Human Rights, Genocide, & Reconciliation Studies in Africa

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Program Dates

Trip Dates: This program will be offered in 2015 - if you are interested, please speak to Dr. Horner in order to ensure your spot on the program!


This program is continually being updated - keep checking for new and exciting information!

Villanova is proud to offer a six-week course of international study focusing on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

The course is taught in English, in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center (ISGC) in Kigali, Rwanda. Students are offered a unique opportunity to contemplate the past and celebrate the future of this African nation.

The program of study will include the sociological and political background to the Hutu genocide of the Tutsi and moderate Hutu. It will focus on the role of the media and state propaganda in the years leading up to the genocide, as well as the actions, or inaction, of the international community. The role of the Churches in Rwanda is also closely examined. In addition to the context and execution of the genocide, more recent phenomena will be examined: genocide denial and negationism, the concepts of memory and reconciliation, structures and mechanisms of the Rwandan justice systems (Gacaca, Civil courts, and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda).

Students will also participate in a one week service project in Rwanda that will allow students to leave a positive footprint in Rwanda.

Academic Requirements

  • 2.75 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale; non-Villanova students must submit a recent official university transcript of their undergraduate work.
  • University student status without disciplinary probation or financial holds; academic probation.
  • Attendance at all orientation sessions mandatory; non-Villanova students must contact Dr. Tim Horner for the orientation materials.


Students earn a total of six-credits for this program and are required to take the two courses listed below:

THL 5990: Ecumenical & Cultural Studies 
This course is will count towards the VU upper-level theology requirement, and cross-lists with the VU Peace & Justice minor/concentration and the Global Interdisciplinary Studies major/minor. We will work with students to fulfill requirements if necessary. 3 credits.

THL 4650: Service-learning Practicum
Course description pending, will be available mid-late November. 3 credits.

Courses may count towards Upper-Level Theology or Africana Studies, Diversity, Political Science, and perhaps others.

Field Trips

Visits to the major genocide memorials, along with other cultural excursions into the beautiful Rwandan countryside, including Akagera National Park, will be included in the program. All in-country transportation and transfers are covered within the program fees.

Itinerary - 2013

June 15: Departure from USA

June 16: Arrive in Kigali, Welcome Reception

June 16-July 26: Courses at IGSC and excursions, dates will be determined late-November/early-December, 2013

July 27: Depart Kigali for USA

NOTICE: Villanova University reserves the right to modify or cancel the program if circumstances warrant.

Faculty Program Coordinator

Dr. Tim Horner
Assistant Professor
Center for Peace and Justice Education


This program will be offered in 2015 - if you are interested, please speak to Dr. Horner in order to ensure your spot on the program!

Application may be found on the Forms site.


Students will be housed together in the capital city, Kigali, with access to international genocide libraries and their Rwandan instructors. Two meals per day will be included in the price of the program, along with a tea/coffee break every day. Internet and laundry services will be available to the students.

Payment Information

Applications will be due April 1, 2015; the non-refundable commitment fee of $450 is due upon receipt of acceptance letter. Final payment due prior to the departure of program.

2013 Total: $7,000
Includes tuition and guest lectures, housing, three meals per day in Kigali during first 5 weeks of program, excursions, all in-country transfers and transportation. Students are responsible for their own meals during the last week of the program. Airfare is not included in price of the program. The program coordinator will facilitate an optional group flight.