The three core disciplines of the PACS major -- Biblical and Religious Studies; History; and Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN) -- are essential to understanding and resolving conflict, since in order to achieve reconciliation it is crucial to understand conflict biblically and theologically, historically, and sociologically. To this end, in the PACS core there are courses directly related to peace and conflict studies in each of these three disciplines, and then to further develop students’ disciplinary perspectives and methods, an additional relevant course is required from each of the disciplines. Finally, each student is required to take six credits in PACS general electives in relevant courses from other disciplines which are commonly drawn upon in PACS programs; these include Communication, Politics, and Economics.
To further develop students’ skills, perspectives, and experience, each PACS major is required to take Basic Conflict Mediation and an internship or practicum that will enable them to practice their skills in a specific setting. Students are also strongly encouraged to study off-campus for a semester in order to build their skills and experience a culture different from their own. The Senior Seminar, which is the capstone course, enables students to bring together all the disciplinary and experiential work that they have done and integrate it into a whole that will enable them to successfully pursue peace and conflict studies as a vocation.
The inter-disciplinary peace and conflict studies program at Messiah is under the Sider Institute. For more information about the Sider Institute and its programs, click on “Sider Institute” on the left-hand side of this page.