The Certificate in Holocaust Studies (CHS) provides an opportunity for students, educators, and lifelong learners to study the Holocaust and the problem of genocide at the graduate level and from an interdisciplinary perspective. It encourages students to develop strategies for critical engagement on their areas of interest as scholars and citizens. Students enroll in the Certificate program through the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and one of the Certificate granting universities. It can be used to supplement an existing degree program, as a way to develop a credential for professional development, or simply out of personal fascination with the topic. The Consortium is currently comprised of: Avila University, The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education (MCHE), The Kansas City Art Institute, Park University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City *(Certificate Granting Institution)

The Consortium is currently comprised of:

Avila Logo
Park University



Students often come to the study of the Holocaust and genocide out of a sense of repulsion for these crimes against humanity and a lack of comprehension for how they occur in the first place. Students who complete this Certificate will be able to design and execute works of academic scholarship and/or academically informed works designed for a wider audience that address multidisciplinary problems in the field of Holocaust Studies in terms of both an integrative approach and its public application in education, lifelong learning, outreach, and/or global citizenship.

Student Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge: Mastery of knowledge of the “big questions” of the Holocaust and genocide studies.
  • Interconnectedness & Contextualization: Understanding the scope of the Holocaust and genocide studies and the relations between aspects of it.
  • Research: The ability to conduct interdisciplinary research in Holocaust and genocide studies.
  • Interdisciplinarity: The ability to think about the Holocaust and genocide studies across disciplinary lines.
  • Analytic & Creative Synthesis: Ability to analyze and synthesize evidence about the Holocaust and genocide studies.
  • Communication: The ability to communicate clearly and effectively to diverse audiences.
  • Application & Relevance: The ability to apply what is learned about the Holocaust and genocide studies in diverse contemporary ethical and political contexts.
  • Total Credit Hours: 18 credit hours, at least 9 of which must be taken at the certificate-granting institution.
  • Introductory course: This required course introduces students to the “big questions” of Holocaust and genocide studies and to interdisciplinary scholarship. It will be offered each Fall semester and taught by rotating consortium faculty. Students register for this course through the home institutions of the faculty teaching that semester. It is expected that the introductory course is the first course students take in the certificate program. If their enrollment begins in a semester when the course is not offered, students may petition for an exception through their academic adviser.
  • Elective coursework: Students must complete 12 additional credit hours from the list of approved courses at participating institutions. The courses are either classified as Core or Contract courses. A minimum of 6 credit hours of core courses must be completed. Contract courses offer students the flexibility to enroll in a course that addresses the Holocaust and genocide studies indirectly, but require an academic contract between the student and professor stipulating how the course material will meet the learning objectives of the Certificate Program. Only six credit hours of contract courses can be counted toward certificate completion. Click here for Certificate Course Contract
  • Capstone Experience: Capstone Course- Students are required to complete a 3-credit capstone course in the final semester of their certificate curriculum. This capstone course may coincide with the capstone course for a degree program with a delay of some semesters as needed. Or, it may be an independent reading and research course with an approved member of an affiliated institution’s faculty. Capstone Project- The final product of this course would consist of an interdisciplinary scholarly project. Students are encouraged to develop capstone projects that demonstrate mastery of all of the six student learning objectives for the program. Reflective Essay- This requirement includes SLO6 “Application & Relevance” in which students demonstrate their ability to apply knowledge about Holocaust and genocide studies in diverse contemporary ethical and political contexts. If their project does not directly address to this learning objective, then the student will be asked to complete an brief reflective essay, submitted in addition to the capstone project, in which they consider what they have learned across the curriculum about the HGS’s application and relevance. It is not required if the capstone project demonstrates mastery of SLO6.
  • Transcripts: In order to receive credit for a course taken at a consortium institution, students are responsible for asking the registrars at the institutions where the courses were taken to send a transcript to the registrar of the student’s home institution. Students must provide transcripts to the program coordinator at MCHE from all institutions at which they took courses.
  • Transferring credits: For Certificate purposes, students may transfer only courses approved by the Consortium faculty. If students are also enrolled in a regular degree program at their home institutions, courses approved for the Certificate may not be transferred in addition to courses allowed for transfer for a degree. Approval for a Certificate transfer does not guarantee approval for any degree: that decision depends on the guidelines for the relevant degree program.

