students in action
- Student-run Peace Fellowship organizes activities, discussions, and special guests to spark meaningful dialogue.
in the field
Students regularly attend peace conferences, such as the Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference among Anabaptist-affiliated colleges in the U.S. and Canada.
Peacebuilding majors take part in a seminar on trauma healing with Elaine Zook Barge of EMU’s world-renowned Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.
Peacebuilding and Development Major
Join a campus where peace and justice are a big part of conversation across disciplines. Choose to major in peacebuilding and development and you’ll dig deep into the complexities of working for social change. Program professors have lived internationally and are committed to work for justice at home and around the world.
EMU’s undergraduate major is uniquely enriched by the presence of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding on campus which draws peace practitioners from around the world.
A major in peacebuilding and development consists of 45-48 SH. See the course catalog for course descriptions and curriculum info.
Understanding social change
This major provides a foundation understanding social justice and intentional social change through peacebuilding and development. It prepares students for graduate study and/or careers in the field of social justice and social change. Our graduates are working right now in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, international development, community development, or related fields.
You’ll become an effective practitioner of change. We’ll equip you by providing the theoretical models and frameworks necessary for understanding intentional social change by teaching specific skills, tools and techniques to help create a more peaceful and just society.
- “I co-trained for the first time during junior year, and then led a mediation. I’ve been studying for three years, learning the various styles and jargon, and practicing role plays. But I was nervous for this mediation – my first – and the beginning of my life’s work. I learned that I am capable. Thanks to my professors, I have the knowledge and the skills to do these things, and I’ll learn more through experience.”
-Sarah Hooley, senior peacebuilding and development major
Careers in peacebuilding and development include international and community development, mediation and conflict transformation/resolution, peace and justice advocacy, community and collaborative peacebuilding, program evaluation, city and regional planning, peace education, social services, research, law and social and public policy advocacy.
Learning on the job
Internships or practicums happen every semester for students in the peacebuilding field. Required practicums give students on-the-job training and enforce classroom skills like mediation, conflict analysis, program evaluation, group facilitation, community assessment, and organization of campus and community events. Professors help each student develop a portfolio with significant skills for the field and life after college; when they graduate, students show employers immediate value and experience.
Examples of internships in Washington DC:
- Faith and Politics Institute
- Africa Action
- Amnesty International
- Multi-Door Dispute Resolution in Washington, D.C.
Local internships in Harrisonburg, Virginia include:
Resources on campus
Faculty in a variety of programs have worked and served internationally promoting development and environmental sustainability. Examples are:
- Nursing program’s Ann Hershberger
- Bible and religion’s Peter Dula
- Business and economics’ Jim Leaman and Chris Gingrich
- Environmental studies’ Doug Graber Neufeld.
Our graduate program in peacebuilding is also an asset to any undergrad in this field; dozens of grad-level international scholars flock to EMU each year to study at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Lisa Schirch, EMU research professor and peace studies expert, is the program director of 3P Human Security (formerly 3D Security), which promotes conflict prevention and peacebuilding in U.S. security policymaking.