Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts’ new minor in peace and justice studies is helping students envision new possibilities for peace, justice, and social change.
How do capitalist economic systems contribute to environmental justice? What are the best ways to organize and mobilize communities for social action? Students in the peace and justice studies minor will be equipped with the academic knowledge they need to answer questions like these, as well as practical skills for putting peacemaking principles into action.
The pursuit of peace and justice involves interdisciplinary study of historical and contemporary problems, issues, and solutions. Within three areas of concentration (Peace and Conflict; Social, Environmental, Economic, and Legal Justice; and Ethical Approaches), students may choose from a variety of courses that relate to their major and interests, drawing from courses in political science, history, theological studies, philosophy, economics, sociology, and a number of other departments.
In the program, students cultivate an appreciation for the history of peacemakers and their lasting contributions. They will consider the media’s impact on how we approach social, environmental, economic, and legal injustices, and also the ethical dilemmas that arise from these circumstances.
“This program provides students with an academic course of study that is grounded in the university’s mission of social justice and connects it to the broader global ‘just peace’ movement that Pope Francis recently endorsed,” says Jennifer Ramos, associate professor of political science and director of peace and justice studies.
One key element of the minor is the opportunity for students to engage in a project, or cause, related to conflict resolution and social justice. Students are required to enroll in one of BCLA’s engaged learning courses, or complete a social justice internship.
“The engaged learning component is designed to help students engage more deeply in social justice issues within the context of an academic course. It is important for students to see how they can put their academic skills to use to tackle social injustices. ” says Ramos.
The minor facilitates the development of critical thinking skills and a global awareness that is useful in any career. As a result, postgraduate opportunities for peace and justice studies minors are diverse. Students go on to graduate school programs in political science, education, or law, as well as positions with international and non-profit organizations.
For more information on the peace and justice studies minor, click HERE.