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.