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Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS)

Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS)

It’s hard to imagine a more relevant vocation than Peace and Conflict Studies. Because of the conflicts that plague every aspect of human life, having the capacity to resolve these conflicts nonviolently and effectively is crucial for the well-being and survival of our families, communities, churches, nations and world. To engage this challenge, the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Program at Messiah College forms men and women with the knowledge and skills necessary to work for peace and nonviolent conflict resolution in domestic and international contexts.

Program Highlights

  • Founded on the biblical understanding of shalom: peace, wholeness, justice, balance, harmony
  • Builds upon Messiah College’s Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan traditions yet includes other Christian perspectives both ancient and contemporary
  • Focuses on peace-making and nonviolent conflict resolution in nine areas: religious, theological, intra-personal, social, economic, environmental, institutional, cultural and political.
  • Inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing upon the “core” disciplines of Biblical and Religious Studies, History and Sociology/Anthropology and Criminal Justice.
  • Knowledge is developed through courses in international relations, social change, justice, history of peace, and issues of war and peace in the Bible and Christian tradition
  • Skills are developed through courses in conflict resolution, mediation and a required internship
  • The major is intentionally small in terms of credit hours (36) to allow students maximum flexibility to double major or complete multiple minors
  • Many students complete a semester off-campus, studying abroad or in Washington, DC


Please review these pages to learn more about the people, curriculum and experiences that form our Peace and Conflict Studies Program. Please contact me if you have questions, and should you visit our campus (which I recommend), I’d welcome the opportunity to meet you and answer your questions in person.

George F. Pickens, Ph.D.

Director, Program in Peace and Conflict Studies

(717) 796-1800 x2802