Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God!










HE Metropolitan Irineu Popa, ThD, PhD

His Eminence, Dr. Irineu Popa is the Archbishop of Craiova and Metropolitan of Oltenia (Southern Romania). He received his theological training at the Theological Seminary of Craiova, the Theological Institute of Bucharest, and at Saint Serge Theological Institute in Paris, where he received his first doctorate in theology in 1990 with Professor Boris Bobrinscoy. Between 1986 and 1987, he studied French language and literature at the University of Grenoble. His Eminence taught Church History and Byzantine History and Civilization at Saint Serge Theological Institute in Paris. In 1995 he was appointed a tenured professor of Ethics and Dogmatic Theology at the Theological School of the University of Craiova, and served as Dean since 2008 until 2016. In 2005, His Eminence received his second doctorate in Civil Law from Nicolae Titulescu Law School, in Craiova, and published 21 books and over 80 scholarly articles of theological research. He is a member of the Romanian Academy, takes active part at national and international congresses and theological conferences, and served as a voting member at the Holy and Great Council in Crete on behalf of the Romanian Orthodox Church.


Denise E. Burrill, PhD(c)

Denise Burrill (Simion) is the Chair of IPSEC Board of Trustees and a co-founder of IPSEC. She is a PhD candidate at CTS-IARSIC, CORHIS 7400, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, in France, and holds a Masters of Liberal Arts in Management with a Nonprofit Administration concentration from Harvard University. She is a recipient of the Harold V. Langlois Outstanding Scholar Award for “demonstrated exceptional academic accomplishment and promise as a manager,” and the recipient of the Dean’s List Academic Achievement Award from Harvard University. She has more than fifteen years of experience working in the financial and technology sectors. She has taught Business courses at Hellenic College and currently creates and teaches MBA courses on Leadership at Fitchburg State University. She is the Company Project Manager at a Payroll/HRIS company in the Boston area. She has four fabulous children, a wonderful husband, and enjoys fishing, hiking, and sitting by the lake.

Nelu Burcea, PhD

Dr. Nelu Burcea is the Vice-Chair of IPSEC Board of Trustees. He is an Associate Director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Deputy Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association, in Silver Spring, MD; serving as IRLA's Representative to the United Nations, the European Union, and the African Union. Prior to his relocation to the United States, Dr. Burcea served as director for Communication and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Adventist Church in Romania, and director of the Romanian Adventist Media Center, which includes the Speranta television network, and Voice of Hope radio network. Dr. Burcea holds a PhD in Economics specializing in Management Business Ethics, a Masters degree in Management of Business Development, and a Theology degree. He has also completed postgraduate study in Media and Marketing and Diplomatic Protocol and Communication. He is a past Postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University focusing on the area of “Religious Freedom in Former Communist Countries.”

Mugur A. Roz, MD, Ph

Dr. Mugur A Roz is a co-founder and a trustee of the Institute for Peace Studies in Eastern Christianity. He is Chief Information Officer at Andover Newton Theological School. Dr. Roz has studied, taught and conducted research at several other institutions of higher education, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Karl Ruprecht” University (Heidelberg, Germany), University of Copenhagen (Copenhagen, Denmark), and others. Dr. Roz is the author of five books and more than 50 articles on various IT topics, medicine and information technology, as well as science and religion. Dr. Roz has over twenty years of experience in various fields of Information Technology.


Marian Gh. Simion, MA, PhD

Dr. Marian Gh. Simion is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Peace Studies in Eastern Christianity and IPSEC's founder. He is an educator, theologian, political scientist, musician, and author who devoted his career to the study of religion and political violence. He is a frequent commentator on geopolitical strategies that involve Orthodox Christianity, Islam and militant secularism, and has appeared on Voice of America, Romania’s NPR, Antena3, TrinitasTV, SperantaTV (in Romania), and on other media outlets. Currently, Dr. Simion serves as Honorary Adviser on Foreign Politics at the Parliament of Romania. He is the author of several scholarly papers and books--including a textbook, Research Methodology in Orthodox Peace Studies--and co-editor of Religion and Public Policy: Human Rights, Conflict and Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He taught at Harvard University, Boston College, and Hellenic College (where he served as Chair of the Religious Studies Department), and lectured around the world on international security, conflict resolution, and religious diplomacy; most recently in Romania, China, Korea, Syria, Germany, UK, and others. (more…)

