace Studies.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Greensboro, NC) is a public research university which offers an M.A. in Conflict and Dispute Resolution.

University of North Texas (Denton, Texas) is a public research university which  has a founded a Peace Studies Program.  Offers a Certificate and a Minor in Peace Studies, plus a Peace Studies concentration in the B.A. in International Studies.

University of Notre Dame du Lac (South Bend, IN) is a major Catholic university founded by the Congregation of the Holy Cross.  Through Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the university offers a B.A. and a minor in Peace Studies, an M.A. in Peace Studies, and even a Ph.D. in Peace Studies.  This is one of the few Ph.D. programs in peace studies available.  The Kroc approach is called strategic peacebuilding.

University of San Diego (San Diego, CA) is a Roman Catholic university in the Jesuit tradition.  It hosts the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies which contains both an Institute for Peace with Justice and a Trans-Border Institute.  It offers an undergraduate Minor in Peace and Justice Studies.  Also offers an M.A. in Peace and Justice Studies.

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) USC is a private, non-sectarian research university. It is the oldest institution of higher education in California—or even West of the Rockies.  USC has a peace and conflict studies minor and a human rights minor.

University of St. Thomas (Saint Paul, MN) is a Catholic university with a B.A. in Justice and Peace Studies.

Villanova University (Villanova, PA) is a Catholic university in the Augustinian tradition with a Center for Peace and Justice that offers both a certificate and a minor in Peace and Justice Studies.

Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA) is an elite, private women’s college.  It offers a B.A. in Peace and Justice Studies in the tradition of former Wellesley sociology professor Emily Green Balch, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

Whitworth University (Spokane, WA) is a Christian liberal arts college founded by Presbyterians and closely connected to the Presbyterian Church (USA).  It offers a B.A. in Peace Studies through the Political Science Department which also offers a minor.

International Universities with Peace Studies Programs

Internationally, the Peace Studies movement has been more often connected with research universities rather than specifically faith-based educational institutions.


University of Melbourne offers an M.A. in International Politics with an emphasis on Global Justice and Peacemaking.

University of New England (New South Wales) offers both a Master of Letters and a Ph.D. in Peace Studies.

University of South Australia (Adelaide) offers  an M.A. in Conflict Management.

University of Sydney has a Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies which offers both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict Studies.


Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Studies offers an English-language M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies.


Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg, MB), founded and operated by the Mennonite Church-Canada offers a B.A. and a minor in Peace & Conflict Transformation Studies [PACTS].  It hosts the Canadian School of Peacebuilding and an Institute of Community Peacebuilding. It publishes the Peace Research Journal. 

Conrad Grebel University College of the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON) is a liberal arts and theological college of the Mennonite Church-Canada attached to the University of Waterloo.  It offers  a B. A. in Peace and Conflict Studies rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition.  There is also a Certificate Program in Conflict Management.  It also hosts a Centre for the Study of Religion and Peace.  Beginning in Sept. 2012, Conrad Grebel will offer a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS).

King’s University College (London, ON) is a Catholic college at the University of Western Ontario.  It offers a B.A. in Social Justice and Peace Studies.

McGill University (Montreal, QB) operates a Centre for International Peace and Security Studies jointly with the University of Montreal. Together they offer a joint Ph.D. in Peace and Security Studies.

Sault College (Sault St.e Marie, ON) Offers a 2-year diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies.

University of Toronto (Toronto, ON) offers a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies.  It is offered through the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (part of the Monk School of Global Affairs), which is named, of course, for the late Pierre Trudeau, one of Canada’s greatest prime ministers and a strong worker for global human rights and international peace.


University for Peace/Universidad para La Paz [UPEACE] was founded under the auspices of the United Nations to promote peacemaking and human rights. Has M.A. degrees in:  Environmental Security and Peace (and one with a specialization in Climate Change and Security); Gender and Peacebuilding; International Law and Human Rights; International Law and the Settlement of Disputes; International Peace Studies; Media, Peace, and Conflict Studies; Natural Resources and Peace; Peace Education; Sustainable Urban Governance and Peace.


