GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS THROUGH IRPJ @ SSU

St. Stephen's University offers three masters degree programs and a graduate diploma, and students have the opportunity to take the online courses that comprise IRPJ's Certificate in Religion, Peace and Justice as part of each of these programs.

 

Click on an option below to learn more.

 
 

Master of Arts in Peace and Justice

St. Stephen's University, through the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice, offers a unique and thoroughly enriching Master of Arts in Peace and Justice that includes accommodating online and short intensive in-person and travel aboard course delivery methods to allow students to complete their program without the need to uproot their lives.

 

This program equips students to engage the hostile, divided, unjust, oppressive, and violent corners of our world using practical grassroots and community-based peacebuilding skills and training with a theological foundation in peace and justice and through a transfigured interior life, prophetic imagination, and contemplative basis from which to participate in God's unfolding subversive and upside-down kingdom.

 

This Master of Arts in Peace and Justice has three tracks that all include practical peacebuilding theory and skills and theological training in peace and justice, but with unique emphases on either the inner transformation of a peacemaker (Track 1), reconciling with Indigenous peoples (Track 2), or peace and justice in the Palestinian context (Track 3) to meet the different needs and interests of our students:

 

TRACK 1 – PEACEBUILDING, PUBLIC THEOLOGY, AND INNER TRANSFORMATION

Student Intake — Fall 2022

 

This track is for students who want a general background in peace studies, including theory and praxis, as rooted in the most pressing and pertinent theological considerations as they relate to peacebuilding and conflict transformation.

 

The curriculum of this track combines a focus on grassroots peacebuilding skills and training from the ground up, conflict analysis, public theology with a focus on peace and justice, trauma-healing and reconciliation, and the inner transformation of a peacemaker that engages contemplative and ascetic practices for encouraging the resilience, healing, and authenticity of the peacemaker that is then transmitted to a suffering, divided, and hostile world.

 

Students complete six online courses in the first year of study (18 c/h) and a short in-person peace and justice module at St. Stephen's University (10 days), research methods course, study abroad module in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (14 days), and a thesis in the second year (21 c/h).

 

DURATION — TWO YEARS

 

CREDIT HOURS — 39

 

DELIVERY MODE — ONLINE COURSES, INTENSIVE ON-SITE MODULE (7 DAYS), STUDY ABROAD MODULE (14 DAYS), THESIS

 

YEAR ONE

FALL SEMESTER

RS 5481 — The Inner Transformation of a Peacemaker

RS 5380 — Theology of Peace and Justice

RS 5180 — Peace and Violence in the New Testament

9 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR ONE

WINTER SEMESTER

IS 5583 — Practical Nonviolence and Peacebuilding

IS/RS 5882 — Religion, Peace and Conflict

RS 5182 — Peace and Violence in the Old Testament

9 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR TWO

FALL SEMESTER

Study Abroad Module in Scotland & Northern Ireland (August – 2 weeks)

MAPJ 6500 — Peace and Justice Research Methods / Guided Thesis Proposal

9 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR TWO

WINTER SEMESTER

SSU In-Person Peace and Justice Module (March – 1 week)

MAPJ 6800 —Thesis (25,000 words)

12 CREDIT HOURS

ONLINE COURSES

 

Students will complete six online courses in their first year of study. These courses explore topics related to the inner transformation of a peacemaker, theology of peace and justice, the factor of religion and peace and violence, and practical nonviolence and peacebuilding. For more on these six courses, VISIT HERE.

IN-PERSON PEACE AND JUSTICE MODULE @ ST. STEPHEN'S UNIVERSITY

 

This short 1-week intensive residency module takes place on-site at St. Stephen's University in New Brunswick, Canada. It includes seminars and workshops that are led by a team of top scholars and practitioners covering such subjects as psychology, neuroscience, and the inner transformation of a peacemaker; building peace and becoming human; compassionate reasoning; and practical skills workshops on conflict assessment and peacebuilding planning.

