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Religion, Politics, Peace, and Security

Middle East & World Affairs Program participants visit Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, which features ancient Christian and Islamic art and architecture

This seminar program seeks to illuminate the multiple roles of religious ideas and actors in changing communities and shaping global discourses on peace and security. The Religion, Politics, Peace, and Security concentration offers an experiential learning opportunity for our students through the study of religion and politics in domestic, international and global settings.

As a part of the program, you'll meet weekly with activists, religious leaders, ambassadors, and other respected figures to gain valuable firsthand insight into the narratives of various actors. You will explore the multiple crises in that part of the world and experiment with conflict resolution methods and techniques. During your seminars, you'll be able to ask the tough questions of leading experts and gain invaluable knowledge from experienced professionals. You will also engage in skill-building simulations, playing the roles of mediators, negotiators and interactive conflict resolution facilitators. In addition to our prominent guest speakers and off-campus seminars, you'll work at an internship for two days a week. We'll work with you to find an internship that will develop and support your career and/or academic goals. In the Religion, Politics, Peace, and Security concentration, we've found that our students excel at internships with interfaith organizations, foreign embassies, human rights organizations, think tanks, peacebuilding organizations, and Congress.

Student Reaction

"The [Washington Semester] Program allowed me to focus on my greatest interests. The combination of the seminar, guest speakers, overseas trip, and internship gave me a valuable and comprehensive experience I could not have found anywhere else." Sara, Santa Clara University

Past Speakers Include... 

  • Mohammed Al Hussaini Al Sharif, Ambassador of the Arab League to Washington
  • Yasser El-Naggar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Egypt
  • Gaafar Allaganey, Saudi Arabian Representative to the U.N.
  • Houda Nonoo, Ambassador of Bahrain to the U.S.
  • Azizah Al-Hibri, Founder of Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights

Past Internship Sites

  • Non-violence international
  • InterFaith Conference
  • National Endowment for Democracy
  • Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights
  • Middle East Policy Council
  • Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Amideast
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • Congressional offices
  • Various embassies