Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies (PJCS)

David Cortright, Adjunct Professor of Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies
Luke Kreider, Assistant Professor, Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies
Joe Liechty, Department Chair, Professor of PJCS, Director of Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies
Carolyn Schrock-Shenk, Associate Professor of Peace, Justice & Conflict Studies
Regina Shands Stoltzfus, Assistant Professor of PJCS

Introduction

Goshen College offers four academic peace programs. Visit the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies program website at www.goshen.edu/peace.

The major introduces students to the array of topics and disciplines that make up peace, justice, and conflict studies, while also allowing students to focus in areas of particular interest. The minor in conflict studies is oriented toward students hoping to use conflict transformation skills in a particular career or profession. The minor in peace and justice studies prepares students from a wide variety of academic majors for work in peace and justice organizations and other service agencies in the United States or abroad. The certificate program in conflict transformation, offered in conjunction with the teacher education program, trains education students in conflict transformation skills relevant for the classroom. The PJCS department and its programs are rooted in Anabaptist-Mennonite theology and history. Courses emphasize action-reflection learning in addition to more traditional classroom opportunities. Classes, internships and co-curricular activities equip students with a framework of personal values and skills that will help them make a positive impact wherever they live.

Special resources and activities

PJCS majors undertake a wide variety of paid and voluntary internships in Goshen, across the United States, and around the world. Examples of recent internships include Mennonite Disabilities, La Casa of Goshen, the Fourth Freedom Forum, the Center for Community Justice in Elkhart, the Elkhart County Probation Department, Boys and Girls Clubs of Elkhart and Goshen, Jubilee Partners in Georgia and Corrymeela in Northern Ireland.

Campus co-curricular activities include the annual C. Henry Smith Peace lectureship, the annual student peace oratorical contest, the student PAX organization, the peace play competition, peace studies community forums, peace scholars-in-residence, the Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship and the peace library collection.

Career and postgraduate opportunities

Students are prepared to enter graduate programs in conflict transformation studies or in peace and justice studies – and any other field of scholarship in which critical and creative analysis of difficult issues is a priority. They are also prepared to work in a wide variety of organizations engaged in work around themes of mission, peace, restorative justice, conflict transformation, social justice, and other forms of service. Professional students electing the minor or professional endorsement in conflict transformation studies will be prepared to assist individuals, organizations and communities to deal constructively with conflict in the work environment.

Major in peace, justice, and conflict studies

41 credit hours

  • Bibl 321, Biblical Themes of Peace 3
  • PJCS 311, Junior Seminar 3
  • PJCS 325, Mediation: Process, Skills and Theory 4
  • PJCS 409, Internship 1-4
  • PJCS 411, Senior Seminar 3
  • Choose six courses from the list below:18
    PJCS 201 PX, Violence & Nonviolence
    PJCS 210 PX, Transforming Conflict & Violence
    PJCS 310, Issues in PJCS
    PJCS 332, Religion, Conflict & Peace
    PJCS 347, Restorative Justice
    PJCS 350, Dynamics/Theology of Reconciliation
    PJCS 360, Personal Violence & Healing
    PJCS 370, Designing for Social Change
    PJCS 425, War & Peace in the Modern World
    PJCS 426, Conflict-Healthy Groups
  • One of the following: 3
    Econ 203, Principles of Microeconomics
    Econ 310, Economics of War & Peace
  • One of the following: 3
    PoSc 200, Introduction to Political Science
    PoSc 210, Introduction to Public Policy
    PoSc 308, International Politics
  • One related course: 3
    Hist 330, Gender in World History
    Hist 335, History of Ethnic Conflict
    Rel 316, Liberation Theologies
    SoWk 355, Contemporary Women's Issues
    Soc 334, Race, Class & Ethnic Relations

Student learning outcomes

Graduates in peace, justice and conflict studies will:

  1. Identify, analyze and address various forms of violence, from interpersonal through structural.
  2. Analyze the relationship of violence to conflict and develop and argue for nonviolent ways of responding to conflict.
  3. Analyze the process of reconciliation at both interpersonal and structural levels, with particular attention to the complex interplay, and sometimes tensions, between justice, truth, and forgiveness.
  4. Demonstrate and apply knowledge of conflict and communication theory, process and skills in their own lives and relationships.
  5. Argue for a personal role in peace building and social change processes.
  6. Analyze the role of religion in causing and nurturing violence and in promoting peace.
  7. Embrace peacemaking as integral to faith, and faith as integral to peacemaking.

