Program Director: Daniel R. DiLeo, Ph.D.
Program Office: Creighton Hall, Suite 424

The Justice and Peace Studies Program offers a major, a minor and a 5th-year master’s degree that empower students to become effective agents of social and political change. Each option - especially the minor - can complement and enrich any major or career aspiration, and all curricula correspond to the four interdisciplinary stages of the Pastoral Circle1:

  • Experience: Students take one Academic Service-Learning course to thoughtfully interact with persons and communities;
  • Social Analysis: Students take courses in Cultural and Social Studies to understand social systems, structures and policies;
  • Ethical Reflection: Students take courses in Justice and Peace Studies/Theology to make moral judgments about social conditions;
  • Vocational Discernment: Students take JPS 499: Senior Seminar to discern actions and careers that can achieve justice and peace.

The Justice and Peace Studies Program is part of Creighton’s Catholic, Jesuit commitment to “educate the whole person of solidarity for the real world” and help students become “men and women for and with others” who appreciate the need for “faith that does justice.”

Courses do not need to be taken in order of the Pastoral Circle steps.

Bachelor of Arts, Major in Justice and Society

Specific Requirements for Admission to the Justice and Society Major

Completion of SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology: Self and Society; ANT 111 Introduction to Anthropology: Human and Cultural Diversity; ANT 112 Introduction to Anthropology: Culture, Energy and Sustainability; ANT 113 Introduction to Anthropology: Social and Cultural Determinants of Health; or NAS 101 Introduction To Native American Studies: Anthropological Approaches with a grade of “C” or better, plus 3 credits in a Sociology or Anthropology course with a grade of “C” or better.


JPS 261. Dominican Republic in Context. 3 credits.

A study of the history, sociology and politics of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean. Classroom work is integrated with service-learning and cultural immersion in a context of ethical analyses and reflection. Included in this 3-hour course is course work combined with a service requirement and a seminar. CO: JPS 461.

JPS 265. Cortina Seminar. 1 credit. SP

JPS 265 is a one-credit seminar addressing the four pillars of the Cortina Community: community, service, faith, and justice and the general theme of privilege and poverty Eight sections of approximately 14 students each will be offered, each taught by a different instructor, within that instructor's academic discipline but meeting the same requirements and engaging in cross-disciplinary conversation. P: Open to students in the Cortina community only.

JPS 271. Philosophical Ethics: Cortina Community. 3 credits. (Same as PHL 271)

This course is a component of the Cortina Community program. It is a critical study of fundamental philosophical theories, including a utilitarian theory, a deontological theory, and a virtue ethics theory, about the sources of moral obligation, moral virtue, justice, wisdom, and a good human life. Students will use these theories in conjunction with reflection on first-hand experience of serving others to evaluate critically their own ethical presuppositions and to form well-reasoned judgments about moral problems related to social justice. P: Membership in the Cortina Community, and one Philosophical Ideas course: PHL 110 or PHL 111 or PHL 112 or PHL 113 or PHL 118.

JPS 365. Faith And Moral Development. 1 credit. FA, SP (Same as THL 365)

A series of one-credit-hour seminars that each examines a different theory of faith or moral development and engages a different biography of a social activist (e.g. Dorothy Day or Martin Luther King, Jr.). Required for Justice and Peace Studies minors and Justice and Society majors, all of whom must take three of these seminars. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 credits. P or CO: PHL 250/270/271/272/275 or THL 250/270/271/272/273 and Soph. stdg.

JPS 375. Advanced Cortina Seminar. 1 credit.

JPS 375 is a one-credit seminar for junior and senior participants in the Cortina Community on the theme of Social Justice and Public Policy. Students will learn about the policy making process so that they can analyze policies that contribute to various social injustices and help develop more just alternatives.

JPS 400. Public Health & Social Justice in Haiti. 3 credits.

