New Grebel program encourages agents of peaceful change

February 1, 2012 | Focus On | Number 3
Conrad Grebel University College
Waterloo, Ont.

In the culmination of more than a decade of dreaming and a year of intense work, Conrad Grebel University College announces the launch of a new master of peace and conflict studies (PACS) program. Combining interdisciplinary scholarship with concrete application, the program will empower students with the knowledge, research and practical skills needed to contribute to nonviolent peacebuilding efforts. Placing a unique focus on the pivotal role that individuals within civil society play as catalysts for peace, it is a course-based, professional graduate program open to both full-time and part-time students beginning in the fall of 2012.

Lowell Ewert, director of Grebel’s PACS program, says, “Civil society is key to peacebuilding because it brings out the best in humanity by inspiring citizens to take responsibility for their communities and develop creative solutions to local issues. Imagine how impoverished our communities would be if there were no effective civil society organizations. By mobilizing our community to get involved in organizations that promote the arts, sports, health, education, religion or social justice, our communities are enriched and made more compassionate.”

“Peace studies is in our DNA,” says Susan Schultz Huxman, Grebel’s president. “The undergraduate program in PACS has been wildly successful by many measures. College stakeholders recognized this 15 years ago when they first began developing the idea for graduate education at Grebel.”

Applications for the master’s level PACS program are currently being accepted by the Graduate Studies Office at the University of Waterloo, although processing of applications and admission of students will not occur until the new program is approved by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance. The university will acknowledge and store applications, but will be unable to evaluate or act on them in any way until the program has been formally approved. In the unlikely case that the program is not approved, the application fee will be refunded.

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