The Historic Peace Churches

The Indianapolis Peace Institute was formerly known as the Indianapolis Peace House. It’s relation with the Quaker, Mennonite and Brethren Churches, also known as the Historic Peace Churches, is not so well known by all people, but it reveals an interesting and inspiring past. The founding denominations were the Quakers, the Mennonites and the Church of Brethren, each with its own college: Earlham College, Goshen College and Manchester College. During the World War II many students coming from these particular colleges objected to fighting and killing. They were known as conscientious objectors. Some of them chose to fight for their country and for humanity, despite the fact that their spiritual beliefs quite contrary to that kind of action. This must have been a really hard choice. Earlham College was founded by the Quakers who migrated from the eastern part of the U.S., especially from North Carolina in the first half of the 1800s. In the beginning, the college was only open to Friends, but then, in the second half of the 1800s, non-Quaker students and professors were accepted. Later on, the curricula started including arts and music and sports, which had been originally forbidden. After the World War II, international students came to Earlham College.

Goshen College has a similarly impressive tradition and is a 4 year arts college, following the Anabaptist tradition. The college is well known for its study abroad program, which is an opportunity for students to gain experience in China, the Dominican Republic, Germany and Cuba and other countries as well. They also have a victim-offender reconciliation program, peace corps training, human rights and anti-racism training.

Manchester is also well known for its reputed education, accounting and pre-med programs and also for being the first college to offer the opportunity to major in peace studies in the U.S.

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