Institut d’études politiques de Paris/Paris Institute of the Political Sciences [“SciencesPo”] (Paris).  Offers 2 related Masters degrees:  The Master in International Security and the Master in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action.

University for Health and Law/Université Lille 2: Droit et Santé (Lille Cedex).  Offers an M.A. in Management and Peacekeeping Within the United Nations Program.  


Coventry University (England) has a Center for Peace and Reconciliation which offers both a postgraduate certificate in Conflict Resolution Skills and an M.A. in Peace and Reconciliation Studies.

University of Bradford (West Yorkshire, England) has both an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Peace Studies.

University of Lancaster (Lancaster, England) has a B.A. in Peace Studies and International Relations; M.A. in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies; Ph.D. in Peace Studies.

University of York (York, England) offers an M.A. in Conflict, Governance, and Development; an M.A. in Post-War Recovery Studies; Ph.D. in Post-War Recovery Studies.


Alice-Salomon University of Applied Sciences (Berlin) offers an English-language M.A. in Intercultural Conflict Management.

Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland

Queen’s University (Belfast) offers an M.A. in Comparative Ethnic Conflict.

Trinity College (Dublin) offers an M.Phil. in International Peace Studies

University of Limerick (Limerick) offers an M.A. in Peace and Development Studies.

University of Ulster (Magee & Derry/Londonderry) offers an M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies.


Tel Aviv University  offers an M.A. in International Conflict Resolution and Mediation.


Lebanese American University (Byblos). Has recently developed an Institute for Peace and Justice Education. At the moment, it only offers block courses and summer programs, but it is developing a minor in peace and conflict studies.


University of Troms offers an English-language M.A. in Peace Studies.


Bancaja International Centre for Peace and Development, Castellόn offers an M.A. in Peace and Development Studies in both English and Spanish.


Gӧteburg University offers an M.A. and Ph.D. in Peace and Research Development Research, both in English.

Uppsala University has an English language Advanced International Training Program in Conflict Resolution and offers a Ph.D. in Peace and Conflict.


Sabanci University offers an  English language M.A. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.  The Ph.D. in Political Science has a conflict analysis concentration.

May 3, 2011 Posted by | colleges/universities, education, human rights, nonviolence, peace, peacemakers, theological education | 23 Comments

The Dangers of the Military Industrial Complex

Today, 17 January 2011, is the 50th Anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the American people.  In it, he warned of the dangers of a foreign policy dominated by the military industrial complex.  He was not heeded and today we are more dominated by it than ever. Manufacturers of weapons and military-related hardware build pieces of items in every Congressional district in the nation so that it is almost impossible to vote to cancel even weapons the military doesn’t want.  “When all you have are hammers, every problem looks like a nail.”

Ike also warned that the military industrial complex sucked up money that could be used to solve poverty; he boldly called it theft from the poor and the hungry.  The biblical prophets had the same outlook which is why they dreamed of the conversion of instruments of war into farming tools.

We drastically need a national conversation, today, about Eisenhower’s warnings.  After all, the man who led the Allies to victory in World War II is owed a hearing on the dangers of overmilitarism, don’t you think?

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Just Peacemaking, nationalism, peace | Leave a comment

Inhabiting the World House: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Vision in Today’s World

Saturday, 15 January, was the anniversary of  of the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of my personal heroes and one of the largest influences on my theological ethics. (Indeed, one-third of my Ph.D. dissertation dealt with King’s life and work and I have written several articles on King. Moreover, even when not cited, King’s life and work is often in the background of my writing and my preaching.  I say this not in an uncritical fashion:  I find some influences on King (Wieman, Tillich) to be unhelpful; I find King–like his mentors in American theological liberalism–to be too dismissive of influences which would have greatly aided his work, like that of Karl Barth and the Biblical Theology Movement; And I find some aspects of King’s moral practices, especially his serial adulteries, to undermine his witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  All our heroes have feet of clay and we should not hide their frailties, shortcomings, misdirections, or even sins. )

Since today in the United States is the national holiday in King’s honor, many are writing reflections on his life and work.  Many of these are terribly wrongheaded, such as the claim by a Pentagon lawyer that King would support the current U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan!  (For an excellent rebuttal to this absurdity, see Cynthia Nielsen’s reflections on King’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in NYC one year to the day before his death.) The infamous American short-term memory and lack of historical consciousness, combined with a deliberate tendency to “tame” King and others who challenge the status quo, have led to a reduction in which King’s Dream is viewed only as ending racial segregation, so that the election of Barack Obama to the presidency is the fulfillment of King’s Dream or even that King, a self-declared democratic socialist who died marching with and for garbage collectors, should be an icon for Glenn Beck and the rightwing, libertarian “Tea Party” movement!

Every year at this time we distort King and twist his legacy in the name of celebrating it.  Mostly, we do it by showing carefully edited snippets of the 1963 “I Have a Dream” Speech and presenting King as the “great Dreamer” of racial harmony without ever carefully examinging his thought–leaving out completely his solidarity with the poor and strong critique of U.S. capitalism (his demand for a Living Wage for all citizens, his admiration for the democratic socialism of Norway, his acceptance of Marx’s critique of capitalism even as he rejected Marxist materialism and historical determinism, and, most of all, his attempt to forge a multi-racial, multi-cultural “Poor People’s Movement” which would radically reshape U.S. society), along with his commitment to gospel nonviolence and his absolute opposition to imperialist militarism, not least the imperialist militarism of the United States.  Most of those born since King’s death in 1968 have no idea that he referred to the U.S. government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” something I fully believe he would find equally true today.  For these reasons, I am among those who would like to see a 5 year halt in talking about the “I Have a Dream” speech– and to reorient our reflections on King to his later, more radical, speeches and writings.  (In this, I recommend especially a pamphlet put out by the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America and written by former Executive Director, Gary Percesepe, Seeing Beyond the Dream Speech. )

In 1967, King published Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, his last book before his death. (His final book, also very germane to our times, The Trumpet of Conscience, was published posthumously.)  I think Where Do We Go From Here? is among the least read of King’s writings, some of the most radical of his reflections, and the most useful for our own context in the early 21st C.–since we have not faced squarely the problems King was dealing with, even since.  I take one section from that wonderful book for these reflections:  The concept of the “World House,” a term less familiar to us than King’s characterization of the Kingdom of God (being born into the world) as “the Beloved Community.”

King tells a parable that he read somewhere:  A divided and long-separated family find that the head of this clan has died and they have all inherited a mansion.  The catch: They cannot sell it, but must live in the house, putting away their differences and learning to live together.  King turns this story into an allegory:  All humanity is the separated and estranged (even warring) family.  God, though far from dead, is the Parent who had given humanity a House.  The World, the planet Earth, is the House and humanity must learn to live in it together, sharing its resources, working for its upkeep (rather than ecologically destroying it), and learning to live together as one family.  We want to divide into warring nations or tribes.  We want to be concerned only for our own racial or ethnic or language group or only for our own religious group.  (Expanding beyond King’s view in 1967, we want to be concerned only for those of our own sex, our own sexual orientation, or our own gender identity, too.) We want to be concerned only for those of our own economic class (or, to claim that there are no classes, that anyone can become wealthy, that the wealthy have earned their riches and should not be asked to share them–even if the rest of us have to bail them out from their own foolishness–or to claim that the interests of the wealthy naturally “trickle down” to help the rest of us–NONE of which is supported by a shred of evidence) and let those who are weaker or more vulnerable fall by the wayside.

