Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution

Director's Message

Dear Visitors,

Welcome to the Peace, Justice and Conflict Resolution Studies Program at Winthrop University!

I co-founded this program with a group of colleagues in 2006, because of what I saw as a need on Winthrop University's campus for a more explicit focus on peace and the root causes of war and violence. As an historian, I find it to be a disheartening fact that we spend most of our time studying wars and the causes of wars rather than studying the causes of peace. With that in mind, I created an introductory course for the minor, PEAC 200: An Introduction to Peace, Justice and Conflict Resolution Studies and then helped bring faculty members from other disciplines together to form a curriculum that would facilitate students and professors grappling with the questions of war and peace, violence and non-violence, inequality, and racial and economic justice at home and abroad.

Most of the courses in the program outside of PEAC 200 exist within home departments. Students take courses in African-American studies, history, mass communications, philosophy, political science, or sociology. In this way, the Peace Studies program does not always distinguish itself in the curriculum. It is the content of those courses that distinguishes the peace studies program and gives the curriculum meaning.

In addition to courses, to augment the curriculum, the Peace Studies committee puts on many programs throughout the academic year for the entire Winthrop University community. Some of these programs are workshops; some of these programs are lectures. The programs are usually free and open to the public and highlight major themes in Peace Studies. The most notable series the Peace Studies program sponsored was the Death Penalty Awareness Series in 2008, which was punctuated by the keynote speaker Sister Helen Prejean, the author of "Dead Man Walking."

We are very pleased to have a scholarship for Peace Studies students, the Father David Valtierra Peace Studies Scholarship. This award goes each year to a peace studies minor who applies through the College of Arts and Sciences and who is a rising sophomore, junior, or senior. Father David Valtierra was a founding member of the Peace Studies committee and taught courses in the minor. He also served the Winthrop community as the Catholic campus minister and as an Oratory priest for more than thirty years.

Thank you for visiting our web page.  We hope that you will consider taking a course in Peace Studies or taking part in one of our programs.

Feel free to get in touch with me at
Bancroft 362 (History) 323-4680
Bancroft G07 (Interdisciplinary Studies) 323-3018


Dr. Virginia (Ginger) Williams, Ph.D.
Director, Peace Studies