Peacebuilding vocations, just like careers in science, business or technology, are built upon foundations of knowledge and skills that are pursued through lifelong learning. While numerous universities are now offerings degree programs in peace related fields, opportunities to gain skills and knowledge in peacebuilding remain relatively inaccessible and expensive. The NPA, through partnerships with expert and experienced peacebuilders, is working hard to make learning for peace and change accessible, available and affordable to all.
The National Peace Academy takes a holistic approach to the development of the peacebuilder. We believe the inner and personal work and learning is as important as the outer and professional. This perspective is supported by our understanding of peace that is shaped by the definition contained in the Earth Charter of peace as the “wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.” We explore this holistic conception of peace through inquiry into five interrelated and interdependent spheres of peace and right relationships: the personal, the social, the political, the institutional and the ecological. These 5 spheres of peace are the foundation of NPA’s Program Framework. Each of NPA’s courses and programs explores at least one of the 5 spheres in depth and most courses examine the interdependent relationships between multiple, if not all spheres.