Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer portrait

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer

Associate Professor
OEC 469
(651) 962-5336
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5336
(651) 962-5310
Mail # 4059
University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105-1096

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, M.Div., associate professor of justice and peace studies at St. Thomas, is a nationally recognized teacher, writer, public speaker, and activist committed to nonviolent social change. He has focused his life and work on showing linkages between faith and critical political, economic and social issues. He has written extensively on issues of hunger, poverty, U.S. foreign policy, the historical Jesus, problems of God and violence, and authentic hope. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Jack served as National Program Coordinator of the Politics of Food Program with Clergy & Laity Concerned from 1977 to 1981. He directed the Minnesota-based Hunger and Justice Project for the American Lutheran Church and Lutheran Church in America from 1982 to 1984. He and his wife Sara co-directed a house of studies in Managua, Nicaragua for the Center for Global Education, a program of Augsburg College from 1984-1986. Currently, he is active in the national movement to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA; renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation: WHISC or WHINSEC), a U.S. military training school that trains Latin American soldiers and has been linked to human rights atrocities.

At St. Thomas, Jack teaches JPST 250: Introduction to Justice and Peace Studies; JPST 280: Active Nonviolence; THEO 421: Theologies of Justice and Peace; JPST 355: Public Policy Analysis and Advocacy; and occasional topics courses.

He is the author of numerous articles and books on faith, hunger, the arms race and U.S. foreign policy. His books include:

Hunger for Justice:  the Politics of Food and Faith (Orbis Books, 1980),
The Politics of Compassion (Orbis Books, 1986),
War Against The Poor:  Low Intensity Conflict and Christian Faith (Orbis Books, 1989),
Brave New World Order:  Must We Pledge Allegiance (Orbis Books, 1992),
Families Valued:  Parenting and Politics for the Good of All Children (Friendship Press, 1996),
School of Assassins (Orbis Books, 1997),
Harvest of Cain--his first novel (EPICA, 2001),
Jesus Against Christianity:  Reclaiming the Missing Jesus (Trinity Press International, 2001)
School of Assassins:  Guns, Greed and Globalization (Orbis Books, 2001). 
Is Religion Killing Us:  Violence in the Bible and the Quran (Trinity Press International, 2003).
Worship in the Spirit of Jesus: Theology, Liturgy, and Songs Without Violence (with Bret Hesla--Pilgrim Press, 2005).
Saving Christianity from Empire (Continuum, 2005).
Authentic Hope:  It’s the End of the World as We Know It, but Soft Landings Are Possible (Orbis Books, 2012).

Jack has three daughters. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Sara and is active in the faith-based Community of St. Martin.

Summer 2017 Courses

Summer 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2017 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
JPST 250 - L01 Intro to Justice & Peace - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 OEC 207
CRN: 40169 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Jack A. Nelson-Pallmeyer Major aspects of world and local conflict, theories of social science relating to conflict and violence, and various proposals for solutions. Among the aspects of conflict studied are cultural differences, scarcity of resources, economic and social structures, international trade, the arms race, corruption, oppression and war. Proposed solutions assessed include development, structural changes, world governance, multinational agencies, military power, civilian-based defense, active nonviolence for social change, conflict resolution, disarmament, cultural exchange, religious revival and prayer. These topics are considered in the light of theory, history, and literature. Students apply these concepts by investigating one country or geographic area in depth through a semester long research project. Usually offered every semester. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
JPST 280 - 01 Active Nonviolence - T - R - - - 0955 - 1135 OEC 310
CRN: 40481 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Jack A. Nelson-Pallmeyer Active nonviolence as a means for societal defense and social transformation analyzed through case studies of actual nonviolent movements, examining their political philosophy and how this philosophy is reflected in their methods and strategies. Examples of possible case studies include: Mahatma Gandhi's movement for a free India, Danish resistance to Nazi occupation, the struggle for interracial justice in the United State, an integrated Canada-to-Cuba peace-and-freedom walk, the campaign to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (WHINSEC), fair trade movements, and the Honeywell Project. The course emphasizes the theory and active practice of nonviolence as well as oral histories of successful nonviolent movements. Usually offered every semester.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
JPST 473 - 01 Vocational Internship Seminar See Details * *
CRN: 40404 0 Credit Hours Instructor: Jack A. Nelson-Pallmeyer Students are required to take this seminar during the semester they are doing an internship of 7-10 hrs/wk. The seminar meets three times (at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester), to provide opportunities for those engaged in individual placements to get peer support for their discernment process. At its core is a reflective process designed to lead students to: a deeper understanding of the practical means of working for social change; an evaluation of their internship experience (both in terms of gaining a deeper understanding of their own vocation and a better understanding of the type of institutions they are working with); and applying these insights to future course work and career planning.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
OEC 2101715-190011 Sep '17
OEC 2101715-190025 Sep '17
OEC 2101715-190009 Oct '17
OEC 2101715-190023 Oct '17
OEC 2101715-190006 Nov '17
THEO 421 - W01 Theologies of Justice & Peace - T - R - - - 0800 - 0940 OEC 310
CRN: 40890 4 Credit Hours Instructor: Jack A. Nelson-Pallmeyer An examination of the views of various religions and ideologies on issues of justice and peace, with special attention to the Catholic and other Christian teachings on such issues as war and peace, violence, economic justice, the environment, criminal justice, and social justice. Special attention is given to how fundamental presuppositions and principles of each group studied affect their views on justice and peace, and contribute to or hinder dialogue and peaceful interaction with other groups. In addition to Christianity, students will study (at least) one far eastern worldview (e.g. Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism), one tribal religion (Native American, African Tribal), Islam, and one secular worldview (e.g. Marxism, capitalism, secular humanism). Students are required to investigate one worldview in depth through a semester-long research project. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum. Prerequisite: THEO 101 and one 200-level or 300-level THEO course, and PHIL 115

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2018 Courses

J-Term 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location