The Center for Peacemaking and Conflicts Studies (CPACS) of Fresno Pacific University we founded in 1990 on the vision of Shalom (the Hebrew word translated as “peace,” “justice,” “whole,” and “complete”) described throughout the Hebrew Bible as GOD’s ideal state for creation. The proclamation of this vision and goal for creation is continued in the New Testament by Jesus Christ and the apostles’ use of the words eiréné (Greek for “peace”) and teleios (Greek for “complete” or “whole”). The call to peacemaking is universal and timeless, since conflict is always with us. Its shadow is found in all cultures in all times, beckoning for response. When constructive, it leads to better understanding and deeper relationships. When destructive, it tends toward confusion and separation. Fresno Pacific University, sponsored by the Mennonite Brethren Churches of the Pacific region of the United States, stands in a long, historic peace church tradition which has taken this vision of Shalom seriously. PACS is a concrete effort of the University to further realize this vision of Shalom.
Purpose And Mission
The Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies seeks to:
- promote greater understanding of the dynamics of conflict;
- train persons in the theology, science, and art of constructive conflict management;
- and promote and assist in the development of cooperative dispute resolution and justice programs within the in institutions of the church and society.
The Center seeks to accomplish the goal of equipping people to work for the realization of Shalom by offering traditional graduate and under graduate degrees, degree completion programs, and community service opportunities. CPACS is responsible for a variety of activities, including:
- Coordinating baccalaureate and graduate programs in peacemaking and conflict studies.
- Developing and implementing programs and processes that embody Restorative Justice.
- Assisting communities to develop Restorative Justice programs and practices including Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP).
- Assisting schools to develop restorative discipline and peer mediation programs.
- Providing mediation training and services to people in churches, schools, and other organizations.
- Encouraging research and development to advance Restorative Justice, peacemaking, and conflict studies.