 

STUDY ABROAD MODULE IN SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND

This 2-week intensive study abroad module includes intensive academic sessions at the University of Edinburgh and at Corrymeela in Ballycastle, as taught by experts in strategic peacebuilding, post-conflict trauma healing, reconciliation and forgiveness, storytelling and memory in conflict, discovering and normalizing truth through ritual, and the role of Christian nationalism; a screening of the Guardians of the Flame documentary with a panel of those who appear in the film, including Jonny Clark, and a

performance by folksinger and storyteller, Tommy Sands, at An Cuan (a retreat centre for peace and reconciliation in Rostrevor); a silent retreat at Holy Cross Abbey that will allow students the opportunity to enter the daily and hourly rhythms of the Benedictine monks who established their monastery in Northern Ireland specifically to pray for peace and reconciliation, or a 3-day pilgrimage on St. Patrick's Way with Tobar Mhuire as our base; and learning tours in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. This intensive study abroad module will put students in direct contact with highly experienced peacebuilding scholars and researchers, peace practitioners, and ex-combatants and victims of The Troubles in Northern Ireland and will include experiences to help students grapple with the past to imagine a future "on earth as it is in heaven," including attentiveness to the inner life of a peacemaker in a divided world.

PEACE AND JUSTICE RESEARCH METHODS COURSE AND THESIS

 

Students will complete a course on research methods as they refine the topic of their thesis with their supervisor, and complete a 25,000-word thesis on a topic related to the subjects of the degree program and that adequately prepares students for their vocation as peacemakers.

TRACK 2 – PEACEBUILDING, PUBLIC THEOLOGY, AND RECONCILIATION WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

Student Intake — Fall 2022

 

This track is for students who have a special interest in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, considered within a peace and justice framework. It has the same emphases and components as Track 1, but it replaces the study abroad module in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with another in-person module at St. Stephen's University on truth-telling and reconciling with Indigenous peoples.

 

Students complete six online courses in the first year of study (18 c/h) and a short in-person peace and justice module at St. Stephen's University (11 days), research methods course, a second short in-person reconciling with Indigenous peoples module at St. Stephen's University (7 days), and a thesis in the second year (21 c/h).

 

DURATION — TWO YEARS, FOUR MONTHS

 

CREDIT HOURS — 42

 

DELIVERY MODE — ONLINE COURSES, TWO INTENSIVE ON-SITE MODULES (7 DAYS EACH), THESIS

 

YEAR ONE

FALL SEMESTER

RS 5481 — The Inner Transformation of a Peacemaker

RS 5380 — Theology of Peace and Justice

RS 5180 — Peace and Violence in the New Testament

9 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR ONE

WINTER SEMESTER

IS 5583 — Practical Nonviolence and Peacebuilding

IS/RS 5882 — Religion, Peace and Conflict

RS 5182 — Peace and Violence in the Old Testament

9 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR TWO

FALL SEMESTER

SSU In-Person Truth-Telling and Reconciling with Indigenous Peoples Module (October – 11 days)

MAPJ 6500 — Peace and Justice Research Methods / Guided Thesis Proposal

12 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR TWO

WINTER SEMESTER

SSU In-Person Peace and Justice Module (March – 1 week)

MAPJ 6800 —Thesis (25,000 words)

12 CREDIT HOURS

ONLINE COURSES

 

Students will complete six online courses in their first year of study. These courses explore topics related to the inner transformation of a peacemaker, theology of peace and justice, the factor of religion and peace and violence, and practical nonviolence and peacebuilding. For more on these six courses, VISIT HERE.

IN-PERSON PEACE AND JUSTICE MODULE @ ST. STEPHEN'S UNIVERSITY

 

This short 1-week intensive residency module takes place on-site at St. Stephen's University in New Brunswick, Canada. It includes seminars and workshops that are led by a team of top scholars and practitioners covering such subjects as psychology, neuroscience, and the inner transformation of a peacemaker; building peace and becoming human; compassionate reasoning; and practical skills workshops on conflict assessment and peacebuilding planning.

 

IN-PERSON RECONCILING WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES MODULE @ ST. STEPHEN'S UNIVERSITY

 

In this module, students complete three hybrid courses in October in St. Stephen, NB and the Peskotomuhkati Nation’s Camp Chiputneticook. Hybrid courses combine some online engagement with an intensive in-person module providing experiential, land-based, and storytelling approaches to education. The courses for this module include 'Indigenous Sovereignty and the Colonial Legacy'; 'Wabanaki History, Worldview, Culture and Spirituality'; and 'From the TRC to Reconcili-action.' For more information on this module, VISIT HERE.

