PACS Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions - Peace and Conflict Studies

The six courses described below make-up the PACS core of 21 credits along with the three credit experiential learning requirement met by a practicum or internship.  The descriptions of the discipline-based electives (9 credits) and general electives (6 credits) can be found on the websites of their respective disciplines.


THEO 227 Theology, Violence and Non-Violence (3)
Examines how core Christian beliefs and moral teachings relate to the issues of violence and non-violence.  Meets General Education Christian Beliefs requirement.  Prerequisite:  BIBL 201, BIBL 202, BIBL 203, or BIBL 204.


BIBL 291 Issues of War, Peace, and Social Justice in the Biblical Texts (3)
A study of the major Biblical texts pertaining to war, peace, and social justice issues, with attention to their application past and present.  This course assesses the traditional Christian stances toward war and also deals with more recent developments such as terrorism, pre-emptive strike, nonviolent resistance, and active peacemaking, all from a biblical perspective.  It also explores related issues like the relationships between patriotism, military service, nationalism, and Christian citizenship in the kingdom of God.  Prerequisite:  BIBL 201, 202, 203, or 204.


PACS 201 Basic Conflict Mediation
This course provides instruction in such essential skills as empathetic–communication, active listening, productive questioning, managing group dynamics, consensus building, and collaborative problem solving. An understanding of the sources of conflict, coupled with knowledge of conflict styles, enhances the ability to resolve disputes and enables the conflict specialist to work in a variety of settings. This course also provides an overview of the theoretical and practical aspects of the mediation process. It involves learning a step-by-step process to conduct mediations and practice fundamental dispute resolution skills, such as listening, reframing, summarizing, problem-solving, and creating a safe, non-threatening environment.


SOCI 335 Social Conflict, Justice, and Peacemaking (3)
A study of social conflict and strategies for preventing and resolving destructive conflicts.  Particular attention will be given to ethical and moral perspectives on justice, conflict and conflict resolution.  This course will draw on literature and perspectives from sociology, philosophical and theological ethics, and peace and conflict studies.  The course will include case studies and “hands-on” exercises to develop skills for resolving personal and group conflict.  Meets General Education Ethics in the Modern World requirement.


HIST 391 Historical Study of Peace (3)

This course centers on how people throughout history and across the world have responded to situations of conflict and oppression. Grounded in complicated historical reality, this course examines various social and political contexts in which humans have faced violence and injustice and the ways in which individuals and communities responded hopefully and positively if not always successfully. Particular attention will be paid to the role of religion in general and Christianity in particular in shaping people’s ideas and actions in situations of conflict and oppression.


PACS 487 Senior Seminar in Peace and Conflict Studies
The capstone course for the PACS major is particularly important because it will enable students to integrate their inter-disciplinary study, their PACS studies, and their Christian faith. The opportunities and challenges of pursuing PACS as a vocation will be examined, and students will engage in independent research and writing which explores a personal area of interest relevant to PACS.