Become a Peace Scholar!

2019-2020 Peace Scholars Dejan Perez (left) and Barbara Gilchrist (right)!

Established in 2011, the Peace Scholars Program is designed to deepen understanding of central issues and theories of dialogue, peace-building, conflict, and war. Annually, two students from each of the seven participating colleges and universities form a group of collaborative scholars.

The program has three components:

  1. Study at a seven-week peace seminar in Norway.
  2. Attend and participate in the Human Rights Forum. This year’s forum was “Seeking Justice in a Changing World,” and it took place at Augsburg University (Minneapolis, MN) in October 2019.
  3. Promote the program and contribute to peace-building efforts on PLU campus.

In Norway, students begin their study at the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue in Lillehammer.  There they engage in structured dialogue sessions with students from the Balkans/Caucasus regions, Middle East, and South America.

Peace Scholar Studies

Peace scholars participate in an interdisciplinary six-week undergraduate level course in peace studies at the Oslo International Summer School. The course includes both classroom instruction and visits to prominent institutions dealing with peace and conflict. Upon return to the PLU campus, students work with the Peace Scholars coordinator and committee to promote the program through presentations and recruitment meetings.

Travel, lodging and meals related to the Human Rights Forum and the Peace Scholars summer study are paid for by PLU and generous donors. Students may be get additional funding for non-program costs.

Summer Study: Oslo International Summer School

The summer school is a vibrant international environment in which students from over 80 countries take part. The 14 Peace Scholars take a Peace Seminar together. In addition, they choose one elective course, which transfers to PLU.

Nansen Dialogue Center

Students begin their study in Norway at the Nansen Dialogue Center in Lillehammer. There they join students from former and current conflict areas to practice the art of dialogue.

The Human Rights Forum

In the past, Peace Scholars attended and participated in the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. Starting in 2019, Peace Scholars attend The Human Rights Forum as an event that ``seeks to educate, inspire, and empower young leaders`` through interdisciplinary perspectives presented by partners to the program. Half will focus on global perspectives and half will emphasize domestic and local justice.

The theme of the 2019 Forum was ``Seeking Justice in a Changing World`` and was presented as a series of lectures, workshops, and panels.


When they weren’t busy studying peacebuilding and conflict with students from all over the world, PLU Peace Scholars Ariel Wood ’17 and Theo Hofrenning ’17 explored downtown Oslo and Norway’s southeastern coast. Learn more about the Peace Scholar program at