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Peace Scholars

Six colleges founded by Norwegian-American immigrants sponsor an annual summer Peace Scholars program in Norway, designed to deepen students’ understanding of the central issues and theories regarding conflict, war and peace. Through an application and interview process, students from Augsburg, Augustana (Sioux Falls), Concordia (Moorhead), Luther, Pacific Lutheran, and St. Olaf are selected as Peace Scholars and awarded a seven-week academic experience held in Lillehammer and Oslo, Norway. 

The Peace Scholars program is an outgrowth of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, an annual event held in Minneapolis that inspires students and other citizens to become active participants in peacemaking efforts around the world. Begun in 1988 by Luther and four other colleges, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum is the Norwegian Nobel Institute’s only such program or academic affiliation outside of Norway.

Academic Coursework

The 2014 program begins with four days at the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialog in Lillehammer, where Peace Scholars will be participant-observers in structured dialog sessions with students from the Balkans/Caucasus regions. 

The program continues at the Oslo International Summer School (ISS) where students will participate in a Peace Scholars Seminar, a rigorous academic course that provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of peace and conflict studies and combines theoretical and empirical aspects. As part of the seminar, students will be expected to develop a research project in consultation with the course leader. 

Because Norway is known in the international community for its leadership role in advocating cooperation and the peaceful resolution of conflict, the Peace Scholars Seminar will include visits to several peace organizations and institutions in Norway, including the International Peace Research Institute, the Nobel Institute, and the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights.

Scholars will also take an ISS course of his or her own choosing with other international students.  Course offerings include Norwegian language, culture, or international politics. See the listing at

At the successful conclusion of the program, the Peace Scholars will receive academic credit for two courses. 


  • Applicants must commit to the full program dates:  June 16 to August 1, 2014.
  • Attend the 2014 and 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis. The purpose of the first is to be introduced and to attend a brief orientation session for the Peace Scholars program. The purpose of attending the second Forum is to network with the newly-appointed scholars. The dates of the 2014 Forum are March 7-9.
  • Blog regularly during the Peace Scholar experience in Norway.
  • Play a leadership role in peace activities on one’s campus and community.
  • Assist in promoting the Peace Scholars program and the upcoming Nobel Peace Prize Forum.
  • Assist in other aspects of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum such as hosting and introducing speakers or other opportunities provided by the Forum staff.

Criteria and Application Process

The application deadline is January 31, 2014.  Scholars will be named by mid-February.  

  • Application materials should be sent to Dr. Terry Sparkes, Associate Dean,
  • Open to full-time sophomore or junior students.Strong academic record.
  • 1,000 word essay (maximum) addressed to the Peace Scholars Selection Committee.
  • The essay should articulate one’s interest in being a Peace Scholar, including how the experience would connect with one’s academic and vocational interests and goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation—one from a faculty member and the second from either a faculty or staff member.
  • Resume
  • Official Transcript
  • Interview (finalists)

For More Information

For more information about the logistics for the Peace Scholars program, contact Karen Martin-Schramm, Assistant to the President, For more information about the application and selection process, contact Terry Sparkes, Associate Dean,