Master of Theological Studies (MTS) in
Peace & Justice
PUBLIC THEOLOGY, &
THEOLOGICALLY INFORMED PEACEBUILDING
St. Stephen's University and IRPJ offer a unique and thoroughly enriching Master of Arts in Peace and Justice that includes accommodating online and short intensive in-person and study 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 and contemplative basis from which to participate with a prophetic imagination in God's unfolding subversive and upside-down kingdom.
The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) in Peace & Justice is for students who would like substantial theological content, do not wish to write a thesis, and do not have ambitions to complete doctoral studies, for which our MA is the expected route. The MTS provides a general background in peace and justice studies, including theory and praxis, as rooted in the most pressing and pertinent theological considerations as they relate to peacebuilding, conflict transformation, and theology & culture.
The curriculum of this degree program 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, church history, theology, Biblical studies, Christian counselling, Ignatian spirituality, philosophy, 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.
DURATION — 2 or 3 YEARS (FULL TIME)
CREDIT HOURS — 42
DELIVERY MODE — ONLINE COURSES, 1-WEEK ON-CAMPUS MODULE, 2-WEEK ON-CAMPUS MODULE, 2-WEEK STUDY ABROAD MODULE, SUMMATIVE PROJECT
EMPHASES — THEOLOGY OF PEACE & JUSTICE, CONTEMPLATIVE STUDIES, RELIGIOUS PEACEBUILDING, GRASSROOTS CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION, THEOLOGY & CULTURE
AT A GLANCE
WHAT IS THE COURSE CONTENT AND SEQUENCING?
In the first year of study, students complete six online courses (18 c/h), and in the second year of study students participate in a short in-person peace and justice module at St. Stephen's University (one week) and an in-person theology & culture module also at St. Stephen's University (2 weeks), travel on a study abroad module in Scotland and Northern Ireland (two weeks), and complete a summative project (24 c/h).
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
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
Study Abroad Module in Scotland & Northern Ireland (August – 2 weeks)
SSU In-Person Theology & Culture Module (Oct. – 2 weeks)
16 CREDIT HOURS
SSU In-Person Peace and Justice Module (March – 1 week)
8 CREDIT HOURS
At SSU, a summative project can include any one of the following options: (1.) integration paper of approx. 25 pages; (2.) survey of literature of approx. 25 pages; (3.) extended research paper of approx. 25 pages; (4.) field-based project.
WHAT ARE THE COURSE DELIVERY METHODS?
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 THEOLOGY AND CULTURE MODULE @ ST. STEPHEN'S UNIVERSITY
This 2-week intensive residency module also takes place on-site at St. Stephen's University in New Brunswick, Canada. MTS students can choose any one of the three modules that SSU offers. Modules include courses in church history, theology, Biblical studies, Christian counselling, Ignatian spirituality, and philosophy. Students are normally required to read about 2000 pages before each module with written assignments to complete before and after each module. Sufficient time must be allotted to complete the necessary readings in advance. For more information on the three Theology & Culture modules, of which MTS students choose only one, please VISIT HERE.
STUDY ABROAD MODULE IN SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND
This 2-week intensive study abroad trip includes intensive academic sessions at the University of Edinburgh, Queen's University Belfast, and 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 3-day pilgrimage on St. Patrick's Way with Tobar Mhuire as our base and a chance to connect with Holy Cross Abbey that will allow students the opportunity to attend Vespers and hear from Benedictine monks who established their monastery in Northern Ireland specifically to pray for peace and reconciliation; and learning tours in Belfast and Derry. 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 SUMMATIVE PROJECT
Instead of a research methods course and thesis, MTS students must choose one of four available summative projects to complete. These options include (1.) an integration paper of approx. 25 pages; (2.) a survey of literature of approx. 25 pages; (3.) an extended research paper of approx. 25 pages; or (4.) a field-based project.