In all these ways and more, we deny that we are one family.  King insists (with his own/my own Biblical tradition) that this is false. We are all children of God.  The World House is ALL our home–and we have NO CHOICE but to learn to live in it together–or we destroy both ourselves and the World House.

I suggest that this vision of King’s in 1967 is more relevant than ever, today.  Our refusal to care for God’s beloved earth ecologically is leading to greater species extinction than at any time since the end of the Age of Dinosaurs some 65 million years ago.  Even as it may be too late to save the polar ice caps, nations and oil companies are foolishly racing to drill for oil in the Arctic circle (because nothing could possibly go wrong in THAT scenario!).  Water is used profligately in Europe and North America while it becomes increasingly scarce for the poor of the Two Thirds World.  Americans are increasingly obese while Hunger and Poverty stalk the globe.  People kill in the name of religion or politics or ideology or land.  We enact policies to make the top 1% ever more obscenely wealthy while poor multiply and Middle Classes vanish.  We treat healthcare as a commodity to be bought and sold rather than a human right and when a law is passed that mildly reforms this obscenity (still largely trusting the great god Free Market, the largest idol of the West), we call it government tyrrany.  We have billions for the War Machine, but schools go starving for funds and when teachers and parents complain, the reply is that “education cannot be solved by throwing money at the problem” (something we never say about either the Military Industrial Complex or Money Powers of Wall Street).  The views of teachers are dismissed as “bleatings of a teacher’s union” and parents’ pleas are dismissed with the claim that the parents–often working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet–should educate their children themselves–either privately or by homeschooling (regardless of means or whether said parent has enough education to make that feasible).  In a reverse Robin Hood society, we constantly steal from the poor to give ever more to the obscenely wealthy–who then claim they are “overtaxed” when paying a smaller percentage than at any time in the last 50 years!

Against this whole mess, Dr. King presents the vision of the World House.  We are not primarily Black or White or Brown, we are family.  We are not primarily rich or poor, but family. We are not first Americans or Vietnamese (or Iraqis or Afghans), but one family. We are not first Muslims or Buddhists or Jews or Christians (Catholic or Protestant or Orthodox, Liberal or Evangelical), but a family sharing a World House.  If we see ourselves in that light–as one family sharing one World House–then both our personal actions, the actions of our organizations (churches, synagogues, mosques, temples; businesses and corporations; political parties), and the public policies of our various nations and governments, must CHANGE to reflect that reality.  In place of fearful militarism, we must enact Common Security.  In place of hoarding, the equitable distribution of resources–so that all are fed and have shelter and adequate medical care.  In place of the exploitation of the earth and our family members, we must live sustainably.

It’s not an easy vision to enact.  To live this way will be a huge struggle.  Perhaps this is why this World House has been so ignored.  But if this World House allegory correctly displays our real context as humans on this third rock from the sun–as I believe it does–then we MUST struggle to live accordingly.  If, in our individual, corporate, and political lives we struggle to live out this vision–then we will truly be honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–and, beyond him, honoring the God he strove to follow.

January 17, 2011 Posted by | Baptists, economic justice, environmental ethics, heroes, human rights, justice, nonviolence, peace | Leave a comment

“Your Daughters and Your Sons”

This New Years’ Day many who struggle for justice and peace and the health of the planet are frustrated and discouraged.  The eight years of the Bush administration seemed to many to be one long assault on every moral value they held dear.  It was assumed that things would change with the election and inauguration of Barack Obama–and much has. But expecting bold change and getting baby steps and half-measures is frustrating, especially in light of the full-throated attack by the Right which has painted mild reforms as a radical Communist takeover (or Fascist–they can’t seem to decide or tell the difference)! And Obama has not only compromised and waffled, but in some cases actually betrayed the values he campaigned for:  Escalating the war and occupation of Afghanistan against all reason; continuing the gulag at Guantanemo Bay, Cuba; continuing the Bush civil liberties violations of warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detentions without trial (or rigged military tribunals) and threats of continued detention even if not found guilty; announcing a previously undiscovered presidential “right” to target U.S. citizens for assassination(!–even if not yet acted on this is horrible!) and more.  For this we elected a professor of Constitutional law?  The capture of the House of Representatives by Tea Party Republicans puts even the mild reforms we achieved in danger–plus threatends all-out assaults on Social Security, Medicare, minimum wage laws, immigrants, racial and sexual minorities, religious minorities, women, the poor, labor, and the environment.  And around the world there are other set-backs that are equally discouraging or even more so.  So, the New Year has not seemed to many to be a time for celebration. Many of my Facebook friends have posted videos or lyrics of U-2’s bleak song, “New Year’s Day.”

