Peter St. Jean

Associate Professor of Sociology

Dr. Peter St. Jean says the choice to teach at North Park was easy, because the core values of the University align with his personal life mission: “to reduce suffering and improve quality of life.” From his extensive scholarship and writing in criminology and sociology, to his documentary films on justice, to his nonprofit and consulting work, all that Dr. St. Jean does is focused on that mission—reducing suffering, improving quality of life.

Students in Dr. St. Jean’s classroom, whether criminal justice or sociology majors, will be challenged “to move from being consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge.” Dr. St. Jean says, “The professor I loved the most as a student liked to be challenged. I try to create an unintimidating and fun environment in my classroom, where my students can challenge me. That’s how they learn.”

In 2011, Dr. St. Jean founded the Peaceful World Movement, an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop a peace industry as a sustainable antidote to crime, violence, and delinquency. He says the foundation of that work is spiritual, based in the idea that God is the Prince of Peace. “Good spirituality is not defined by how well you speak, but how well you do it,” he says. His students tour Chicago’s neighborhoods to examine not only the social problems occurring, but also the possibilities for positive change and peace.

Dr. St. Jean formerly taught for seven years at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He’s a member of the American Sociological Association, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Society of Criminology, and Division on People of Color and Crime. Dr. St. Jean is the faculty founder of North Park’s student Criminal Justice Club.

Recent Publications

  • Features in Ebony magazine
  • St. Jean, Peter K. B. 2007. Pockets of Crime: Broken Windows, Collective Efficacy, and the Criminal Point of View. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • “Explaining Strained Community-Police Relations in a Racially and Ethnically Homogeneous Community: Grand Bay, Dominica.” Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice. Volume 5, Number 2/3: 1–27. 2007.
  • St. Jean, Peter K. B. 2006. Lessons from Grand Bay: Prospects for Maintaining Low Crime in Dominica, Nature Island of the Caribbean. Toronto, Canada: Pond Casse Press.
  • “Caribbean Criminology – An Empirical Question: A Further Critique.” Caribbean Journal of Criminology and Social Psychology. St. Augustine, Trinidad. University of the West Indies Press. Volume 4:210–232. 1999.