Fresno Pacific University
Illilouette Creek above Yosemite Valley
  Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies

Purpose and Mission of PACS

The call to peacemaking is universal and timeless, since conflict is always with us. Its shadow is found in all cultures in all times, beckoning for response. When constructive, it leads to better understanding and deeper relationships. When destructive, it tends toward confusion and separation.

The Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies (PACS) was established at Fresno Pacific University in 1990:

  1. to promote greater understanding of the dynamics of conflict,
  2. to train persons in the theology, science and art of constructive conflict management,
  3. to promote and assist in the development of cooperative dispute resolution and justice programs within the institutions of the church and society.

PACS is rooted in the Hebrew/Christian vision of Shalom (peace and justice) for the church and world. Fresno Pacific University, sponsored by the Mennonite Brethren Churches of the Pacific region of the U.S., stands in a long, historic peace church tradition which has taken this vision of Shalom seriously. PACS is a concrete effort of the University to further realize this vision of Shalom.

The Center (PACS) is responsible for a variety of activities, including:

  • Coordinating baccalaureate and graduate programs in peacemaking and conflict studies.
  • Developing and implementing programs and processes that embody Restorative Justice.
  • Assisting communities to develop Restorative Justice programs and practices including Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORPs).
  • Assisting schools to develop restorative discipline and peer mediation programs.
  • Providing mediation training and services to people in churches, schools and other organizations.
  • Consulting on conflict management with communities, businesses, churches and other organizations.
  • Encouraging research and development to advance restorative justice, peacemaking and conflict studies.

Fresno, California is one of the more cosmopolitan small cities on earth. Over 100 home languages, many from the Pacific Rim, are spoken here. Cross-cultural understanding is a hallmark of the PACS program. The faculty of PACS has teaching experience on five continents.