Program Director: R. D. Clark (Sociology and Criminology); Advisory Committee: M. P. Berg (History), M. O. Finucane (Communication and Theatre Arts), D. R. Hahn (Political Science), J. L. Lissemore (Biology), P. J. Metres (English), T. L. Schubeck, S.J. (Theology and Religious Studies), J. R. Spencer (Theology and Religious Studies), J. Ziemke (Political Science)

The program in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights combines undergraduate research and study with experiential and service learning to help students gain both theoretical and empirical understanding of the challenges and possibilities of peace-building and conflict resolution. Drawing on Catholic social teaching that sees peace as inseparable from justice and the extension of human rights as a fundamental ethical obligation, the program also emphasizes the importance of political pluralism, cultural and religious diversity, ecological balance, and nonviolent conflict resolution and transformation. Its fundamental goal is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and creativity to seek justice and promote peace.

Major and Minor Requirements

Major in PJHR:
36 credit hours. PJHR 101, 301, and 401 are required. At least one other 400-level class from the list of approved courses. At least 18 credits at the 300 or 400 level (normally from at least three different departments/disciplines). In consultation with (and approval by) a PJHR advisor, the student will create a set of at least six coherent courses that will be the focus of his or her studies. These courses will fit into one of three following categories (A, B, or C) and into a subset within that category:

  1. Regional Studies (e.g., Latin American, Africana, East Asian, Modern European, or Near East Studies)
  2. Global Issues (e.g., Environmentalism, Poverty, Sectarian Conflict, Social Justice and Postcolonialism, Globalization, Diasporic Studies, or Post-Conflict Reconstruction)
  3. Themes (e.g., Peace, Justice, or Human Rights)

Minor in PJHR: 21 credit hours. PJHR 101, 301, and 401 are required. Students must take at least four additional 3-credit courses (normally from at least two different departments/disciplines). Courses other than the three required PJHR courses will be selected from the list of approved PJHR courses.

Please see the program web page ( for the most current listing of approved courses. The specific courses required may change depending upon course offerings of other departments.

101. INTRODUCTION TO PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HUMAN RIGHTS 3 cr. Considers basic human rights issues, such as freedom from slavery, the right to housing, the death penalty, refugees, humanitarian intervention, forgiveness and reconciliation for past injustices, and torture. Examines the concept of human rights as developed over the centuries, drawing heavily upon the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Focuses primarily—but not exclusively—on the United States, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and provides opportunities for students to pursue issues and case studies of their own interests.

110. PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY PRACTICUM 1-3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. On-campus advocacy project requiring at least 3-5 hours per week for one semester. The project will engage the campus community in a peace, justice, or human rights issue through activities such as educational seminars, workshops, speakers, activities, and legislative advocacy. A written project proposal must be submitted to the program director by the end of the second week of the semester.

301. INTERNSHIP CLASS 3-6 cr. Locations and course requirements to be developed by the director and the Advisory Committee. With the director’s approval, this requirement may also be satisfied by taking the JCU Summer Institute Course on Peace-Building and Conflict Transformation or participation in an appropriate service learning course or experience. Normally taken in the junior year but, with permission, also at other times.

375. INTERNSHIP IN CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION 3-6 cr. Prerequisite: permission of PJHR instructor. Participation in internship or experiential/service learning opportunity in a setting that focuses on peace building, social justice, and/or human rights. The student will be required to analyze the experience from personal and theoretical perspectives. May be fulfilled by successful participation in an appropriate service learning course. The PJHR Director will approve alternatives on a case-by-case basis.

401. CAPSTONE CLASS IN PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HUMAN RIGHTS 3 cr. Course specifics to be developed by the director and the Advisory Committee. Requires a research paper demonstrating knowledge of the field and relevant methodologies.