Al Fuertes

Al Fuertes

Al Fuertes

Associate Professor

Facilitation and dialog, global education, psychosocial trauma healing, conflict resolution, theology of struggle, anti-human trafficking and displacement issues

Dr. Al Fuertes' fields of specialization include facilitation and intercultural/interreligious dialogue; global education and cross-cultural experiential learning; conflict resolution/transformation and peacebuilding; community-based psychosocial trauma healing as a component in peacebuilding and community development; refugee and internal displacement; sustainability of indigenous communities in Southeast Asia; anti-human trafficking, ecumenism, and spirituality; theology of struggle/people’s theology/liberation theology.

Al is a field practitioner and consultant who specializes in community-based trauma healing as an integral component in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. He travels extensively around the world, particularly in places affected by war, armed conflict, and natural disaster. Al works with government, religious, military, and community leaders, as well as NGO development workers, school administrators, teachers, youth, refugees and internally displaced persons. He is the faculty director of the global education program in the Philippines, a 6-credit summer course in Human Trafficking, Environmental Issues, and Grassroots Peacebuilding through Mason's Center for Global Education (CGE); the Cambodia program, a 3-credit winter course in Post Genocide, Community Development, and Spirituality; and in Rwanda, another 3-credit winter course in Genocide, Healing, and Reconciliation through the Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL). Al is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). He currently works as a covenant minister of UCC Wellspring in Centreville, VA. 

Dr. Fuertes is a recipient of the 2019 Global Peacebuilder Award by the Daniel Fissell Music Foundation, the 2019 Outstanding Sillimanian Award, and the Alumni Recognition (2019) for his work in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation by the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He also received the 2015 Spirit of King Award, the 2014 Oscar Mentoring Excellence Award, the 2008 GMU Teaching Excellence Award and the 2001 AT&T Asia-Pacific Leadership Award.

Current Research

Teaching Methodologies on Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Rwanda.

Voluntary repatriation of Karen refugees to Burma.

Prosecution and conviction of human trafficking cases in the Philippines.

Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, post-conflict.

Selected Publications

Fuertes, Al. 2016. "Karen Refugees Describe Peace within the Context of Displacement." Conflict Resolution Quarterly. Vol. 33, Issue 3, Spring, pp. 297-312.

Fuertes, Al 2016. "Peacebuilders in Mindanao Describe Consciousness and Transformation Towards Effective Practice." Kinaadman, Xavier University.

Fuertes, Al and Wayland, Mary. 2015. “Cultivating Mindfulness through Meditation in a Classroom Setting from Students' Perspective.” Vol. 7. DOI :

Fuertes, Al. 2014. Book Review of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and its Relevance in Philippine Context.” Kinaadman Academic Journal, Vol. 26. Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan.

Fuertes, Al B. 2012. "Transformative Impact of Storytelling in the Philippines." Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Volume 29 Number 3 Spring.

Fuertes, Al. 2010. "Peacebuilders in Southeast Asia Describe the Dynamic Interplay Between Consciousness and Transformation Towards Effective Practice." Alternative Perspectives in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. Ed. Otto F. von Feigenblatt. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Inc., pp. 1-12.

Fuertes, Al. 2010. "Rethinking How We Channel Relief Assistance and Humanitarian Services to Refugees and Internally Displaced Communities in Southeast Asia." Development and Conflict in the 21st Century. Ed. Otto F. von Feigenblatt. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Inc., pp. 4-26.

Fuertes, Al B. 2010. "Birds Inside A Cage: Metaphor for Karen Refugees." Social Alternatives. First Quarter, Volume 29:1: 2010.

Fuertes, Al. 2008. Community-based Warviews, Resiliency and Healing. VDM Verlag Dr. Mueller e.K. (Book)

Fuertes, Al. 2007. “Descriptions of War and Healing by Karen Refugees on the Thai-Burmese border.” Taiwan International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 201-218.

Fuertes, Al. 2006. “Experiences and Views on War: Voices from War-affected Communities.” Social Justice: Anthropology, Human Rights and Peace (6)1, pp. 134-148.

Fuertes, Al. 2004. “In Their Own Words: Contextualizing the Discourse of (War) Trauma and Healing.” Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 4, Summer, pp. 491-501.

Courses Taught

INTS 305 Conflict Resolution/Transformation (6 credits)

INTS 314 Conflict, Trauma and Healing (6 credits)

INTS 315 Spirituality and Conflict Transformation (6 credits)

INTS 416 Refugee, Internal Displacement, Statelessness (3 credits)

INTS 475 Forgiveness & Reconciliation in Divided Communities (3 credits)

INTS 417 Human Trafficking and Smuggling (6 credits)

INTS 475 Immigration Issues in Northern Virginia

CONF 695 Psychosocial Trauma and Healing (3 credits)

CONF 695 Praxis of Forgiveness and Reconciliation (3 credits)

Mentorship to students in their Individualized Studies programs and Independent Studies


Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University (2007)

M.A. in Peace Studies, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, IN (1997)

Bachelor of Theology, Silliman University, Dumaguete, Philippines (1990)

Organizational Affiliations

Member/Reviewer, Scientific Board. Trauma, Memory and Healing in the Balkans and Beyond, 2015-present.

Member/Reviewer, Technical Committee of the 2016 5th International Conference on Social Science and Humanity (ICSSH 2016), Japan.

Association of Conflict Resolution, 2012.

Board of Directors, International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF). 2006-present.

Member, Asia Pacific Peace Research Association (APPRA), 2006-present.

Member, Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA), 2007-present.

Member, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (US), Washington DC, 2002-present.