Dr. Marian Simion
The Institute for Peace Studies in Eastern Christianity, Inc. (IPSEC), is an Orthodox Christian agency site seeking to work with students interested in the relationship between religion, violence and peacebuilding, and in making a positive contribution to the world peace. By exploring resources from Orthodox Christianity (Eastern and Oriental), IPSEC offers a dynamic learning environment where theory is combined with practice. IPSEC is a place where students can reflect on the connection between religion and political identity (religious nationalism, white nationalism, phyletism, Pan-Slavism, Pan-Orthodoxism, ecumenism, interfaith dialogue, etc.), and on the impact of selected religious symbols (iconography), which promote symbolic violence, demonization of adversaries and the justification of violence. Depending on the student's interest, IPSEC may facilitate interaction with spiritual leaders and policymakers in a hands-on fashion, by engaging real life issues which affect the capacity for conflict transformation at the global level. IPSEC can also offer access to various “players” from international venues such as the United Nations, the Romanian Parliament, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate, the Academy of Republic of Moldova, and others, in order to learn how religion affects national and international security.
Opportunities for Student Involvement:
IPSEC is seeking to work with one or two graduate theology students - from the perspective of each art of ministry - on the following issues and areas: a) Orthodox Church-State dynamics; b) Orthodoxy vs race, gender, sexuality, and power distance; c) nationalism, phyletism, and pan-Orthodoxy in Russia and Eastern Europe; d) Orthodox Christianity in the Middle East, North Africa, and America; e) Orthodoxy and Islam on the Silk Road, and; f) meaning-making, restorative justice and conflict transformation. IPSEC continues to explore issues of racial justice and healing by developing case studies focused on strategies and tactics that address the phenomenon of white nationalism, racial supremacy, and the religious right among Orthodox Christians living in North America and Europe, and fosters new opportunities for academic cooperation with the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Given the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine IPSEC continues to expand its partnerships with academics from Moldova to provide learning opportunities about conflict transformation and peacebuilding in the Orthodox setting.
IPSEC will reimburse out-of-town travel expenses at the rate allowed by IRS for professional mileage, only by prior agreement with the student. Traveling in the Greater Boston area is considered in-town and travel expenses are not reimbursed by IPSEC.
Arts of Ministry Competencies Offered:
- Administration and Program Development
- Denominational Polity
- Pastoral Care and Counseling
- Peacebuilding and Just Conflict Resolution
- Preaching and Worship
- Public Leadership, Community Organizing, and Planning
- Racial Justice and Healing
- Religious Education and Spiritual Development
Theological supervision will be conducted in-person and one-on-one, for at least one hour a week, in order to assist the student to successfully test and apply classroom knowledge to real life situations, and thus become a stronger reflective practitioner. We are also looking for students who will be involved directly with IPSEC, or, while participating in other designated sites, are willing to be involved in a gathering once a month to discuss the principles of religion, conflict, public and international policymaking and diplomacy, then applying them in a hands-on fashion in a specific project.
- Number of Students: 1
- Total Compensation: $6000.00
- Type of Compensation: Work Study