Peace Scholars Program

Nobel Peace Center


Six colleges founded by Norwegian-American immigrants in the 19th century sponsor an annual summer Peace Scholars program in Norway, designed to deepen students’ understanding of the central issues and theories regarding conflict, war and peace. Through an application and interview process, students from Augsburg University, Augustana University (Sioux Falls), Concordia College (Moorhead), Luther College, Pacific Lutheran University, and St. Olaf  College are selected as Peace Scholars and awarded a seven-week academic experience held at The Nansen Dialogue Network in Lillehammer and The University of Oslo International Summer School.  Program Details:

Beginning in 2019, Augsburg University is hosting the Human Rights Forum, focusing on racial justice, indigenous rights and environmental sustainability.


For 30 years prior, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis provided an important, highly visible international platform that celebrated the accomplishments of Nobel Peace Prize winners. The Peace Scholars program is an outgrowth of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. The forum began in 1988 by the five-college consortium of Augsburg, Augustana (Sioux Falls), Concordia (Moorhead), Luther, and St. Olaf. Currently, Peace Scholars are involved in the Human Rights Forum, an annual event held in Minneapolis that inspires students and other citizens to become active participants in peacemaking efforts around the world. In addition to the founding schools, the academic partners most recently included the University of Minnesota, University of Denver, California State University-Sacramento, Pacific Lutheran University, Juniata College, University of St. Thomas, and the University of Hawaii, Manoa, among others. Community partners include Global Minnesota, youthrive, the Norway House and the American Swedish Institute.

International Summer School/University of Oslo

Peace Scholars Seminar

The Peace Scholars will meet at least four times in a seminar with the Course Leader to discuss the individual and group projects they will be working on during the course of the summer session. Seminar themes and projects topics will focus on the area of influence of the peace laureate who will be honored at the upcoming Peace Prize Forum. Augustana Peace Scholars will also explore the role of direct democracy in creating a more just, equitable and peaceful society.

Seminar Schedule

Week Prior:

  • Nansen Dialogue Network Workshop in Lillehammer with Steinar Bryn.

Week 1:

  • Begin course work at Oslo International Summer School
  • Seminar with Course Leader, general orientation to course and discussion of projects
  • Visit to the Nobel Institute, including a discussion of the work of the Nobel committee, and an orientation to the Nobel Institute’s library, so that Peace Prize Forum scholars can return on their own to do research on their individual projects
  • Nobel Peace Center visit

Week 2:

  • Seminar 2: Theories about Historical Patterns of Conflict
  • Steinar Bryn, Nansen Dialogue Network
  • International Forum
  • Meeting with Peace Studies Graduate students
  • Seminar with Course Leader

Week 3:

  • Seminar 3: Humanitarian Interventions, Aid, and Conflict Network
  • Holocaust Center
  • Oslo Peace Center, Kjell Magne Bondevik (former prime minister)
  • (Long Weekend: No classes on Thursday and Friday)

Week 4:

  • Seminar 4: Gender, Civil Society & Peacemaking, Peacebuilding
  • Visit PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo)

Week 5:

  • Seminar 5: Democratic Peace & Nonviolent and Peace Movements
  • Distribution of Final Exam Questions
  • Ambassador Visit with Barry White
  • NOR-Sombro (Nor-Somoli Bridge Building Project)

Week 6:

  • Group/Individual Presentations by Peace Prize Forum Scholars
  • Steinar Bryn, Dialogue Network
  • Final Exam for Peace Prize Forum Seminar
  • Final Examinations in ISS courses, Departure

Students will participate in regular ISS courses with other international students between 8:15 a.m.-1 p.m. daily.

At least two afternoons a week, Peace Scholars will meet either in a seminar session with their Course Leader and/or to visit one of the peace organizations. Other afternoons may be spent in individual research and work on their projects, working with other international students on the ISS student council or planning one of the many student-organized international activities.

Evening programs include an International Forum, which meets every Tuesday evening with student panels on current affairs and other international issues.

Augustana students are responsible for booking their own travel in consultation with Erin Kane, Assistant Director of International Programs. Where possible, Peace Scholars will arrive and depart Oslo on the same flight schedules.

The 2019 Peace Scholar Program

  • Two Peace Scholars and an alternate will be selected. The application process is open for students with a deadline of Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. The winners will be announced on Friday, March 6, at the Rendezvous. Scholars named in March 2020 will be introduced at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum that will be held at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in October.

  • The program will be held mid-June to early August 2020, at the University of Oslo’s International Summer School (ISS). It will consist of a credit seminar for the Peace Scholars, plus one (or two) credit course(s) of his/her own choosing from the undergraduate courses offered at the ISS (view a list of courses).

  • The Peace Prize Forum Seminar will provide a general introduction to the issues surrounding the current Nobel Peace Prize and the work of peace organizations and institutions in Norway, including the International Peace Research Institute, the Nobel Institute, the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights, the Nobel Peace Center, and the Nansen Dialogue Network.

  • During the seminar, students will work on projects they will be asked to present at the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Forum and at least two other venues during the 2020-21 academic year.

  • Upon returning to their respective campuses, the 10 scholars will continue to communicate and find ways to build on the Oslo experience together. They will also be expected to play a leadership role in peace activities on their campuses, and assist with promoting the upcoming Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

  • The Peace Scholars program is competitive and those selected to participate will be awarded a scholarship (valued at approximately $5,000) to cover most of the cost of participating in the program in Norway, including the Lillehammer program and all ISS program fees (academic credit, room, and board). Augustana will reimburse students up to $500 for round-trip airfare from the U.S. to Oslo. Students are responsible for personal expenses, airfaire expenses in excess of $500 and purchasing their own books. Students are also responsible for obtaining or renewing a passport that is valid at least six months beyond the date of return from Norway.


  • Strong academic record.

  • Open to current full-time sophomore or junior students.

  • Attendance at the 2020 Human Rights Forum is highly encouraged.

  • Available for participation from early June - early August.

  • Agree to promote the program using blogs and pictures.

  • Returns to campus to advocate for peace-building and the promotion of the Peace Scholars program

  • Returns to campus an active leader of the Peace Club


  • Regular blogging throughout time in Norway (at least once a week)

  • Openness to new ideas and enthusiastic participation

  • Upon returning to your campus, playing a leadership role in peace activities and promoting the Nobel Peace Prize Forum

  • Presentations in at least two venues during the following year — presentations will be about one's experiences as a Peace Scholar on their home campus or community.

  • Assist in other aspects of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum such as hosting and introducing speakers or other opportunities provided by the NPPF staff.

Application and Selection Process

  • Online applications are being accepted (deadline is Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020), including these components:

    • 1,000-word essay (maximum) addressed to the Peace Scholars Selection Committee, articulating your interest in being a Peace Scholar, including how the experience would connect with your academic and vocational interests.

    • Two letters of recommendation, one from a faculty member and one from either a faculty or staff member.

    • Resume.

    • Unofficial transcript.

  • A faculty committee will select five finalists to be interviewed by the committee. Augustana’s two Peace Scholars and an alternate will be notified by Friday, March 6, 2020.

  • Questions should be directed to Heather Reed, Assistant Director of International Programs.