New program combines music and peacebuilding

July 30, 2021

HARRISONBURG, VA.—A new concentration at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) combines the disciplines of music and peacebuilding to equip students to creatively transform conflict and promote intercultural intelligence. This interdisciplinary program will serve those drawn to using music to build common ground in the contexts of global studies, non-profit work, theology, worship, sociology, neuroscience or business administration. The program will include fundamental courses in the music and peacebuilding and development departments—like music theory and theories of social change—as well as additional electives tailored to each student’s career aspirations. Students in the concentration will build a portfolio of goals, objectives and tools for applying their musical talents to peacebuilding and everyday life. This portfolio begins in the first year of studies and culminates in a senior project. Professor Benjamin Bergey is the advisor for the program. This field was the focus of his doctor of musical arts dissertation, and a subject that he studied through training delivered by Musicians Without Borders. “EMU is well positioned to help pioneer this type of program in higher education with our strong programs in both peacebuilding and music, as well as Anabaptist values in general.” For more information, visit

—Eastern Mennonite University

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