Peace Lecture Series

The Peace Lecture Series, established in 1972, has provided an outstanding forum to address issues of peace, justice, and conflict resolution in the world and at home. 

The series has included Nobel Laureates, scholars, performing artists, activists, and visionaries who are widely known and respected. 

All lectures in the series are free and open to the public.

This series receives support from the J. Winfield Fretz Lecture Fund and the Peace with Justice Task Force, Kansas West Conference of the United Methodist Church, both of which support speakers and events on peace and justice. Other funding for the series comes from individual contributions to KIPCOR. The Peace Lecture Series began in 1972-73 as a component of the Bethel College Peace Studies Department, and was originally funded by a grant from the Schowalter Foundation.

Previous Lecturers

  • Mark McCormick (‘21)
  • Sarah Smarsh (‘20)
  • Rafe Martin (‘18)
  • Leonard Pitts (‘17 and ‘21)
  • Vincent Harding
  • John McCutcheon – singer-songwriter and hammer dulcimer master
  • Patricia Polacco – prize-winning children’s author, artist and storyteller
  • Rajmohan Gandhi – biographer and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Rev. James M. Lawson Jr. – colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and renowned nonviolent theorist
  • Kathleen Kennedy Townsend – former Maryland Lt. Governor and daughter of Robert F. Kennedy Jr
  • Jim Wallis – editor of Sojourner’s magazine, best-selling author, social justice activist
  • Dorothy Day – Catholic Worker Movement
  • Pete Seeger – folk singer/political activist
  • Daniel Ellsberg – “Pentagon Papers”
  • Adolfo Pérez Esquivel – 1990 Nobel Peace Prize
  • Gene Sharp – leading nonviolent resistance theorist
  • Mairead Corrigan – 1976 Nobel Peace Prize
  • David Brower – Earth Island Institute
  • Roger Fisher – Harvard Negotiations Project
  • Rev. Philip Berrigan – Catonsville Nine anti-Vietnam War activist
  • Kenneth Boulding – cofounder of General Systems Theory
  • Elise Boulding – Peace Studies pioneer

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