Peace & Conflict Transformation Studies

Why Major in PACTS?

Interdisciplinary investigations into peace, violence and conflict: As well as taking specialized Peace & Conflict Transformation Studies (PACTS) programming, students will take courses from a variety of disciplines offered at CMU, including:

  • Anthropology
  • Bible and Theological Studies
  • Communications and Media
  • English
  • Geography
  • Sociology
  • International Development Studies
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Studies
  • Psychology

Bridging Peace Studies and Conflict Transformation Studies: The field of conflict transformations studies tends to focus on more micro conflict response issues while the field of peace studies often as the more macro and systemic questions of violence and peace. The PACTS program bridges and blurs these distinctions by drawing deeply from both traditions.

Strengthening faith and inter-faith peacebuilding: Faith traditions are sometimes viewed as the cause of violence and sometimes as a great resource of peace. Beginning from the Christian traditions, this programs examines the multifaceted roles various faith communities play in the engagement of peace and violence.

Nurturing a Christian Peace Ethic: Peace does not just sit there ready-made waiting for us to discover it, nor is it an abstract goal or ideal that only requires more dedicated work on our part in order to make it a reality. It is as much a logic, a style, a way of thinking and being, a way of seeing the world. Peacebuilding is one of the defining characteristics of the Mennonite identity and of Mennonite understandings of faithfulness and of how to engage the world. This way of being is both developed and critiqued.

Enabling peace and social activism: PACTS students are encouraged to put their growing knowledge into practical action through practicums, creative assignments, and student groups like Peace, Sustainability, and Social Concerns.

Proactive approaches to peacebuilding: The PACTS program develops not only a capacity to be responsive to conflict and violence but also the capacity to participate in the building of something positive and whole.  Peace is not simply the absence of violence. It is the abundance of goodness. The CMU Farm is just one of the places we learn what it takes to cultivate this kind of abundance of goodness.

Deepening traditions of nonviolence: Drawing on over 450 years of Anabaptist-Mennonite peace practice, together with over 60 years tradition of teaching nonviolence, nonviolence is approaches as a way of life and change.

Resourcing the peacebuilding community: Through our peace skills labs, our public events and by equipping our alumni, the PACTS program is committed to a resource for  the peacebuilding community

Serving the church: To be church is to be a community of peacebuilders and reconcilers. The PACTS program develops nurtures people who can respond to conflicts in the church and to fruitfully engage life with the logic of the peace of Christ.

Developing a network of engaged peacebuilders: Alumni, peacebuilding organizations, faith communities, professionals, current students, and the public are invited to connect, learn, and act together in engaging peace.

Working alongside faculty members who are actively in peace research and public engagement around the world: From academic publications to popular education to conflict engagement to funded research, our faculty members are engaged outside the walls of the university. For students, this can mean a front row seat in these processes.

Major research interests among faculty members include: Identity Issues in Conflict; Christian Ethics and Theology of Peace; Non-violent Activism; Reflective Practice; Restorative Justice; Peacebuilding; Ecology, Violence and Peace; Mennonite-Muslim Dialogue; Connection between Globalization and Conflict; Religion and Conflict; Dynamics of Change and Resilience in Conflict.

Providing Scholarships and Awards to Peace and Conflict Studies Students: CMU offers a number of scholarships and awards to PACTS students including the following. For more information regarding available scholarships and awards, visit CMU’s scholarship page.

  • Academic Entrance Scholarships
  • Leadership Entrance Scholarships
  • Leadership Aptitude Awards
  • Merit Awards
  • Social Science Merit Awards
  • Returning Student Scholarship
  • Waseskun Canadian Schoold of Peacebuilding Bursary

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