Shannon Schmidt

Shannon Noe`lani Schmidt is a first-year student at Harvard Divinity School, where she is concentrating her studies on the intersection of religion and politics. As a student at Harvard and a research associate at IPSEC, Shannon hopes to build upon her background in political organizing and interfaith outreach. In the past, Shannon worked as St. Augustine, Florida’s Director of Community Outreach for the 2016 Democratic Coordinated Campaign. In the Spring of 2017 she managed and won a city commission campaign for the youngest commissioner ever to be elected in Gainesville, Florida. Shannon has served as an ecumenical delegate to the United Nations’ 61st Commission on the Status of Women, and has worked as a Compassion, Peace, and Justice Fellow with the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. Shannon originally hails from the great state of New Jersey, and conducted her undergraduate studies at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.



The Late Raymond G. Helmick, SJ (1931-2016)

Fr. Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., is a co-founder and a trustee of the Institute for Peace Studies in Eastern Christianity. He was a professor of conflict resolution at Boston College and a conflict mediator. He has been involved in Northern Ireland since 1972, with the Kurds of Iraq since 1973, with the Lebanese factions since 1982, with Israelis and Palestinians since 1985, with the Kurds of Turkey since 1992, and with the various Balkan countries since1995. He mediated negotiations between the IRA Army Council and the Northern Ireland Office for six weeks during the hunger strike of 1981. Father Helmick also was invited to the White House for the 1993 signing of the peace accord between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. He joined the Reverend Jesse Jackson in his 1999 mission to Belgrade, then to Lebanon in 2006. He is the author of Negotiating Outside the Law: Why Camp David Failed (London: Pluto Press, 2004); Living Catholic Faith in a Contentious Age (London: Continuum, 2010); The Crisis of Confidence in the Catholic Church (Bloomsbury: T&T Clark, 2014), and numerous others. (more...)


Dr. Paul Brusanowski (ROMANIA: ‘Lucian Blaga’ University of Sibiu)
Dr. Daniel Buda (SWITZERLAND: World Council of Churches, Programe Executive)
Dr. Nelu Burcea (USA: United Nations Liaison, Seventh-day Adventist Church)
Dr. Ioan-Gheorghe Rotaru (ROMANIA: ‘Timotheus’ Brethren Theological Institute)
Dr. Marian Simion (USA: Harvard Divinity School)


Social Sciences and Humanities
Dr. Nina Corcinschi (MOLDOVA: Academy of Sciences)
Dr. Titus Corlățean (ROMANIA: “Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University)
Dr. Marian Simion (USA: Harvard University)
Dr. Radwan Gabr El-Sobky (EGYPT: Menoufiya University)

Business and Economics
Dr. Nelu Burcea (USA: Harvard University)
Dr. Emilia Vasile (ROMANIA: Athenaeum University)

Teaching and Education
Dr. Daniel Buda (SOUTH AFRICA: University of Pretoria)
Mr. Mihai Covaci, PhD candidate (ROMANIA: Hyperion University, Bucharest)
Dr. Ioan-Gheorghe Rotaru (ROMANIA: ‘Timotheus’ Brethren Theological Institute)

Science and Technology
Mr. Mihnea Costoiu (ROMANIA: Politehnica University)
Dr. Guofu Liu (CHINA: Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing)



The following list includes some of the most influential past and current personal mentors of IPSEC Founder:

H.E. Ben-Oni Ardelean (Professor, Romanian Senator)
H.E. Sorin Cimpeanu (Professor, former Prime Minister of Romania)
H.E. Mihnea Costoiu (Professor, Romanian Senator, former Romanian Minister of Higher Education)
H.H. Governor Michael S. Dukakis (Distinguished Professor, Doctoral Advisor, 1988 candidate for US President)
Dr. Marc Gopin (Rabbi, Professor, Mediator)
Rev. Nicholas Greanias (Lawyer, former US Consul, Greek Orthodox Priest)
Dr. Heinz-Gerhard Justenhoven (Professor)
Dr. David Little (Professor)
Dr. Joseph Montville (Political Psychologist, author of Track-Two Diplomacy)
H.E. Acad. Dr. Irineu Popa (Archbishop & Metropolitan, Professor)
Rev. Dr. Dudley Rose (Professor of Ministry Studies, Associate Dean at Harvard Divinity School)
Dr. John Witte, Jr. (Professor of Law)


Institute for Peace Studies in Eastern Christianity

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P.O. Box 380246,
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