Peace Studies at Goshen

Candle light vigilThe study of peace, justice, and conflict has a long history at Goshen College. The Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies program (PJCS) now covers a wide range of peace-related issues:

  • from the classic concerns of war and peace,
  • through contemporary issues of ethnic, national, and religious conflict,
  • to applying peacemaking perspectives and skills to personal relationships and all aspects of community life.

Students of any Christian denomination, religious tradition, or philosophical perspective are invited to join us in exploring peace issues as rooted in Anabaptist-Mennonite theology and history.

Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies programs include a major and two minors. The two minors overlap to a considerable degree, with the Peace and Justice Studies minor putting more emphasis on theoretical concerns and the Conflict Transformation Studies minor offering more opportunity to develop practical skills. Both minors enable a student to combine peace, justice, and conflict studies content with any recognized major.

PJCS in action

At Goshen you will learn to understand that conflict, whatever its potential dangers, is a necessary and creative force for personal transformation, reconciliation, and social change. Opportunities to put your beliefs into action might include:

  • international travel, study, and service through Goshen’s Study-Service Term (SST);
  • a term of urban study and work at the Indianapolis Peace Institute, the Chicago Center, or further afield;
  • a summer placement with agencies such as Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Mission Network, and Christian Peacemaker Teams;
  • a summer internship through Goshen’s Service Inquiry Program or Ministry Inquiry Program;
  • serving locally with the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program to help settle differences outside the courtroom or be an advocate for children in legal matters.

Recent graduates are working in many settings. Among them are Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma (‘05), who is running World Fare, a fair trade store in Three Rivers, Michigan, with his wife Kirstin; Ben Beachy (‘04), working in Managua, Nicaragua, for Witness for Peace; and Charletta Erb (‘04),
doing a term with Mennonite Mission Network at the London Mennonite Centre in England, where she is involved in conflict transformation training.

Internships and work-study

The PJCS program encourages internships as a means for students to gain additional skills in active, practical peace building. Classes, internships, and co-curricular activities equip students with a framework of personal values and skills in order that they may be able to make a positive impact on the society and culture in which they live. Learn more about internships at Goshen.