Intercultural Peacebuilding

(see also International Cultural Studies and World Languages)

Chad Ford, Director, David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding (
MFB 207, (808) 675-3605, Fax (808) 675-3841

The Discipline

President David O. McKay, when founding BYU–Hawaii, had a vision that “from this school will go men and women whose influence will be felt for good toward the establishment of peace internationally." That vision has become BYU–Hawaii’s vision. BYU–Hawaii exists to “assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life and in their efforts to promote world peace and international brotherhood” (BYU–Hawaii's Mission Statement).

The Intercultural Peacebuilding certificate, administered through the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding, seeks to refine and mold the divine potential of BYU–Hawaii graduates to influence peace for the good at home, in the workplace, in communities and throughout the world.

Taking advantage of the unique learning laboratory the BYU–Hawaii brings—where spiritual principles are celebrated along with intellectual ones—the Intercultural Peacebuilding certificate not only emphasizes theories of harmony, cross cultural leadership, and conflict resolution but also highlights the spiritual components of these areas such as forgiveness and reconciliation. Its lab work and service learning component provide students with a toolbox of practical skills and experience that not only allows them to practice and test theories, but also allows them to give back to the community, train others and prepare themselves for employment upon their return to their home countries.

Career Opportunities

The certificate draws on a broad range of theories and techniques from the academic disciplines of anthropology, communications, cultural studies, political science, psychology, history, economics, law and business. It is designed in such a way to enhance an undergraduate major’s field of study and provide opportunities for employment in careers in the public, private and non-for-profit sectors.

Students who get a certificate will acquire an understanding of the theories of conflict and sustainable community building and development. They will also receive the skills and experience necessary to navigate the intricacies of intercultural communication and negotiation in whatever their chosen profession may be.

The certificate would be noted on the student’s transcript. Students enrolled in the program will also have opportunities to work with the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding on community and international projects and academic research in the field of intercultural understanding.

Programs and Degrees

  • Professional Certificate in Intercultural Peacebuilding

Program Outcomes

Upon completing a certificate in Intercultural Peacebuilding, students will:
  1. Relate their faith and the knowledge that they’ve obtained through their majors at BYU–Hawaii to President McKay’s prophecy.
  2. Learn foundational theories about cultural interaction, community building, cross cultural leadership and conflict resolution.
  3. Develop and demonstrate a practical skill set to effectively manage, resolve and transform intercultural interaction and conflict.
  4. Obtain a set of leadership theories and skills that can be employed in the international church as well as in secular areas like the community, country and internationally.
  5. Become exposed to what staff, faculty, alumni and community members are doing to fulfill President McKay’s philosophy both here in Laie and in the world.
  6. Give meaningful, high impact service back to the community with an eye toward creating and preserving intercultural understanding.
  7. Create a personal plan of action that will give them concrete steps toward fulfilling President McKay’s prophecy upon their return to their home countries and communities.


In addition to completing the certificate’s core and elective requirements, each student will complete 20 hours of service learning through the David O. McKay Center for Intercultural Understanding. No grade lower than C- will be accepted in fulfilling certificate requirements.

Intercultural Peacebuilding Certificate (15 hours)

Core Requirements (9 hours)

  • IPB 121 Introduction to Peacebuilding (3)
  • IPB 400 Cultural Mediation and Facilitation (3)
  • IPB 450 Advanced Cultural Mediation and Facilitation (3)

Electives—Choose two classes (6 hours)

You can choose to concentrate in a particular area or you can pick and choose from the various concentration. Other courses, including internships, may be substituted with approval from the director of the IPB program.

Conflict Transformation Electives

  • IPB 352 Intercultural Conflict Dynamics (3)
  • IPB 454 Culture and Conflict Transformation (3)
  • IPB 390R Special Topics in Peacebuilding (3)

Culture and Conflict Electives

  • ANTH 391 Narrative, Identity and Culture (3)
  • ANTH 445 Anthropology of Religion (3)
  • ANTH 447 Applied and Development Anthropology (3)
  • ANTH 450 Political Anthropology (3)
  • ANTH 460 Anthropology of Globalization (3)

International Conflict Electives

  • HIST 423 Nationalism and Globalization (3)
  • POSC 335 Terrorism (3)
  • POSC 338 War and Peace (3)
  • POSC 362 International Political Economics and Development (3)
  • POSC 364 Conflict Bargaining and Management (3)
  • POSC 470 International Relations Theory (3)

International Development and Conflict Electives

  • ECON 200 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
  • ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
  • ECON 350 Economical Development (3)
  • ENTR 380 Social Entrepreneurship (3)

Public Management and Conflict Electives

  • PMGT 300 Public Policy (3)
  • PMGT 350 Crisis Management (3)
  • PMGT 360 Disaster Management (3)
  • PMGT 499 Public Management (3)
  • POSC 330 Introduction to Public Administration (3)