• Female adult student responding to a question

The master of arts program is based on the assumption that all people experience conflict and can benefit from learning skills in conflict and peacemaking. The approach is multidisciplinary, allowing you to understand and practice working with the dynamics of conflict. The program is rooted firmly in Christian values and thought which emphasize justice and right relationships as represented in the ancient and holistic ideal of shalom.


  • Hands-on experience in mediation and facilitation
  • Cooperative learning with VORP and San Joaquin College of Law
  • Faculty members are practitioners in the field

Career opportunities

In addition to providing assistantships for current graduate students, this degree prepares professionals for long-term careers in mediation and conflict resolution. For a list of current job openings, please visit the peacemaking and conflict studies website: peace.fresno.edu.

Program director

Peter Smith, Ph.D.
Peter Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Peacemaking and Conflict Studies

Admission requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Orientation interview with program director
  • Three references (Graduate Reference Form)
  • Statement of intent
  • Official transcripts verifying
  • BA/BS degree
  • Letter of explanation if GPA is below 2.75
  • Writing sample indicating graduate-level proficiency

Course listing

Required Courses (minimum 40 units)


PACS-700Basic Institute in Conflict Management and Mediation2
PACS-708Conflict Analysis3
PACS-710Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution1

History and Theology

Select a minimum of one of the following:

BIB-736Violence and Nonviolence3
PACS-702Theological Ethics of Conflict and Peacemaking3
PACS-730Historical Peacemakers3


PACS-756*Introductory Practicum in Mediation1
PACS-758Advanced Mediation3
PACS-760Mediation and the Law3

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

Master of Arts Core

PACS-771Methods in Peace Research Design2

Select one of the following:

PACS-798Project/Thesis Proposal1
and PACS-799Project/Thesis-Conflict Management and Peacemaking3
or PACS-790Integrative Seminar3

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 of six areas listed below

Church Conflict and Peacemaking Concentration

Required Courses
PACS-752Church Conflict Management and Leadership3

Select a minimum of two of the following:

COUN-724Interpersonal Communication: Person, Family and Community3
PACS-716Group Dynamics and Processes3
PACS-730Historical Peacemakers3
PACS-751Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures3

Mediation Concentration

Required Courses
PACS-739Institute in Establishing a Mediation Practice1
PACS-764Internship in Peacemaking2-5
PACS-762Family Mediation3
and/or PACS-751Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures3

Restorative Justice Concentration

Required Courses
PACS-737Institute in Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) Development2
PACS-746Restorative Justice3
PACS-751Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures3
PACS-764Internship in Peacemaking2

Personalized Concentration

Required Courses

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


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.