Arts and Grebel launch Peace & Conflict Studies graduate program

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program

a news release from Conrad Grebel University College

In the culmination of more than a decade of dreaming and a year of intense work, Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo announces the launch of a new Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program.

Combining rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship with concrete application, MPACS is a vibrant academic program that will empower students with the knowledge, research, and practical skills needed to contribute to nonviolent peacebuilding efforts. MPACS places a unique focus on the pivotal role that individuals within civil society play as catalysts for peace. The MPACS program will be a course-based, professional graduate program open to both full-time and part-time students beginning in the fall of 2012.

While the field of peace and conflict studies has been steadily growing over the last decade, the number of graduate programs available in Canada has not kept pace. The MPACS program will become one of only a handful of peace and conflict studies graduate programs in Canada. The program will be especially unique among graduate programs in this field for its specific emphasis on empowering civil society in fostering positive change.

Lowell Ewert, Director of the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) program at Conrad Grebel observes that "civil society is key to peacebuilding because it brings out the best in humanity by inspiring citizens to take responsibility for their communities and develop creative solutions to local issues. Imagine how impoverished our communities would be if there were no effective civil society organizations. By mobilizing our community to get involved in organizations that promote the arts, sports, health, education, religion or social justice our communities are enriched and made more compassionate."

Based at Conrad Grebel, MPACS will draw on the unique resources that the Peace and Conflict Studies Department — the oldest such department in Canada — and the University of Waterloo have to offer. Program reviewers George Lopez (Hesburgh Chair in Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame) and Vern Neufeld Redekop (Associate Professor of Conflict Studies at St. Paul University) called the program "a well-conceived venture which is highly reflective of both Conrad Grebel’s mission as a Mennonite educational institution and the aspirations of the University of Waterloo to offer strong, competitive and professional graduate programs."

Equipped with interdisciplinary knowledge and practical skills of peace building, MPACS graduates will be ready for careers in public, private, or non-profit sectors, working as agents of peaceful change at community, institutional, and systematic levels. Prospective students interested in stepping into careers as practitioners are especially encouraged to apply.

While the MPACS program awaits final approved by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance, applications for Fall 2012 are being accepted.

MPACS program website.

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