“The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree.” — M. K. Gandhi, Hind Swaraj, Ch. 16

St. Bonaventure University

The Nonviolence Program


Gandhi at his spinning wheel
  • Why does nonviolence require more courage than violence?
  • How, when you are losing your cool, can you maintain control and self-discipline?
  • How was Gandhi able to predict the nonviolent civil rights movement in the U.S. before Martin Luther King Jr. was 10 years old?
  • Why do nations persist in using violence as policy despite thousands of years of evidence that nonviolence works more effectively?
  • What did Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. really stand for?
  • Why is Jesus one of the most radical people in the history of the world?
  • Who were Leo Tolstoy, Adin Ballou, Ammon Henacy, and Badshah Khan? What beliefs did they all share?

These questions, and many others, represent the core of the program in nonviolence at St. Bonaventure University, one of the longest-standing peace studies programs in the world.

The program offers more courses in nonviolence than any other program in the United States, and is unique among the 350 other peace studies programs in the country because of its emphasis on nonviolence as a way of life and not just a strategy for gaining success.


Program information


Students may participate in the Nonviolence Program in several ways:

  • by taking individual course offerings through the Program;
  • by participating as volunteers in any programs sponsored by the Center for Nonviolence;
  • by pursuing a minor in nonviolence (see below) through the Program's course offerings;
  • or by designing an interdepartmental major with a focus on nonviolence (see below), utilizing the courses offered through the Program.

Majoring in nonviolence

Students wishing to design their own interdepartmental major that focuses on nonviolence should consult with the Co-Directors of the Program.

Nonviolence minor

Students may pursue a minor in nonviolence through an already-approved course of study.

Requirements for the nonviolence minor


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