“The program enabled me to be creative and find my voice in the world of peacebuilding and reconciliation. I learned that non-profit administration was the ideal fit for me. I now have a career in fundraising, and understand the logistical, theoretical and ideological components of working for a cause and organization that I care deeply about.” ~Maggie Keelan, M.T.S. STH ’07
“Though most of the major conflicts in the world last century were among those secular government led nations with different types of secularism, we Christians still need to strive for the mission of just-peace among Christian churches and other religions according to the commandment of love from our Lord Jesus Christ with learning, virtue and piety. The Religion and Conflict Transformation program in STH of Boston University and with the Boston Theological Institute can equip you to accomplish the mission better.” ~Mark Chuanhang Shan from China, STM ’07
“The Religion and Conflict Transformation Program provided me an important opportunity to theologically and ethically reflect on my role as a chaplain in the military and how I can be a positive force for peaceful conflict transformation within that setting. It provided me with many useful and practical tools to assist soldiers in handling conflict within their own lives, as well as dealing with conflict within their unit.” ~Lauren Nofsinger, MDiv. STH ’09
Bokali comes with a very rich international experience. She earned a Bachelor of Theology from New Life College, Bangalore, India. She then received a Master of Divinity from Oriental Theological Seminary in Nagaland, India and a Master of Theology from Seoul Christian University in Seoul, South Korea. She is currently an STM student in the School of Theology. Her work experience includes serving as a Lecturer at New Life College in Bangalore, India; as a Youth Pastor with Living Hope International Church in Anyang, South Korea; and Mission Coordinator with Withee Mission International. Nagaland, India.
Boka went to Nagaland and to do a research practicum on the role of religion in peacemaking – particularly the role of the Baptist Churches in trying to resolve the Indo- Naga conflict of 60 years and also the inter tribal conflict amongst the Naga people in the North East of India. In her work, Boka interviewed national workers who have suffered physical and mental abuse from the Indian army. This was done with the view to be able to tell the stories of the abuse and violation of human rights upon on the Naga’s by the Indians. Boka also led a seminar that was organized at the Oriental Theological Seminary where she presented a paper on the Role of Religion in Peacemaking. Since the Principal and the Academic Dean of OTS are both active members of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR), the interaction with the OTS community was very rewarding for her. The discussion with this community has helped engage the current peace talks that have been going on between the government of India and Nagaland. The Naga Mother’s Association (NMA), Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Oriental Theological Seminary, Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) have expressed a continued willingness to cooperate and participate on any projects meant to transform the conflict in Nagaland. Bokali Chishi, STM ’10.
Brent attended the Sabeel Peace Conference in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories. The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, founded by Fr. Naim Ateek, the Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem, hosts this young adult conference. The conference covers 11 days of engaging contemporary Palestinian Christian issues amidst the larger backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Brent was working directly with Fr. Ateek, Palestinian Christians, and other international young adults towards an enduring peace and a comprehensive and firsthand experience of the plight of Palestinian Christianity. After the conference with Sabeel, Brent came back to continue his practicum with Rodney Petersen of the Boston Theological Institute to continue the interreligious dialogue experience gained while at the Sabeel conference and time spent in Israel.
Brent writes, “Our world today is as conflicted within as ever. I joined the Religion and Conflict Transformation program to understand how theology and ethical theory can be applied practically to meet the needs of small communities, global relations, and even within my own life. This program has been very beneficial in discovering the means of transforming lives through religious conflict mediation.” Brent Parrish, MTS ‘10
“The RCT program greatly impacted my life. Since college, I have been interested in Interfaith work and the RCT program gave me the skills to continue in this field in an effective way. Beyond my interest in Interfaith work, the RCT program introduced me to Restorative Justice and forgiveness. It introduced me to the possibility for healing in situations of intense trauma and the possibility for deep understanding across extreme cultural differences through storytelling and authentic listening. Our world is ugly and full of conflict, however, the RCT program provides us with skills to make positive changes and also stories of hope to inspire us to make those changes. The skills are so practical that it even impacted my personal relationships as well. The program is open and flexible so you can create your own focus but all of the classes are deeply impactful and provide room to grow as an individual. The RCT program has the ability to enhance any field of study or ministry.” Erin McKinney ’14
“Since graduating from the RCT program, I have taken conflict transformation out into the streets. I incorporated Restorative Justice principles into a spiritual formation program I ran at the Concord prison, and supported the inmates efforts to start their own Restorative Justice program. Currently, I am helping Worcester Fellowship, a ministry to those without homes, to begin a circle process so that they can have a healthy and productive way to address conflict.” -Noelle Dattilo ’12