PEACE AND JUSTICE RESEARCH METHODS COURSE AND THESIS

 

Students will complete a course on research methods as they refine the topic of their thesis with their supervisor, and complete a 25,000-word thesis on a topic related to the subjects of the degree program and that adequately prepares students for their vocation as peacemakers. It is expected that students in this track will complete a thesis on a topic related to indigenous truth and reconciliation.

TRACK 3 – PEACEBUILDING, PUBLIC THEOLOGY, AND THE PALESTINIAN CONTEXT

Student Intake — Fall 2022

 

This track is for students who have a special interest in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. It is offered jointly with the Bethlehem Institute for Peace and Justice at Bethlehem Bible College and emphasizes peacemaking in the midst of the decades-long intractable conflict in Israel-Palestine by including two additional online courses on the Palestinian context and a two-week residency in Bethlehem, Palestine.

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Students therefore complete six online courses in the first year of study (18 c/h) and two online courses on the Palestinian context, research methods course, a residency with training and seminars in Bethlehem, Palestine (14 days), and either a thesis or a directed study + major research paper in the second year (21 c/h).

DURATION — TWO YEARS

 

CREDIT HOURS — 39

 

DELIVERY MODE — ONLINE COURSES, RESIDENCY IN BETHLEHEM (14 DAYS), THESIS OR MAJOR RESEARCH PAPER

 

YEAR ONE

FALL SEMESTER

RS 5481 — The Inner Transformation of a Peacemaker

RS 5380 — Theology of Peace and Justice

RS 5180 — Peace and Violence in the New Testament

9 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR ONE

WINTER SEMESTER

IS 5583 — Practical Nonviolence and Peacebuilding

IS/RS 5882 — Religion, Peace and Conflict

RS 5182 — Peace and Violence in the Old Testament

9 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR TWO

FALL SEMESTER

IS 6100 – Peacemaking & Justice in the Palestinian Context I

MAPJ 6500 — Peace and Justice Research Methods / Guided Thesis Proposal

6 CREDIT HOURS

YEAR TWO

WINTER SEMESTER

IS 6200 – Peacemaking & Justice in the Palestinian Context II

Bethlehem Residency, Training, and Seminars (May – 2 weeks)

MAPJ 6800 —Thesis (25,000 words) or Directed Study + major paper

15 CREDIT HOURS

ONLINE COURSES

 

Students will complete six online courses in their first year of study. These courses explore topics related to the inner transformation of a peacemaker, theology of peace and justice, the factor of religion and peace and violence, and practical nonviolence and peacebuilding. For more on these six courses, VISIT HERE.

 

Students also complete two online courses in their second year of study on peacemaking and justice in the Palestinian context. These courses introduce key concepts in both the theory and practice of peacemaking and justice in the context of Palestine and Israel and as expressed by Palestinian Christians and other international scholars. For more on these two courses, VISIT HERE.

 

RESIDENCY IN BETHLEHEM, PALESTINE

 

This two-week intensive residential portion of the program in Bethlehem combines academic lectures, intentional reflection on personal spirituality, and site visits to important local Palestinian-led peace and justice organizations. The opportunity to study and serve in Bethlehem, listening and learning in the Palestinian community, is a profound, transformative experience.

PEACE AND JUSTICE RESEARCH METHODS COURSE AND THESIS

 

Students will complete a course on research methods as they refine the topic of their thesis with their supervisor, and complete a 25,000-word thesis on a topic related to the subjects of the degree program and the adequately prepares students for their vocation as peacemakers. Some students have the opportunity to complete a directed study and major research paper instead of the thesis. It is expected that students in this track will complete a thesis or complete a directed study and major research paper on a topic related to peace and justice in the Palestinian context.

INTERESTED?

 

Once you're ready to apply, visit here and select the MA in Peace and Justice and the track that most interests you.

 

And if you have any questions, please contact the Director of IRPJ, Dr. Andrew Klager (andrewklager@ssu.ca) or the Dean of Theology & Culture, Dr. Brad Jersak (bjersak@ssu.ca).

