The course is about conflict, reconciliation, dialogue, and memory, but to begin to understand these on a national, group, or even an interpersonal level you must also see the connections among context, space/place, history, institutions, resources, and human symbolic activity.  You make these connections via readings, lectures, discussions, site visits, testimonies, and reflection.  Further, you will see how sites of public memory are visible manifestations of changing beliefs, fears, desires, and ideologies.  Ultimately, understanding conflict entails exploring both how conflicts define cultures and how cultures symbolically construct and represent their conflicts.

Students study principles & theories of conflict, dialogue, and reconciliation, especially in the context of Northern Ireland.  Students will appreciate the challenges and rewards of analyzing conflicts from a symbolic approach, including constructed identities, borders, and memorials. Guest speakers and site visits are designed to showcase current deliberations about how to move beyond conflict, to develop a shared cultural heritage and identity, and to navigate Borders, especially in the wake of Brexit and ongoing tensions in particular neighborhoods. Students will ponder how memory, history, and identities are both shaped by and continue to shape biblical, national, and personal responses to war, conflict, peace, and reconciliation. Students will gain exposure to both ancient and contemporary spiritual disciplines and practices, especially those of pilgrim thinking and traveling, penitence, and peacemaking.

Coursework is taught in tandem. You are automatically enrolled in both courses. Students earn major/minor credit in COM (relationships & conflict) or general elective credit.  Students also earn the GE Thinking Historically.  All majors are welcome to apply, and there are no prerequisites.

Northern Ireland Mayterm Peace Bridge Unsplash

Program Cost

Program fee is $7040 and covers room, board, entrance fees, tours, and transportation while abroad. Students are responsible for airfare to and from the USA and Belfast and for room and board the first 4 days of the program on campus. Students may request on-campus Mayterm housing through the Housing Office. Program dates: May 8-11 on campus, May 14 -June 15, 2023 abroad.


  • Class standing
  • GPA (minimum 2.3 gpa for eligibility)
  • Application and essays
  • Personal and faculty recommendations


In addition to the general qualifications above, the following are requirements that must be met, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to complete all essential elements of the program. All participants must be able to:

  • Anticipate most, if not all, lectures cannot be recorded due the sensitive nature of the material and to protect the anonymity of the guest lecturer.
  • Anticipate possible exposure to peanut or other food allergens especially walnut oil.
  • Navigate multiple irregular surfaces and walk/travel up to 10 miles in a day independently. (Extensive walking, as well as travel throughout ancient cities and towns with narrow passageways and many stairs, are part of the daily life of the program.)
  • Navigate carrying personal items including suitcase and/or backpack without assistance.
  • Anticipate having sufficient emotional wellness to fully participate in the program safely and successfully despite the limited availability of frequent access to psychological services.
  • Anticipate at least double occupancy accommodations on some if not all locations.
  • Receive the final dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at least two weeks prior to the commencement of the program. 
  • If eligible, receive the most recent Covid-19 vaccine booster at least two weeks prior to departure if it has been at least two months since your last Covid-19 vaccine or booster. 

How to apply

The application deadline has passed. For more info about the program, contact contact Professor Dunn.