I understand. I share these frustrations, worries, and discouragements. But the inability of peace and justice folk (in this country, at least) to celebrate small victories and live out of hope and gratitude is a real impediment to success: It leads to both burnout and to repelling possible allies and recruits because of our reputation as always grim and somber.  It’s not so around the world: The oppressed sing in prisons and on picket lines and dance before the armed might of their oppressors.  That is also the biblical heritage.  We must be people of hope and gratitude and celebration to have strength for the long haul–for being faithful “in season and out of season.” 

To that end, I post the lyrics of  Tommy Sands’ 1985 struggle song, “Your Daughters and Your Sons.” 

Your Daughters And Your Sons

A song by Tommy Sands©1985 Tommy Sands

They wouldn’t hear your music
And they pulled your paintings down
They wouldn’t hear your writing
And they banned you from the town
But they couldn’t stop you dreaming
And a victory you have won
For you sowed the seeds of freedom
In your daughters and your sons

In your daughters and your sons
Your daughters and your sons
You sowed the seeds of freedom
In your daughters and your sons

Your weary smile it proudly hides
The chainmarks on your hands
As you bravely strive to realise
The rights of everyman
And though your body’s bent and low
A victory you have won
For you sowed the seeds of justice
In your daughters and your sons


I don’t know your religion
But one day I heard you pray
For a world where everyone can work
And children they can play
And though you never got your share
Of the victories you have won
You sowed the seeds of equality
In your daughters and your sons


They taunted you in Belfast
And they tortured you in Spain
And in that Warsaw ghetto
Where they tied you up in chains
In Vietnam and in Chile
Where they came with tanks and guns
It’s there you sowed the seeds of peace
In your daughters and your sons


And now your music’s playing
And the writing’s on the wall
And all the dreams you painted
Can be seen by one and all
Now you’ve got them thinking
And the future’s just begun
For you sowed the seeds of freedom
In your daughters and your sons

Chorus twice.

Happy New Year everyone.

January 1, 2011 Posted by | human rights, Just Peacemaking, justice, oppression, peace | Leave a comment

Peacemaker Profile # 4 Liu Xiaobo

  As announced yesterday, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for 2010 will be Liu Xiaobo, a human rights and free speech activist in China.  So, he seemed to be an appropriate choice for the next entry in this random series of peacemaker profiles. 

First of all, the Nobel Committee in Oslo (chosen by the Storting or Norwegian Parliament, per Alfred Nobel’s will) has a mixed record in choosing recipients of this most prestigious peace award.  But, in general, when they have chosen peace and human rights activists, and avoided sitting politicians, their choices have held up well to the verdict of history.  All the Nobel Peace Laureates have been controversial to somebody (FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was livid in 1964 when Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel & South Africa called the choice of Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1984 “a weird insult from Norway”) , but the choice last year of U. S. Pres. Barack Obama more for his potential as peacemaker than for any deed yet done, probably shaped the decision this year to go back to human rights activists. (It didn’t help the controversy that Obama decided to “surge” in Afghanistan right after the announcement of the Nobel Committee.)  China, who had long threatened economic and political consequences if the Nobel Committee ever chose a dissident human rights activist, was predictably furious at the choice of Liu Xiaobo.  But making governments angry while drawing the world’s attention to areas of conflict and/or human rights abuses, is one of the traditional jobs of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Liu Xiaobo is a writer who took part in the 1989 Tienenmen Square nonviolent protests for democracy in China–protests that were brutally suppressed by the Chinese military in the Tienenment Square massacre.  He was a major organizer of “Charter 08” a manifesto by human rights activists worldwide calling for free elections (with multiple parties), free speech and freedom of the press.  China has imprisoned him for 11 years on a bogus charge of “attempting to subvert the government and the Communist Party.” (The Chinese Communist Party may only be “Communist” in name these days, but it remains totalitarian.  The claim by Reaganites in the ’80s and by Bush I in the ’90s that capitalism would automatically bring democracy to China has proven to be the illusion that many of us named it at the time.)

