A professor and writer finds ways for peacebuilding

A professor and writer finds ways for peacebuildingWhen John Paul Lederach was a student looking for a college that offered peace studies, he found only a handful of programs in the United States. That was more than 30 years ago. Today, almost 100 US graduate schools and dozens of undergraduate colleges offer degrees or certificates in conflict resolution and peace studies. And Dr. Lederach's writings now are a frequent part of the study of peacemaking.

Some of Lederach's ideas draw on his views as a Mennonite Christian and an academic, first at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., and since 2001 as professor of international peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Yet much of his perspective is based on his experiences as a mediator and trainer of peace workers in more than 25 countries, places of conflict where Lederach has tried to help people resolve their differences without violence – despite decades of unrest, injustice, or war.