Fresno Pacific University reorganizes Center for Peacemaking to refocus vision

Center for Peacemaking

A long-time center at Fresno Pacific University is being reorganized in order to refocus its vision on education.

The FPU Center for Peacemaking & Conflict Studies (CPACS) will transfer its community service programs to the Community Justice Center (CJC) June 30, 2020.

The academic programs will continue as Peacemaking and Conflict Studies (PACS) and will include a re-imagined CPACS on the main FPU campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno. The CJC will remain at 4840 N. First St., Suite 101, Fresno, which had recently housed elements of both programs. The goal is to concentrate on educating students in the university master of arts and certificate programs and to expand enrollment in these areas.

Collaboration between the university and the CJC will continue, with FPU students having first priority for internships in community justice programs. Possible future projects such as conducting joint evidence-based research studies on restorative justice have also been discussed.

The redefined relationship will strengthen both groups, according to Joseph Jones, Ph.D., FPU President. “As we re-envision the Center for Peacemaking, its focus will be on education and skill development for our students. This new structure will also help CJC develop its mission,” he said. Jones earned a doctorate in criminal justice and was professionally involved in conflict studies and mediation before going into higher education.

FPU founded CPACS in 1990. Larry Dunn, Ph.D., is director of the peacemaking and conflict studies program at FPU. Sheri Wiedenhoefer is director of the Community Justice Center.

Academic offerings in PACS are the Master of Arts in Peacemaking and Conflict Studies, the Certificate in Church Conflict and Peacemaking, the Certificate in Restorative Justice, the Certificate in Mediation and the Certificate Workplace Conflict Management and Peacemaking.

CJC services include restorative justice programs for youth and adults in schools, courts, prisons and reentry, using mediation and circle processes to bring together victims and offenders. The Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) of the Central Valley is part of CJC, as well as Circles of Support and Accountability (COSA).


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations