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Justice and Peace Studies Major to Begin in Fall Semester

JULY 21, 2014 ndash; A NEW MAJOR THAT helps students prepare for careers in social justice action and peace building will be offered by Georgetown College starting in the fall.

The major in justice and peace studies (JUPS) through Georgetown’s Program on Justice and Peace, is designed to provide students with a unique perspective on the myriad branches of peace studies such as peace and conflict studies and peace and security studies.

“The intentional choice to have justice precede peace in the name of this program tells you a bit about the direction that we hope to go,” says Randall Amster, a visiting assistant professor who directs the program. “The idea is that justice is an end in and of itself, but also perhaps a means to a peaceful world.”


The program currently offers a six-course minor and a certificate.

The major will comprise 11 courses, a concentration and a thesis. The minor in justice and peace will continue but will no longer require a thesis.

Students will also be required to enroll in at least one community-based learning course and participate in a service-learning component that melds theory with practice.

Amster says the justice and peace studies major will give students an opportunity to design their own concentration, such as non-violent social change, Catholic social teaching, environmental peace building and international human rights.


“JUPS classes are distinguished because we do have a preponderance of community-based learning classes throughout our curriculum,” Amster says. “[This] community engagement tends to be one of the hallmarks of the program. We [are] very invested in having students move from the classroom to the community.”

The major is the result of student initiative.

“An amazing team of people came together to make the JUPS major, and we are all extremely excited to build the program,” says Gianna Maita (C’15), who with Kyla McClure (C’15) led students to campaign for a year and a half for the major. “We are hoping to stay involved in the major to help create a thriving program [that] supports new and current students.”

McClure adds that the justice and peace studies major is in keeping with Georgetown’s Jesuit and Catholic identity.

“We realized that Georgetown, as a Jesuit university, should include a justice and peace studies major and give the option to students who wish to pursue careers in this field,” she says.