• students sitting on couches in a discussion

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 job board.

Program director

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

Assistant Professor, Program Director, Peacemaking and Conflict Studies

Admission requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Orientation interview with program director
  • One current professional 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 Mediation 2 -3
PACS 708Conflict Analysis3
PACS 710Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution1

History and Theology

Select a minimum of one of the following

BIB 736Violence/Non-Violence3
PACS 702Theological Ethics of Conflict and Peacemaking3
PACS 730Historical Peacemakers3


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

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

Master of Arts Core

PACS 771Methods in Peace Research Design2

Select one of the following couplets

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


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 752Church Conflict Management and Leadership3

Select a minimum of two of the following

COUN 724Interpersonal Communication2 - 3
PACS 716Group Dynamics and Processes3
PACS 730Historical Peacemakers3
PACS 751Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures3

Mediation Concentration

PACS 739Institute in Establishing a Mediation Practice1
PACS 764Internship in Peacemaking2 - 6
PACS 751Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures3
PACS 762Family Mediation3

Restorative Justice Concentration

PACS 737Institute in Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) Development2
PACS 746Restorative Justice3
PACS 751Conflict and Peacemaking Across Cultures3
PACS 764Internship in Peacemaking2 - 6

Personalized Concentration

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