Why Choose Nazareth for Peace and Justice Studies?

Nazareth's provocative peace and justice studies degree program examines the way human beings resolve conflict and work towards justice on interpersonal and global levels. Our interdisciplinary approach allows students to complement their perspectives on ethical theory, political justice, and class conflict, for example, with studies in philosophy, political science, economics, and other areas of interest.

The peace and justice studies major combines rigorous academic study with self-reflection and engagement in service learning. Two semesters of service work are required in an area of social justice or community organizing. Past internships have included Metro Justice, St. Joseph's House of Hospitality, and Action for a Better Community.

A senior seminar on nonviolence serves as the capstone course, which studies the works of Martin Luther King and Gandhi, among others.

Program Highlights

  • Strong liberal arts curriculum with related courses in English literature, anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, economics, and other humanities.
  • Emphasis on writing and critical thinking.
  • Six-credit foreign language requirement.
  • Seniors can take a capstone course on non-violence where they are required to write a senior thesis.
  • A two-semester community service internship, where students use what they learn in their other courses to reflect on the significance of their service work.

Program Options, Requirements, and Course Descriptions

Contact Information

Harry Murray

Harry Murray

Professor of Sociology in Sociology & Anthropology
Director in Peace and Justice
Golisano Academic Center 313

Education: Ph.D., Syracuse University (Sociology); M.R.P., Cornell University (City Planning); A.B., College of the Holy Cross (Economics) 

Teaching Interests: Sociology, social problems, deviance, sociology of religion, homelessness, social movements, and social research methods.

Research Interests: Non-violence, the Catholic worker movement, Homes for the Friendless, and social construction of weapons of mass destruction. 2017 research: Homelessness as Death Sentence. 2018 research: Counties vary in rates of denying public assistance applicants and suspending people's benefits.

Ashley Ernst, peace and conflict studies major, social justice degree program at Nazareth College NY

Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Ernst '11

“I’m going to educate myself on things I really care about — I’m getting an education, not a degree.”

Example Careers/Outcomes

  • Government
  • Diplomacy
  • Relief service
  • Peace Corps
  • Graduate work in international relations and religious studies
  • Organic farming

Internships/Field Experiences

  • Iraq Vets Against the War
  • Fiacre Gardens Microfarm
  • Partners in Restorative Initiatives
  • United Nations Association of Germany, Berlin, Germany

Beyond Self

  • Approximately 91% of Nazareth undergraduates participate in community service while they are students.
  • Nazareth is one of the few schools to have an on-campus Center for Civic Engagement.