This 17-day course for juniors and seniors includes two days on campus for pre-departure classroom work; ten days in Haiti to learn about its culture, microfinance and public health initiatives, and other development projects; daily reflection; and three days of post-trip classroom work on campus, including reflection on the experience. P: Junior standing; completion of a course in SOC or ANT with a C+ or better; GPA of 2.5 and good academic and disciplinary standing.

JPS 419. Bible, Spirituality & American Public Life. 3 credits.

Exploration of the Biblical foundations of Christian spirituality, followed by critical examination of the implications for contemporary American life; includes attention to intersection of race, gender & economic realities. P: THL 200-level Biblical studies course.

JPS 421. Public Health and Social Justice in Haiti. 3 credits.

This FLPA (Faculty-Led Program Away) course includes pre-departure on-campus classroom work, followed by immersion in Haiti to learn about its culture, public health and microfinance initiatives, and other development projects, and post-travel classroom work. ln addition to reading and discussion, students will engage throughout the course in daily reflection as a group and in individual student journaling. Course content emphasizes health and justice issues in Haiti as outgrowths of historical and present-day global interrelationships - particularlybetween Haiti and the U.S. Students will develop a proposal for action that is grounded in careful attention to the complexities of this interrelationship. P: Critical Issues in Human Inquiry; Senior standing.

JPS 443. Ecclesiology in Global Context. 3 credits. (Same as THL 443)

The Catholic Church as present within various countries around the world provides unique opportunities for understanding how local churches incorporated the call of the Second Vatican Council to read the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel. Immersion learning allows contact experiences with people and different realities to teach and supplement academic material in the classroom. P: One Magis Core Critical Issues in Human Inquiry course and one 100-level THL course.

JPS 461. The Crucified People of Today. 3 credits.

A multi-disciplinary study of social justice issues pertaining to people experiencing material poverty. This course will combine Theological beliefs to make meaning out of the injustices in our world, with Economics views that address sustainable development ideas to eradicate extreme poverty. Classroom work is integrated with service-learning and cultural immersion in a context of ethical analyses and reflection. CO: JPS 261; P: One Magis Core Critical Issues in Human Inquiry course.

JPS 465. Faith and Political Action. 3 credits. AY (Same as PLS 465, SRP 465)

Challenges students to understand theological and political science perspectives on social policy issues and the work of religious-based organizations in politics. Course includes 20 hours of work with a community partner during the semester. P: Sr. stdg.

JPS 470. Poverty in America. 3 credits. (Same as EDU 470, SRP 470)

The intent of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the cultural, economic and political structures of an impoverished society, to understand the dilemmas inherent in poverty and to develop an attitude of sensitivity and connectedness with those in this plight. P: PHL 250 or THL 250; One Magis Core Critical Issues in Human Inquiry course; IC.

JPS 495. Directed Independent Study. 1-4 credits. OD

Offered especially JAS majors but open to any interested student. May be repeated to a limit of 6 hours. P: IC.

JPS 499. Senior Seminar. 3 credits. SP

Exploration and appraisal of the diverse ways individuals and organizations work for social change. Readings, interviews, and guest speakers from the campus and the community. Required for Justice and Peace Studies minors and Justice and Society majors, the seminar also explores career opportunities in the field and vocational discernment in the Ignation tradition. P: Sr. stdg.

JPS 565. Catholic Social Teaching. 3 credits. SP (Same as THL 565)

This course provides an examination of contemporary Catholic social ethics. Focus is on the relevance of Christian moral reflection on issues of concern in contemporary society including racism, poverty, issues of life and death, immigration, economic justice, and the environment. We will give special attention to the moral teachings and ethical methods of Roman Catholic social ethics, but other perspectives within Christianity will also be studied and discussed. P: Magis Ethics course.

JPS 588. Christian Ethics Of War And Peace. 3 credits. FA (Same as THL 588)

Introduction to the development and application of Christian ethical perspectives on the use of lethal force from the biblical period to the present day. Just war theory and pacifism in both Catholic and Protestant traditions. Special attention given to the formation of personal conscience in reflection on public policy and world events, both historical and current. P: PHL or THL 250 or Magis Core Ethics course and Jr. stdg.