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Peacemaking and Conflict Studies, M.A.

School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences

When leaders foster peace,
the possibilities are endless.

All people experience conflict. At Fresno Pacific – a leading university in peacemaking studies – you’ll gain the professional skills for restoration and peacemaking to effect change in your organization and community.

You’ll learn from faculty experts in conflict mediation. Coursework is multidisciplinary, allowing you to understand and practice working with the dynamics of conflict.

Firmly in Christian values and thought, the program emphasizes justice and right relationships as represented in the ancient and holistic ideal of shalom.

Program Highlights

  • Gain hands-on experience in mediation and facilitation
  • Learn in collaboration with VORP and San Joaquin College of Law
  • Practice with faculty who are expert practitioners in the field
  • Work closely with FPU's Center for Peacemaking

Catalog

Program Director: Peter Smith, Ph.D.

Overview

The master’s program in peacemaking and conflict studies has been designed for people who wish to become skilled and effective practitioners, educators and leaders in the constructive management and peaceful resolution of conflict. Program options are designed to meet the needs of those who wish to specialize in the field and those who want to become more skilled in dealing with conflict in the settings in which they live, work and move. Courses of study address the breadth of conflict and peace topics from the interpersonal to the international. The 40-unit academic program is closely linked to the practical, community-based activities of the university’s Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies (CPACS).

The program draws from current knowledge and wisdom of both past and present within the field. The approach is multidisciplinary, though rooted firmly in Christian values and thought that emphasize justice and right relationships as represented in the ancient and holistic ideal of shalom.

Admission Requirements

  • One current reference form
  • Interview with program director
  • Letter of explanation for GPA below the minimum of 2.75
  • Academic writing sample

Work or volunteer experience in an organization related to the proposed concentration in the program is highly recommended.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be skilled and effective practitioners, educators and leaders in the constructive management and peaceful resolution of conflict.
  2. Students will have a working knowledge of historical and current practice, scholarship and wisdom in the field of peacemaking and conflict studies.
  3. Students will understand, discern and apply philosophical and faith-based values in the field of peacemaking and conflict studies.

Locations Offered

Main Campus Fresno and one required course online

Program Length/Semester Starts

The program has rolling admission with students starting in spring, fall, or summer, though fall starts are recommended. Students move through the program at their own pace.

Required Courses (Minimum 40 Units)

Theories and Methods

  • PACS 700 - Peacemaking Institute Credits 2 – 3
  • PACS 708 - Conflict Analysis Credits 3
  • PACS 710 - Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution Credits 1
  • PACS 746 - Restorative Justice Credits 3
  • PACS 751 - Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures Credits 3

History and Theology

Select a minimum of one of the following:

  • BIB 736 - Violence/Non-Violence Credits 3
  • PACS 702 - Theological Ethics of Conflict and Peacemaking Credits 3
  • PACS 730 - Historical Peacemakers Credits 3

Mediation

*May be waived if student has had previous experience in mediation

  • PACS 756 - Introductory Practicum in Mediation Credits 1
  • PACS 758 - Advanced Mediation Credits 3

Master of Arts Core

  • PACS 771 - Methods in Peace Research Design Credits 2

Select one of the following couplets:

  • PACS 798 - Project/Thesis Proposal Credits 1 and
  • PACS 799 - Project/Thesis-Peacemaking and Conflict Studies Credits 3 or
  • PACS 790 - Integration Seminar Credits 2 and
  • PACS 796 - Comprehensive Examination Credits 1

Electives

Choose from the listed PACS courses to complete the program. With the prior approval of the program director, students may also choose related courses from other areas of the graduate curriculum or courses from the Biblical Seminary. Directed and independent studies are also available to pursue special interests. Students intending to do a research thesis in contrast to a project thesis should give special attention to preparatory coursework in research methodologies.

Select one of the following concentrations:

Concentration area courses provide more focused and in-depth study in a selected area of interest within the field. Students take a minimum of 9 units in one area of six areas listed below.

