Do you want to take an intro course in peace and conflict studies from a grassroots perspective and enhance your knowledge of practical nonviolent alternatives to military intervention and other violent responses to conflict? Then this course is for you.

This course introduces students to the field of peace and conflict studies by exploring the prevention, analysis, and resolution of conflict and the many innovative and creative ways to build peace in fragmented societies. The course focuses on the components, theoretical paradigms, and methods of peacebuilding “from the ground up,” although attention will also be given to official high-level peace processes and negotiations, with an emphasis on how ground-level and high-level activities complement or otherwise impact each other.

This course seeks to answer such questions as, What effective nonviolent measures can be taken to build peace and transform conflict? How can we “make things right” after experiences of violence and trauma without resorting to retribution, vengeance, or otherwise more violence? What are the processes, initiatives, strategies, and actions for building peace at a grassroots level? How can we get involved in these processes and organize effective nonviolent initiatives?

Course Curriculum

  Course Introduction — Start Here
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Module 1
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Module 2
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Module 3
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Module 4
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Module 5
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Module 6
Available in days
days after you enroll
Available in days
days after you enroll

Instructor: Dr. Andrew P. Klager is Professor of Religion and Peace Studies at St. Stephen University and is the Director of the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice at SSU. He earned a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Glasgow with a focus on Anabaptist history and theology, including the 16th-c. Anabaptist peace tradition(s) and has completed continuing studies in Interfaith Conflict Resolution and Conflict Analysis from the United States Institute of Peace.

Over fourteen years, Andrew has taught 23 different courses (8 of them online) at seven different universities and colleges in BC and Alberta and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria. 

In addition to many presentations, published peer-review articles, and book chapters, Andrew writes regularly for the Huffington Post and Clarion Journal of Spirituality and Justice. He is also the editor of the book, From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding (Pickwick, 2015), about which Noam Chomsky wrote, "Andrew Klager's fine collection on the Mennonite way of proceeding 'from suffering to solidarity' provides a most enlightening and instructive guide to these impressive contributions, and what we can learn from them."

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you expect to get out of this course?

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. recognize and apply the various theories, methods, and strategies of conflict transformation, while encouraging students to be engaged as global citizens;
  2. identify the various components of problem-solving workshops, dialogues, citizen advocacy activities, third-party mediation and reconciliation meetings, nonviolent resistance movements, development and humanitarian aid, “post”-conflict trauma healing methods and sensitivities, and high-level negotiations and treaties;
  3. understand the strengths and limitations of peacebuilding “from the ground up” through community-based movements and strategies that ascend through the filters of local governments, middle-range leaders, and high-level legislators and policymakers;
  4. gain an understanding of the broader spectrum of political, economic, social, religious, ethnic, and cultural forces that can be harmonized to affect social change;
  5. evaluate case studies that successfully implemented conflict transformation methods and strategies tailored to specific conflicts; understand models for interpreting the causes of violent conflict and the conditions for building a durable peace in intra-state and international settings;
  6. identify the various stages of conflict and the ways in which nonviolent intervention can mitigate violence and use conflict as an opportunity for social change and peaceful coexistence;
  7. transpose themes, considerations, skills, and analyses from intra- and international peacebuilding from the ground up into more local, community, and personal and interpersonal peacemaking and conflict transformation.

What is the format and length of the course?

This course has six modules with a total of 4+ hours of lecture material, plus other additional video and written content. Each section contains an exclusive and substantial detailed video lecture that's synchronized with a Keynote presentation ranging from over a half an hour to one full hour long and supplemental video clips from IRPJ's partner and friend, The Work of the People, and many other videos from IRPJ's media library that are hand-picked by the instructor. This course also includes an exclusive lecture from well-known peacebuilder, activist, and author, Lisa Schirch, as well as supplemental readings provided as PDFs. The course is a completely self-paced, online course.

What materials will I need and will I have access to the lecturers?

All you will need is a computer with internet access and access to the recommended textbooks books (optional). Students can access all exclusive recorded video lectures once enroled. Unfortunately, the instructor is not available to interact or answer questions. Our suggestion would be to dialogue with a group of people going through the course, and to seek out a local practitioner.

How long do I have access to the course?

A lifetime. After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like — across any and all devices you own.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Start your exploration into the field of peace and conflict studies by enrolling below!

• Completely self-paced online course in six modules created by a qualified, doctorally-trained Instructor
• 4+ hours of six exclusive video lectures synchronized to attractive Keynote presentations
• Curated exclusive video clips from our partners, The Work of the People, and many other video clips from the IRPJ media library hand-picked by the Instructor
• Supplemental readings as PDFs to complement the lectures
• Links to online resources written by the Instructor
• Lifetime access to all course content