Student Engagement

The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement strives to inspire and equip students to be changemakers by:

Map the System group pitching
Catalyzing interdisciplinary teams to spark innovation

Students at the Drone Gallery Launch
Bridging theory and practice by engaging academics, activists, and artists

Branka and Cesar with student at 2017 Opportunities Fair
Building networks and pathways for high impact careers

Ways to get involved:  


Academic Courses

The Centre for Peace Advancement is located at Conrad Grebel University College, home to Canada's first Peace and Conflict Studies Program. The following courses are taught by Centre for Peace Advancement staff and research fellows.

Winter 2023 Course Offerings

PACS 202/LS 271: Conflict Resolution with Nathan Funk & Paul Okoye

An examination of the resolution of conflicts, ranging from interpersonal to broader social and international conflicts. Students are introduced to negotiation, mediation and non-violent resistance, and are encouraged to develop their own theoretical understandings that aid in addressing conflict.

PACS 203/HIST 232: A History of Peace Movements with Eric Lepp

A survey of individuals and groups that have created popular movements for peace globally and locally throughout history. The scope will be international, with a particular focus on the 19th and 20th century movements. The choice of peace movements will allow for a contrast in comparison of ideology, strategy, and impact.

PACS 301 Special Topic: The Future of War: Drones, Robots, and the Role of Peace Research with Cesar Jaramillo and Branka Marijan

This course explores advances in technology and the increasing use of drones, robots, AI, and cyberwarfare has changed the landscape of war in the future. This will require a new set of responses from peace advocates, and peace research will play an increasingly important role. Join Cesar and Branka from Project Ploughshares, one of the world’s leading organizations in leveraging peace research for policy responses and social good, a Core Collaborator in the CPA.

PACS 316/329: Violence, Nonviolence, and War with Eric Lepp

An exploration of the traditional debates concerning the legitimacy of violence and war as instruments in the pursuit of personal and political goals. The course critically examines a continuum of views from religious doctrines of non-resistance, to various forms of pacifism and non-violent resistance, "just-war theory", and political realism. The strategic arguments for political non-violent action are also considered.

PACS 325: Refugees and Forced Migration with Eric Lepp

This course will draw on case studies from past and present to understand why people flee their homes and homelands to seek refuge elsewhere. It will examine the policies and practices of government and non-governmental agencies in facilitating or blocking such movements. The course will also analyze the attitudes, values, and language that shape local and global responses to refugee movements, on the part of civil society and the state. Students in the course will become acquainted with organizations that work with refugees in Waterloo Region and will gain a critical understanding of Canada's role in refugee reception.

PACS 329/ LS 344: Restorative Justice with Michelle Jackett and Chris Cowie

This course investigates the history, theory, principles, practices, and people of restorative justice. Content will centre particularly on restorative justice as a way of dealing with crime and interpersonal violence in the Canadian context. It draws on local experience of RJ in the Waterloo Region through the Centre for Justice Initiatives.

To view all PACS courses offered each semester, see Course Offerings. Course descriptions and prerequisite requirements are listed under PACS course descriptions.


Employment and Engagement Opportunities

Check out our Employment and Engagement Opportunities page for jobs in the Centre for Peace Advancement.

Read about Charity and Grace's experiences as Communications Assistant in the Centre for Peace Advancement.

Read testimonials about the student experience at the Centre for Peace Advancement.

Map the System

Beginning in 2018, the Centre for Peace Advancement has been coordinating the University of Waterloo's participation in Map the System, a global competition that challenges you to think differently. This is not a pitch competition, but rather a discovery process for students of any discipline who have an interest in social and environmental change.

Tackling global challenges starts with understanding a problem and its wider context by exploring, probing, and researching all of the connecting elements and factors around it.

Learn more about Map the System.

Read about Map the System 2019-2020.

Read about Map the System 2018-2019.



Each fall, Conrad Grebel University College sends a team to the MEDAx Pitch Competition. This competition is for next generation of start-ups  that aligns with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) values. It is held in the spirit of MEDA’s mission and vision, to encourage and foster social-minded innovation, a space in which MEDA has over 60 years of experience. The Centre for Peace Advancement is active in building, supporting and mentoring the team.


Peace Innovators Scholarship and Mentoring Program

The Peace Innovators Scholarship and Mentoring Program is a year-long program that equips young leaders with skills to tackle a problem they are passionate about in their community. This program is open to students entering their final year of high school.


PeaceTech Living-Learning Community

The PeaceTech Living-Learning Community is a community of students from diverse disciplines that explores the intersection of peacebuilding and technology - critically reflecting on the social impact of technology, and fostering the creation of "tech for good."


The community is made of first - fifth year undergraduate students who are residents, virtual residents, or associates at Conrad Grebel University College. 

Read more about PeaceTech at the Centre for Peace Advancement.