Planning guide

SST Recommended: sophomore year, any summer, spring term junior year, or fall term senior year
First year

Goshen Core
Goshen Seminar: War, Peace & Nonresistance (preferred)
SST language
Transforming Conflict and Violence
Economics or political science course

Second year

Goshen Core
Expository Writing (strongly recommended)
Violence and Nonviolence
Mediation
Political science or economics course

Third year Goshen Core
Junior Seminar
Additional courses required for PJCS major
Fourth year Balance of Goshen Core
Remaining courses required for PJCS major
Senior Seminar

Planning and advising notes

Students should work with their academic adviser to select some classes designed to help them apply their PJCS major after graduation. Courses that have served PJCS majors well in the past, for example, include Soc 322, Social Policy & Programs and SoWk 391, Methods of Social Research.

Minor in conflict transformation studies

19 credit hours

  • PJCS 210 PX, Transforming Conflict and Violence 3
  • PJCS 325, Mediation: Process, Skills and Theory 3-4
  • PJCS 410, Senior Advanced Work 1
  • One of the following: 3
    PJCS 347, Restorative Justice
    PJCS 426, Conflict-Healthy Groups
  • Choose three courses: 9
    Bibl 321, Biblical Themes of Peace
    PJCS 201 PX, Violence & Nonviolence
    PJCS 310, Issues in PJCS
    PJCS 332, Religion, Conflict & Peace
    PJCS 347, Restorative Justice
    PJCS 350, Reconciliation
    PJCS 360, Designing for Social Change
    PJCS 370, Personal Violence & Healing
    PJCS 425, War & Peace in the Modern World
    PJCS 426, Conflict-Healthy Groups

Minor in peace and justice studies

19 credit hours

  • PJCS 325, Mediation: Process, Skills and Theory 3-4
  • PJCS 410, Senior Advanced Work 1
  • Choose five courses:15
    Bibl 321, Biblical Themes of Peace
    PJCS 201 PX, Violence & Nonviolence
    PJCS 210 PX, Transforming Conflict & Violence
    PJCS 310, Issues in PJCS
    PJCS 332, Religion, Conflict & Peace
    PJCS 347, Restorative Justice
    PJCS 350, Reconciliation
    PJCS 360, Personal Violence & Healing
    PJCS 370, Designing for Social Change
    PJCS 425, War & Peace in the Modern World
    PJCS 426, Conflict-Healthy Groups

Certificate in conflict transformation for teachers

9 credit hours

This certificate may be added to an elementary, middle school, or secondary education program. For further information, consult with a member of the teacher education faculty. Education students who wish to complete the conflict transformation studies minor at the conclusion of their certificate requirements should declare the minor and consult with a PJCS adviser for further details.

  • PJCS 210 PX, Transforming Conflict and Violence 3
  • PJCS 325, Mediation: Process, Skills and Theory 3-4
  • PJCS 426, Conflict-Healthy Groups 3

PJCS courses


PJCS 201 Violence and Nonviolence 3
This course addresses the questions, when and why are people violent, and when and why are they peaceful? How does nonviolence address the destructive force of violence and stand as an alternative? A Peacemaking Perspectives course in the Goshen Core.

PJCS 202 Spirituality of Peacemaking 3
How do peacemakers sustain their work for peace and justice over a lifetime without burning out? This course examines spiritual paths of peacemakers: theories, teachings and practices for sustaining active nonviolence and peacemaking. A Peacemaking course in the Goshen Core.

PJCS 203 Authentic Mission 3
While fully recognizing both abuses committed in the history of Christian mission and the ongoing challenges of working well across cultures, this course will tease out what it means to translate the Christian gospel into different cultural settings in an authentic, sensitive, culture-affirming way. A Peacemaking course in the Goshen Core.

