College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies > Faculty > Ken Butigan

Ken Butigan

Ken Butigan is an educator, writer and advocate for nonviolent change. For three decades he has organized or participated in numerous movements for social transformation, including movements for a nuclear-free future, an end to homelessness, and freedom for East Timor. From 1987 to 1990, he was the national coordinator of the Pledge of Resistance, a network of 100,000 people in 400 local groups that organized coordinated nonviolent action for peace in Central America. 

In 2006 Butigan was a founder and lead organizer of the Declaration of Peace, a nationwide grassroots campaign endorsed by 800 organizations who participated in 350 public events across the country calling for a concrete plan to end the US war in Iraq. He is currently a key organizer for Campaign Nonviolence, a movement to mainstream active nonviolence and support the long-term process of abolishing war, ending poverty, and healing the planet.

Butigan is the Executive Director of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, which creates educational programming, resources, and action for nonviolent change. Pace e Bene has conducted 700 workshops, trainings, retreats or classes for 30,000 people in the US and around the world.  As part of this work, Butigan helped found Catholics for Nonviolence and Blessed are the Peacemakers, programs at the Archdiocese of Chicago spreading the power of spiritually-grounded nonviolence.

Butigan has written or edited six bo​oks, including Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003). He also writes a column for Waging Nonviolence.

He earned his PhD in the Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., where he studied nonviolence in five religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. He previously taught at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley and Loyola University Chicago, and directed the Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martins College in Washington State. From 2003 to 2005 he taught religious studies at Barat College of DePaul University. He has been teaching in DePaul's PAX Program since 2007, and for several years he has taught in DePaul's First Year program, where he offers a course on The Pilgrimage of Peace and Justice and also team-teaches Discover Nonviolent Chicago.

Ken lives in Chicago with his spouse Cynthia Okayama Dopke and their daughter Leah.