The MSP was designed in direct response to a need for trained professionals in a rapidly growing field.
In 2008, the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice issued a report highlighting the shortcomings of educational programs in the U.S. and abroad in preparing students for careers in peacebuilding and development. According to the report, “…Generalists are needed to navigate across the intellectual and institutional silos of specialized disciplines to develop integrated policy solutions that are scientifically, politically and contextually grounded.” Graduates of the MSP are thus versed in systems thinking and the scientific approaches to dealing with complexity, which enables them to see the links among various environment and development issues. Through holistic, interdisciplinary, community-led processes, MSP students learn to understand and navigate pressing global problems, such as climate change, poverty, and health disparities.
At the same time, MSP students build critical leadership skills in facilitation, strategic planning, and evaluation. These skills can be applied across diverse employment sectors, such as population and community health, natural resources stewardship, conflict transformation, global security, education and nonprofit management.
The MSP embraces a cohort-based trans-disciplinary model and students are drawn from diverse academic, socio-cultural and professional backgrounds. Dialogue and relationship-building among students is central to the MSP learning philosophy.
“The MSP program [enables] us to work peacefully within complex systems on every scale – within our natural world, within our society, and within ourselves.”
– MSP Graduate