Peace & Justice Studies

Program Overview

"You must be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

‌The Program in Peace and Justice Studies is an expression of the Jesuit educational commitment which is fundamentally identified with the promotion of the values of peace and justice. The program is based on the principle that true peace is not only the absence of hostilities, but also requires the establishment of a just social order providing a decent and dignified life for all.

Accordingly, the minor provides the student with an opportunity for the systematic study of a variety of issues in world peace and social justice, as well as an examination of how different religions and philosophical traditions have thought about these values.

The minor program in peace and justice studies at Fairfield University offers you the opportunity to devote time, attention, and energy to the most pressing issues of social justice and peace in our time. The events of the early 21st century put in stark relief the importance of thinking about such matters, whatever your major or career goals. Issues explored through this program include:

  • The war on terror
  • Peace in the Middle East
  • The environment
  • Proliferation of nuclear weapons
  • Human trafficking
  • Poverty in inner cities
  • Discrimination based on race, gender, class, and sexuality
  • The crumbling healthcare system

These matters of concern are addressed in accordance with the simple advice of Pope Paul VI:

"If you want peace, work for justice."

The Program of Peace and Justice at Fairfield provides systematic study of these and other issues by examining how various religions and philosophical traditions have addressed them and analyzing their political, economic, and social dimensions. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and works well as a stimulating complement to the choice of many major fields of study at Fairfield.

Thoughtful consideration of how we might create change and develop a vision for the future guides this program. It is the academic expression of the Jesuit commitment to "the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement."


For a 15-credit minor in Peace and Justice Studies, students complete:

  • PO 115 Introduction to the Study of Peace and Justice,
  • Three electives from the University curriculum chosen in consultation with the director of the minor, and
  • PJ 398 Capstone Research Seminar.

Students pursuing a peace and justice studies minor may also elect PJ 298 Internship in Advocacy and Community Organizing. This internship provides students in the minor with the opportunity to understand, through direct participation, how citizens organize to empower their communities and promote policies that will benefit them. Interns are often placed with community organizations in the greater Bridgeport area and some placements include advocacy work in the state legislature in Hartford. The internship is currently an elective and not required of students in the minor.

The introductory course, PO 115, and the concluding seminar, PJ 398, are required for the minor. Students select three electives, with approval of the director, from courses in the University curriculum relevant to the study of peace and justice.

Course Offerings

See Peace and Justice Studies course descriptions from our catalog for more information 

  • AE 276: Ethical Dimensions of Global Business Practices
  • AE 283: Environmental Justice
  • AE 284: Environmental Ethics
  • AE 297: Eco-feminism
  • EN 113: Literature of the Holocaust
  • EN 114: Caribbean Literature: History, Culture, and Identity
  • EN 262: The Harlem Renaissance
  • HI 257: Who Built America? Working People in American History
  • HI 274: Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Global Crises
  • IL 51/PO 130: Challenges of Global Politics
  • PH 263: The Concept of Human Rights
  • PH 260: Social and Political Philosophy
  • PO 116: Utopian Politics
  • PO 147: Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace
  • PO 153: The Politics of Race, Class and Gender
  • RS 235: Liberation Theology
  • RS 255: Catholic Social Teaching
  • SO 161: American Class Structure
  • SO 162: Race, Gender and Ethnic Relations
  • SO 179: Death Penalty in America
  • SO 181: AIDS in the United States


The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the dedicated members of our Peace and Justice Studies Program.


The Peace and Justice Studies Program offers students internship opportunities in a range of local, state, and national organizations devoted to the work of social justice and peace. Internships provide you with the unique and valuable opportunity to acquire firsthand knowledge about and experience with a range of pressing issues. The program director will help you to find the internship that fits your interests and needs.

Life After Fairfield

Learn how an internship can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

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