Although it is unlikely that Xiaobo will be released to receive the Nobel in December (it is always awarded on 10 December, the day on which Alfred Nobel died), I hope his wife will be permitted by the Chinese govt. to travel to Oslo and receive the award. It is already having an effect. Rallies for Xiaopo’s release have happened in China and around the world.  European leaders and Pres. Obama have called for Xiaopo’s release–a move that could lead to further deterioration of relations between China, Europe and the U.S. 

Congrats to Liu Xiaopo.  All of us who love justice and who know that peace is always built on justice–never on covering up injustice–are praying for you.

October 9, 2010 Posted by | blog series, heroes, human rights, Just Peacemaking, peace | 1 Comment

Book Review: Covenant of Peace

Willard M. Swartley, Covenant of Peace:  The Missing Peace in New Testament Theology and EthicsGrand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2006.

I started to read this book when it was first published, but things got in the way, as life often does, even for those of us who are bibliophiles.  This time, it was a mistake to get sidetracked.  In my humble opinion, this is one of the most important studies in New Testament theology and ethics written in a very long time. 

Swartley, President Emeritus and Emeritus Professor of New Testament at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, IN) surveyed 25 standard works in New Testament  theology and ethics and found a major lacuna–they all failed to notice how central the concept of “peace,” and “peacemaking” are to every strand of New Testament theology. (Richard Hays does better than most, but a new edition of his The Moral Vision of the New Testament would be strengthened by incorporating Swartley’s insights.) Swartley shows that peace is at the heart of the gospel message and, in differing ways, every New Testament document (with the possible exceptions of 2 Peter and Jude!) reflects that centrality.  The puzzle is that this has been missed by so many good biblical theologians since the rise of critical scholarship!

If those who teach courses in New Testament theology and/or ethics will use Covenant of Peace to supplement standard works in New Testament theology (e.g., Bultmann, Kümmel, Goppelt, Stauffer, Caird or, from the conservative spectrum, Ladd, Marshall, Morris) or ethics (Hays, Daly, Lohse, Schrage, Matera, Schnackenburg, Verhey), the results should transform the preaching and teaching of the next generation of pastors.  Those considering writing a New Testament theology or ethics should not send a draft to their publisher without reading this work first and incorporating its insights.  Those responsible for the regular exposition of the Word in the churches should read this immediately and let it inform their preaching at a deep level.  The book is that good.

Swartley even takes up the question, which has divided many contemporary Christian pacifists, of whether GOD is always nonviolent or whether Christian nonviolence and peacemaking may depend not usurping God’s role in wrath, vengeance, and judgment.  I am not completely satisfied with Swartley’s answer, but he lays out issues and evidence in a way that helpfully clarifies what’s at stake in both positions. (I may take up that debate in a future blog post.)

This is Swartley’s finest work.  Get it and read it slowly–with your Greek NT handy and taking many notes!  Then rededicate yourself to the gospel of peace through the Lamb’s victory over the Powers.

September 3, 2010 Posted by | Biblical interpretation, book reviews, books, pacifism, peace, theological education | Leave a comment