The Just Peacemaking Initiative (JPi) at Fuller Theological Seminary exists to encourage knowledge about, formation for, and participation in the peacemaking way of Jesus, a core strand of discipleship for all Christians.
To achieve this mission, we promote innovative research and the development of new resources under the new paradigm that we have developed (for which the institute is named), from the interpersonal level up to the international. More specifically, we pursue these ends by:
- Spotlighting peacemaking practices in key areas of focus through regular co-curricular offerings like forums, conferences, and travel study opportunities (see upcoming events here) and through articles on this website;
- Catalyzing and executing projects that create space for scholars to develop the Just Peacemaking paradigm in helpful new directions; and
- Building up Christian leaders who will make a concrete, transformative impact through emerging networks and partnerships;
- Contributing to the vocational formation of Masters and PhD students who intend to include in their program research on the just peacemaking paradigm and its theological, biblical, and ethical basis.
Supporting Fuller Theological Seminary
The work of fostering bright, engaged peacemakers had been informally under way at Fuller for several years prior to the JPi’s founding in 2010. Faculty with expertise in biblical studies, theology, Christian ethics, philosophy, psychology, marriage and family therapy, conflict transformation, and Islam often teach courses in peacemaking skills and their underlying theological and philosophical grounding (see a list of current courses that we have included in our Masters-level emphasis here). Classes of students have seen formative community in a variety of manifestations, encouraging academic rigor, and real-world engagement. And recent PhD graduates have included a peacemaking dimension in their PhD studies and are doing outstanding work in Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Czech Republic, the United States, and elsewhere.
Fuller faculty and graduate students have made significant contributions to deeper understandings of theological and biblical grounds for peacemaking, and now these contributions are on offer and visible to the wider Christian world and its surrounding societies in the Just Peacemaking Initiative. Most peacemaking programs lack deep theological grounding; we are developing significant biblical and theological innovation for guiding Christian engagement in peacemaking.
The Just Peacemaking Initiative gives form to many aspects of the agenda that Fuller Theological Seminary set in a key document concerning the “Mission Beyond the Mission.” In this commitment, peacemaking is named among a small number of core mandates. The imperatives of this Mission commend our dedicated aim:
Go and make disciples;
call the church of Christ to renewal;
work for the moral health of society;
seek peace and justice in the world;
uphold the truth of God’s revelation.
Discipleship to the Lamb requires faithfulness to the way of Jesus, and churches that witness to peacemaking way of Jesus in their own embodied discipleship practices are hotspots of faithful renewal. While church renewal through discipleship is a concern of all faculty at Fuller, it has been a special emphasis of faculty in the departments of Christian ethics, ministry, and mission. On that score, we are laboring to offer a more concerted program that addresses the need of churches for leaders skilled in transforming conflicts in ways that unite rather than divide, that strengthen rather than fragment, polarize, and split churches. Contributing to the vocational formation of these leaders is our primary vehicle for meeting the world’s great need. The moral health of society is in focus with each practice of just peacemaking, and the fourth mandate of Fuller’s “Mission beyond the Mission”––“seek peace and justice in the world”––is the JPi’s hallmark. As to the fifth mandate, our firm purpose and present practice is to ground our vision and work of peacemaking in biblical and theological constructs and commitments, not only sociological, political science, and psychological understandings.
By contributing to the vocational formation of Fuller students at every level, and resourcing them for research on peacemaking practices and their biblical mandate; by building up Christian leaders who make a concrete, transformative impact by knowing and doing the practices that make for peace; by proposing and implementing projects that create space for scholars to develop the Just Peacemaking paradigm in helpful new directions; and by spotlighting the new paradigm that we have developed before an expanding public audience through regular co-curricular offerings, through this website, and through social media: the Just Peacemaking Initiative endeavors for church renewal and pursues the moral health of society.