/ Communication Department

Celtic May Term

Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and Scotland

The Celtic May Term addresses four broad themes:

  • Community in faith
  • Peace building
  • Intergroup dialogue
  • Celtic culture and history

Why Scotland and Northern Ireland? 

There is no better place in the world to understand the complexities and challenges to bringing about peace and reconciliation than in these two countries sharing a common Celtic heritage. Scotland and Northern Ireland afford us the opportunity to learn about conflict, peace-building and reconciliation without language barriers.

We engage a life-changing study/travel experience in faith, communication and community with the Scottish Iona Christian Community and the Corrymeela Community in Northern Ireland. By understanding the centuries-long histories of social, ethnic, sectarian and political conflict that have helped shape these nations, we can explore the efforts by many groups to bring about lasting peace and reconciliation.


Benjamin Peecher

"There were three big things I loved about the Celtic May Term and so many small ones. I got to interact with a lot of people who approach Christianity from a very different direction, and the conversations we had broadened my perspective. Second, I signed up for the trip without knowing anyone else who was going, and getting to know everyone was a really joyful experience because we all wanted to be friends. Third, I loved getting to see so many new places, my favorite being the highlands bus tour because we'd get out at breathtaking stop after breathtaking stop, and I would read and chat with everyone in between. It was a rare and serene kind of happiness."

Kelsie Nyhuis

"The Celtic May term was truly an experience of a lifetime that I was so thankful I was able to be a part of. Not only did I get to see the beautiful landscapes of Ireland and Scotland, including royal blue seas, lush green hills and little sheep roaming around (and the best cappuccino ever), but I was also able to experience what folks in Northern Ireland face on a daily basis: unrest and the rebuilding of peace between conflicting communities of Protestants and Catholics. To see the “Peace Walls” lining the city of Belfast, which are similar to the Berlin wall, really made me question why more people were not talking about this. It opened my eyes up to injustices that go unnoticed in every corner of the world."

Ross Whitman

"The Celtic May term is for those curious students who wish to gain a broader global perspective in a hands-on, personal and extremely fun way. The May Term takes you to beautiful and historic Northern Ireland and Scotland where students have the unique opportunity to understand other cultures and conflicts by studying peace and reconciliation.  You won't just sit in a classroom and read about it, you will shake hands with the locals, hear the emotion in their voices, see the stories in their eyes. 

"On the Celtic May Term I learned many things. First, the May Term brought me out of my comfort zone and put me in a culture foreign to me. I had the unique opportunity to grow and learn about other cultures by studying peace and reconciliation hands-on in the streets, abbeys, fields and monasteries of Northern Ireland and Scotland. The experiences were invaluable to me, and I can honestly say that going on the Celtic May Term was one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you want to explore the world and gain a broader global perspective, it’s very simple: step out of your comfort zone and go to a place that you will be sad to leave when the three weeks come to a close."


 Apply the four credits for the May Term from the following options:

  • SOC 395 – sociology elective (SS1)
  • COMM 395 – communication elective