 

M.A., M.Min., or Diploma in Theology & Culture

ONLINE PEACE STUDIES TRACK

The Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice (St. Stephen's University) offers an M.A., M.Min or Diploma in Theology & Culture with an online Peace Studies Track. This is an opportunity for students to combine the rich subject matter of our Certificate in Religion, Peace and Justice with the modules in Biblical Studies, History of Christian Spirituality, Spiritual Formation, Philosophy and Culture, and Research Methods at SSU.

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Plus, the combination of the online learning delivery methods of the Certificate and the two short 2-week residency intensives at St. Stephen's University means that students can earn their graduate degree with a perfect combination of low disruption and high personal contact.

 

As an Institute of St. Stephen's University, IRPJ's programs and courses are accredited through a charter granted by the province of New Brunswick, Canada to offer bachelor's and master's degrees in liberal arts and ministry studies.

 
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How do I earn an M.A. or M.Min in Theology & Culture with an online Peace Studies Track?

At St. Stephen's University, we are committed to the direct engagement of our on-site module classes for our graduate degrees. However, we also want to give our students the opportunity to complete their degrees with as little disruption to their lives as possible and with content tailored to their interests. 

 

To this end, students may begin with an 8-month online Certificate in Religion, Peace and Justice through the Institute for Religion, Peace and Justice and transfer these credits to complete their M.A. or M.Min degree in Theology and Culture at SSU. 

 

IRPJ’s 8-month Certificate in Religion, Peace and Justice is comprised of six online courses (18 credit hours), delivered by our core faculty — Dr. Andrew Klager and Dr. Brad Jersak — and an array of expert Guest Lecturers, including online video conferences so students have direct access to the instructors and their cohort.

 

DEGREE CONFIGURATIONS

Master of Arts in

Theology & Culture

 

ONLINE PEACE STUDIES TRACK (47 cr. hrs)

  • 1-year IRPJ Certificate in Religion, Peace and Justice (18 credit hours)

 

 

  • Complete Research Methods/Guided Thesis Research Course (thesis proposal phase – 3 credit hours)

 

  • Complete a research-based thesis (60–100 pages – 6 credit hours)

 

Note: the study abroad module involving travel to Greece, Patmos, and Ephesus (six credit hours) is not required but available for audit.

Master of Ministry in

Theology & Culture

 

ONLINE PEACE STUDIES TRACK (44 or 48 cr. hrs)

  • 1-year IRPJ Certificate in Religion, Peace and Justice (18 credit hours)

 

 

  • Complete one of the following options:

    • study abroad module in Greece, Patmos, and Ephesus (6 credit hours), OR

    • two directed studies (6 credit hours), OR

    • a third module (10 credit hours) at SSU

Diploma in

Theology & Culture

 

ONLINE PEACE STUDIES TRACK (38 cr. hrs)

  • Students without an undergraduate degree may apply their IRPJ certificate toward the Diploma in Theology & Culture. While the diploma itself is not a grad studies degree, the module courses themselves are awarded grad level credits

 

  • 1-year IRPJ Certificate in Religion, Peace and Justice (18 credit hours)

 

 

MODULES

Modules are two-week 10-credit hour intensive study periods that include courses in church history & theology, biblical studies, Christian counselling & spiritual formation, and philosophy & culture. Students are generally required to read about 3,500 pages before each module and will have written assignments to complete before and after each module.

 

Students may start with any module and may choose to complete the modules at a slower pace and in any order. Sufficient time must be allotted to complete the necessary readings in advance.

INSTERESTED?

If the option to complete an M.A. or M.Min in Theology & Culture with an online Peace Studies Track looks like it might be a good option for you, the first thing you should do is check out the courses of IRPJ's Certificate by clicking here and the master's degree module courses by clicking here.

 

Once you're ready to apply, visit here and select the graduate degree option that best reflects your intentions.

 

And if you have any questions, please contact the Director of IRPJ, Dr. Andrew Klager (andrewklager@ssu.ca) or the Dean of Theology & Culture, Dr. Brad Jersak (bjersak@ssu.ca).

VIDEO OF ONLINE COURSES

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