The Common Good
May-June 2003

Goshen College: Teaching Peace

by Celeste Kennel-Shank | May-June 2003

Integrating justice in all fields of study.

With the wide range of disciplines at liberal arts institutions, Goshen College is one school that integrates peace and justice issues into every academic track. Teaching peace is part of the official mission of the Mennonite-affiliated Goshen College, located in northern Indiana. The Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies department is a keystone among the college's academic programs. A PJCS course is required for graduation.

Other rare assets are an environmental studies department buttressed by a 1,150-acre natural reserve, and an international education requirement that sends nearly every student to another country, often a developing nation, for a semester.

What's exceptional about Goshen College is not just the existence of a peace and justice department, but the way that professors promote critical thinking about justice issues in all fields of study. "I think people get more open minded by the end of their four years here," said senior Hallie Pritts. Peacemaking is part of the upbringing of many Mennonites. Yet dialogue and analysis are necessary to further examine justice concerns in all areas of education.

—Celeste Kennel-Shank

Celeste Kennel-Shank is a Goshen College student focusing on environmental studies and history. Goshen College, 1700 South Main St., Goshen, IN 46526; 1-800-348-7422; www.goshen.edu.

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