Loyola University Chicago

Peace Studies

Peace Studies

We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come./  Peace./  Come and fill us and our world with your majesty./  We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,/ Implore you to stay awhile with us/ So we may learn by your shimmering light/ How to look beyond complexion and see community.

-Maya Angelou

The broad scope of peace is illustrated not only by Maya Angelou's poem "Amazing Peace: A Celebration," but also by Loyola's promise to prepare our students to lead extraordinary lives.  Peace Studies encompasses all five aspects of our promise that are outlined in our strategic plan.  Our commitment to excellence leads to "new ideas, better solutions and vital answers."  Scholars and religious leaders across the ages, ranging from Jesus to Buddha to Fox, Gandhi, and Thich Nhat Hanh, have taught (or tried to teach) lessons of peace, and we clearly need to apply these ideas to achieve vital answers.  Our commitment to service that promotes justice and to the pursuit of truth and care for others are necessary steps on the path to peace and a peaceful world.  Our commitment to values-based leadership and to global awareness reflect crucial components of work for peace.  Finally, our commitment to faith in God and the religious experience is inextricably linked to the centrality of peace to most, if not all, major religions.

 "We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together--black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu--a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.  We must rapidly begin the shift from a 'thing'-oriented society to a 'person'-oriented society.  When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.  We still have a choice today: nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.  This may well be humanity's last chance to choose between chaos and community."

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, 1967

World events make the study of peace an urgent need.  From the Middle East to the streets of Chicago, violence mars our existence.  And beyond the international and the social aspects of peace, we must also achieve peace with our environment.  Mastering the three components of the Peace Studies minor (International Peacemaking, Societal Violence and Conflict Resolution, and Environmental Violence and Ecological Concerns) will allow a student to work in an informed manner toward a world at peace.

If you are seeking an engaged education focused on significant concerns of everyday relevance, then consider minoring in Peace Studies.

Dr. Linda Heath,
Director of Peace Studies

"The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The Peace Studies Minor consists of six courses (18 credit hours) completed with a grade of "C-" or better, including one required introductory course. 

PAX 201: Peace Studies Overview  This course provides an overview of the international, societal, and ecological spheres of violence and peace, along with methods of analysis and strategies for reconciliation and peacemaking.

One Pax Course from each area:

Two electives from PAX course listings in student's area of interest, including opportunities for Directed Study, Practicum work, or Special Topics courses (subject to the approval of the Director of Peace Studies).

PAX Course Offerings 

Peace Studies Overview

This required course provides a general introduction to peace studies as an area of inquiry. Through seminal readings, students are able to identify concrete social justice issues and their relevance to domains of societal, international and ecological spheres of violence. Students probe the insights of literature on nonviolence or limited use of violence through a critical research paper and other course applications.

Special Topics in Peace Studies

Cross-listed beginning, mid, and upper-level courses or seminars focused on peace and justice issues are taught on occasion in other departments.

Directed Readings in Peace Studies

An independent program of reading and research developed in consultation with a supervising faculty member and the PAX director. It usually will include a review of the peace studies literature in the student?s major field, with a final research project that integrates the student's major with peace studies.

Practicum in Peace Studies

Prerequisite: permission of PAX director. Supervised field experience in a social justice or peace-related program or project.

The following is a list of courses cross-listed with other departments and programs. For complete course descriptions, see the listings of originating departments (in parentheses). Other topic and theme courses are cross-listed when appropriate.

(Hover mouse over course for descriptions.)


Conflict Management and Communication (COMM 231)

Rhetoric of the Cold War and War on Terror (COMM 304) (PLSC 336) (INTS 310)

The Holocaust and 20th Century Genocide (HIST 304)

Arab-Israeli Conflict (HIST 322) (INTS 322)

20th Century Peacemaking (HIST 323)

The Second World War (HIST 326)

Inter-American Relations (HIST 359) (INTS 359) (LASP 349)

Rebels and Reformers in U.S. History (HIST 381) (BWS 388) (WOST 303)

The Vietnam War (HIST 389) (ASIA 389)

International Politics (PLSC 102) (INTS 257)

American National Security Policy (PLSC 326)

America and Modern War (PLSC 330)

International Law (PLSC 353) (INTS 353)

Intervention in World Politics (PLSC 356) (INTS 356)

War, Peace and Politics (PLSC 358) (INTS 358)

United Nations and International Organizations (PLSC 364) (INTS 364)

Model United Nations (PLSC 367) (INTS 367)

Moral Problems: War and Peace (THEO 183)


Refugee Resettlement (ANTH 301)

Violence and Culture (ANTH 305)     

Anthropology and Human Rights (ANTH 306)

Victimology (CJC 371)

Race, Ethnicity, and Criminal Justice (CJC 372) (BWS 372)

Intimate Partner Violence (CJC 373)

Religion and Politics: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon (PLSC 369)

Intercultural Communication (COMM 272) (ANTH 231) (INTS 213)

Social Justice and Communication (COMM 227)

Conflict Management and Communication (COMM 231)

Media, Politics, and Propaganda (COMM 303) (INTS 331)

Society in Literature (ENGL 289)

Human Values in Literature (ENGL 290)

20th Century Peacemaking (HIST 323)

Psychology of Peace (PSYC 225)

Practicum in Peace Activism (PSYC 285)

Social Problems (SOCL 121)

Race and Ethnic Relations (SOCL 122) (BWS 122) (ASIA 122)

Social Analysis and Social Action (SOCL 127)

Sociology of Violence (SOCL 216)

Inequality in Society (SOCL 250)

Social Movements and Social Change (SOCL 261)

Liberation Theology (THEO 330) (INTS 330) (LASP 330)


The Human Ecological Footprint (ANTH 104)

Environmental Advocacy (COMM 306)

Nature in Literature (ENGL 288)

Energy and the Environment (ENVS 273)

Human Impact on the Environment (ENVS 281)

The Human Environment (ENVS 282)

Global Environmental Politics (PLSC 354) (INTS 354)

Environmental Politics (PLSC 392)

Environmental Sociology (SOCL 272)

Moral Problems: Ecological Crisis (THEO 184)