Why women?

Women’s involvement and leadership at all levels of society is critical to addressing the interconnected challenges of peace, security, governance, and development. However, in many parts of the world the visibility and impact of women peacebuilders is missing. Experienced women peacebuilding practitioners from around the globe partnered with EMU to create WPLP as an answer to the worldwide underuse of women’s knowledge and skills in preventing, transforming, and healing conflict.

Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program

Women's Peacebuilding Leadership Program of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding of Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia

The Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program envisions regional networks of women leaders equipped to respond to conflict and build peace. To this end, WPLP offers contextualized peacebuilding leadership education and mentored practice designed to bolster regional cohorts of women peacebuilding leaders.

The Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program offers:

  • Graduate-level practice-based peacebuilding education designed to meet the needs of women in conflict zones
  • A graduate, undergraduate, or training certificate in peacebuilding leadership from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University
  • Cohort-based education with other women peacebuilders from the same country or region
  • Two periods of residential education consisting of seven weeks in the US and two weeks in-region
  • A distance learning course that connects and supplements the residential education piece
  • A mentoring component that enhances application of theory and practice

The Women’s Peacebuilding Leadership Program educates women in conflict analysis, prevention, and transformation through classes that focus on practice-based methodologies. Contextualized content and real-world examples experienced in the classroom are bolstered by mentored practice in the field. Through these components participants integrate content and practice with the end goal of transforming relationships and structures in ways that address the root causes of conflict at both local and global levels.

Program details

This cohort-based program brings together women peacebuilding practitioners from specific geographic regions of the world to learn together over a two-year period at EMU and in their own communities. During this time, participants:

  • Learn new skills and knowledge in peacebuilding and leadership by completing coursework for a certificate in peacebuilding leadership.
  • Apply these skills and learnings in their home organizations and communities, receiving support and coaching from personal mentors.
  • Develop increased capacity to design, implement, and influence peacebuilding processes and interventions at all levels of society.

The program includes:

  • Three courses and a research period taken at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at EMU in May and June, including development of individual strategic work plans.
  • Two additional courses a year later and a synthesis and graduation gathering within the geographic region after the 18-month program comes to a close.
  • An online praxis seminar between these two blocks of courses that addresses practice challenges encountered as participants carry out their work plan and encourages reflection on various peacebuilding practices.
  • Mentoring throughout the 18 months of the program.

Apply to WPLP

Women’s peacebuilding leadership news

  • vl1410

    EMU peacebuilding programs recognized by Virginia Living magazine

    September 12th, 2014

    In a “State of Education” supplement published with its October 2014 issue, Virginia Living magazine listed Eastern Mennonite University among its picks for the top colleges and high schools in the state. The magazine mentioned several graduate peacebuilding programs offered by EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and grouped EMU with 11 other four-year universities ...More

  • _H9E0995(1)

    President of Somalia welcomed “home” as alumnus of EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute

    August 7th, 2014

    Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud topped off attendance at the historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit hosted by President Obama with a visit to Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Aug. 7, where he renewed 13-year-old ties with Eastern Mennonite University and its Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP). In a conversation-style talk at tables set for an intimate lunch, ...More

  • Shoqi-Abas-Al-Maktary

    Alumni relish returning to SPI

    June 22nd, 2014

    Instead of returning for EMU’s “homecoming” celebration – always held over one weekend each October – degree-holding alumni of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) often show up for its annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). And those SPI alumni who aren’t aiming to earn a degree? Some of them just keep coming back year ...More

  • More articles

Frequently asked questions

I am a woman and very interested in being a part of this program. How can I apply?
WPLP does not accept individual applications; the program works in collaboration with partner organizations around the world which receive funding, screen applicants and then recommend them to EMU to see if the applicants meet admission requirements. If you wish to know whether there is a cohort in your region to which you may apply, please contact us at .

What is the difference between the graduate certificate in conflict transformation and this graduate certificate in peacebuilding leadership?
Both certificates are 15 hours; however, WPLP coursework is shaped by the specific needs of women leaders who frequently come from conflict or post-conflict zones.

Does EMU/CJP accept individual applications to the program?
See above.

Where does funding come from?
WPLP is funded by a variety of government and development organizations.

Does the program only accept women?
Yes. Please check back soon for upcoming programming that accepts various constituency groups, including both women and men.

Contact info

For more information, contact WPLP at .