PJCS 204 Vengeance and Forgiveness 3
This course will help students appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of vengeance and forgiveness, their internal contradictions and their sometimes surprising shared qualities, as both seek to provide victims with a way to move beyond the domain of insult, injury, and injustice toward wholeness. A Peacemaking course in the Goshen Core.

PJCS 209 Field Experience 1 (1-4)
An approved, supervised internship related to peace, justice and conflict studies work.

PJCS 210 Transforming Conflict and Violence 3
Explores the potentially constructive nature of conflict, the destructive nature of violence and the relationship between the two. Examines various patterns of communication, conflict and violence and what is needed for transformation. Students will reflect on their own conflict styles, build their skills for peacemaking and examine their personal temptations for violence. Note: Because PJCS 210 introduces concepts developed in greater depth in PJCS 325, this course may not be taken concurrently with or following PJCS 325. A Peacemaking Perspectives course in the Goshen Core.

PJCS 310 Issues in PJCS 3
Contemporary issues, e.g., militarism, organizational power relationships and conflict transformation, nuclear weaponry, economic sanctions, domestic violence.

PJCS 311 Junior Seminar 3
Junior Seminar has three main purposes: to explore classic and contemporary issues in conflict and peace through faculty- and student-led seminars to develope research and writing skills appropriate for PJCS; and to begin work toward a major research project to be completed in Senior Seminar.

PJCS 325 Mediation:Process, Skills, Theory 4 (3-4)
Focuses on the third party role of the mediator. Explores the theoretical basis for mediation, its various applications in North America, and critiques of the appropriateness of mediation for certain types of conflicts. Emphasis will be on experiential learning to develop the skills needed for mediation in formal and informal settings. PJCS majors and minors, as well as Interdisciplinary majors with a PJCS component, will complete one hour of applied experience.

PJCS 332 Religion, Conflict and Peace 3
Examines the role of religion in causing and nurturing violence and in promoting peace themes which have emerged as central to the pursuit of peace in the 21st century.

PJCS 347 Restorative Justice 3
Begins with an account of some of the classic and mainstream understandings of justice and then moves on to an overview of the foundational principles of restorative justice and its various practical applications. The course will examine and address the needs of victims, offenders, communities and broader systems. It will specifically examine the Victim Offender Reconciliation (VORP) model and its role in the North American criminal justice system. It will also examine models from other contexts such as family group conferences and circles.

PJCS 350 Dynamics/Theology of Reconciliation 3
An interdisciplinary examination of the work of reconciliation in interpersonal and small group relationships, but especially in large-scale social and political contexts.

PJCS 360 Designing for Social Change 3
Analyzes different strategies for achieving change in contexts characterized by high levels of complexity and conflict, with particular attention to the role and significance of the relatively new field of dialogue, deliberation, and civic engagement. Students will draw from their own experiences as well as change initiatives from other parts of the world in order to surface the set of assumptions they hold about how constructive change happens.

PJCS 370 Personal Violence and Healing 3
A seminar course in which advanced students examine encounters with violence and how healing can be sought. Integrating religious and ethical studies with the social sciences, the course focuses on the socio-cultural matrix of an individual's encounters with violence.

PJCS 409 Senior Internship 3 (1-4)
An approved internship or work experience related to peace, justice, and conflict studies. Examples include supervised activities in shelters for the homeless, work with local, regional, national or international peace, justice and conflict transformation agencies and organizations or work with congregational and denominational peace centers.

PJCS 410 Senior Advanced Work 1
A written project in which seniors with a Peace and Justice minor or a Conflict Transformation minor reflect on the relationship between their academic major and what they learned in their PJCS courses.

PJCS 411 Senior Seminar 3
Students will complete a major research project on a topic of their choosing, leading to a 25-35 page thesis.

PJCS 425 War and Peace in the Modern World 3
Working primarily from an international relations perspective, this course wlll examine changing patterns of fighting wars and seeking peace.

PJCS 426 Conflict-Healthy Groups 3
Using a systems approach, students will explore conflicts in organizations and communities, locating and examining models for assessment, diagnosis, intervention and evaluation. Working with case studies and real life situations of structural injustice and conflict, students will learn practical strategies for dialogue, problem-solving, healing, reconciliation and system change. Prerequisite: PJCS 325.