Church Conflict and Peacemaking Concentration

  • PACS 752 - Church Conflict Management and Leadership Credits 3

Select a minimum of two of the following:

  • COUN 724 - Interpersonal Communication Credits 2 - 3
  • PACS 716 - Group Dynamics and Processes Credits 3
  • PACS 730 - Historical Peacemakers Credits 3
  • PACS 751 - Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures Credits 3

Mediation Concentration

  • PACS 739 - Institute in Establishing a Mediation Practice Credits 1
  • PACS 764 - Internship in Peacemaking Credits 2 - 6
  • PACS 751 - Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures Credits 3 and/or
  • PACS 762 - Family Mediation Credits 3

Restorative Justice Concentration

  • PACS 737 - Institute in Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) Development Credits 2
  • PACS 746 - Restorative Justice Credits 3
  • PACS 751 - Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures Credits 3
  • PACS 764 - Internship in Peacemaking Credits 2 - 6

Personalized Concentration

Select courses in consultation with the program director to meet a special interest or need.

Possibilities Await
With an FPU Education

The decision to embark on graduate studies is a big one. Our 40+ graduate programs will equip you to succeed in your career and in your life. You’ll become part of a small community of learners, thrive in a flexible learning environment  and be challenged by a rigorous curriculum. Learn how much further you can go at FPU!  

For more information, contact the campus nearest you, attend an information meeting or ask about a program.

First Steps to Admission

  • Apply online
  • Submit 2-3 reference forms (Varies based on program of interest)
    These can be filled out by academic or professional acquaintances familiar with your ability to complete graduate-level work. Print the reference form.
  • Include statement of intent.
    You can also provide an addendum explaining your interest in the program, any long-term goals and your experience in the field.
  • Request official transcripts.
    Transcripts must be from accredited institutions to verify your bachelor’s degree. Send transcripts electronically to trans.evaluator@fresno.edu or mail sealed transcripts to the Registrar’s Office at 1717 S. Chestnut Ave. Fresno, CA 93702.
  • Complete program requirements.
    These requirements are specific to your program of choice. You will be contacted for an interview and additional requirements if applicable.
  • Apply for financial aid.
    You can apply for FAFSA.  Use FPU school code: 001253
  • Schedule an appointment.
    Meet with your Student Financial Services Advisor. You can contact them at 559-453-2041 | sfs@fresno.edu.

Program Requirements

  • Orientation interview with program director
  • One current professional reference form
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA
    • Letter of explanation if GPA is below 2.75
  • Writing sample indicating graduate-level proficiency

Cost & Financial Aid

The below listed prices reflect the current and upcoming Fall and Spring semesters and do not include any financial aid. Paying for college can be an overwhelming step in education your journey. We can help you find all the opportunities to reduce your out of pocket costs.

Tuition & Fees

2022-23
Tuition per Unit Amount
700 Level $705
Teacher Education $705
MBA $757*
MSN and LEAD $720
KIN $570
Other Costs Amount
Student services fee (per semester) $60
* Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters) $1,500
2021-22
Tuition per Unit Amount
700 Level $690
Teacher Education $690
MBA $757*
MSN and LEAD $710
KIN $560

* Fall 2020 & later cohorts

Other Costs Amount
Student services fee (per semester) $60
* Field Placement Fee (charged for both the international and regional trip semesters) $1,500

* This is an estimate. Costs subject to change. Cost of attendance figures are used for budgeting purposes only and represent an estimate of projected tuition and fees for the coming academic year. Actual tuition rates are approved by the Board of Trustees and may vary.

Types of aid

Financial aid can refer to scholarships, grants and loans, which are available to you from the government, the university or outside sources. Aid types vary depending on the type of student you are.

View Graduate Private Scholarships

Career Opportunities

Graduate are prepared for long-term, professional careers in mediation and conflict resolution.

Career Development Happens Here

The staff in our Career Development and Experiential Learning Center are here to help you prepare to enter the working world. Whether your a freshman or an FPU alum, there are a number of resources and trainings offered to help you find the internship and job you’re looking for.

  • Resume writing classes
  • Career assessments, exploration & planning
  • Job search and networking opportunities
  • and much more

Visit the Career Development Center