The Introductory Course will be offered at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education on a bi-annual basis beginning in Spring 2015.

Click below for a list of elective courses offered at the affiliated universities.

Administration and Advising

The CHS is administered through a consortium of institutions.

  • MCHE serves as the hub. The point person for administration is the MCHE Director of University Programs and Adult Education, responsible for: admissions, registration, and advising of students. Students should generally begin here with questions or concerns. The core course is also offered at the MCHE.
  • The Affiliated Institutions serve as the spokes. Students take all of their other courses at these various institutions. Contact the point person on the Consortium faculty for advice relating to that institution.

The CHS is not necessarily oriented towards a career. It may serve simply as a way to pursue a topic that interests you or to prepare you for civic engagement in this area. But it can also support your in your career.

  • It can provide you with an additional credential that could support you in your current or future job for instance as a teacher or museum educator.
  • It may encourage you to continue your studies by pursuing a formal degree program (MA or iPhD) in a related field. Acceptance in the Certificate cannot guarantee acceptance in such a program or that the courses taken in it will be accepted towards that degree; but it can be used to demonstrate your aptitude for graduate work.
  • It can provide you with an additional credential for an existing degree program (MA or iPhD) that may help you in landing a job inside or outside of academia: for instance, as a professor or in a non-profit organization.


Admission Requirements
  • A BA or BS in a relevant field.
  • Registration at one of the Certificate-granting institutions, including meeting any other admissions requirements of that institution.
  • A command of the basic facts of the Holocaust. Students may demonstrate this knowledge through a grade of B or higher taken at the 300-level or higher in Holocaust coursework; or documented evidence of a prolonged engagement in the teaching of the Holocaust.
Admission Procedures

Contact Dr. Shelly Cline, Program Coordinator at MCHE at or 913-327-8194 to apply to the program.

Also apply for admission to one of the Certificate-granting institutions. It is highly recommended that you contact the point person at each university for advice about how to apply at that institution.

  • AvilaUniversity  – Dr. Jeff Myers, Department of History
  • Park University – Dr. Brian Cowley, Department of Sociology and Psychology
  • UMKC – Dr. Andrew Bergerson, Department of History
Currently, the only Consortium institution to offer the Certificate is UMKC. You may apply for admission to UMKC as a degree-seeking or a non-degree-seeking student. Some recommended degree programs are: the MA in History (with or without a public history emphasis), the Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies, and the Humanities Consortium as a co-discipline within the iPhD program.


Why study in the Consortium?

Most universities are limited to the faculty of one institution. This Consortium brings together scholars from a very wide range of disciplines from institutions throughout the Kansas City region. It allows you far more flexibility in terms of developing topics for your coursework and projects. The CHS is also administered by the MCHE: the leading institution in Holocaust education in the region and one of the best in the United States. Our location in the Kansas City region also provides rich opportunities for students to make use of the many archives, libraries, museums, and arts institutions in the region.

Faculty / Executive Committee
  • Andrew S. Bergerson, Prof., Dept. of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City and UMKC Representative

Professor Bergerson is a specialist in modern German History. An interdisciplinary historian of everyday life, he has published several books and many articles on ordinary Germans and their role in undermining their civil society and building a fascist and racist community. He is also interested in the question of how one takes responsibility for genocide in the past and present.

  • Shelly Cline, Public Historian, Midwest Center for Holocaust Education and CHS Program Coordinator

Dr. Cline received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in Modern European History. Her research focuses on the gendered perpetration of the Holocaust and has been supported by grants from the University of Kansas and the Universitat Hamburg. Before joining the staff of MCHE she served as an instructor for the University of Kansas and the Kansas City Art Institute, teaching courses in Western philosophy, modern Europe, antisemitism, and the Holocaust.

  •  Brian J. Cowley, Prof. of Psychology, Chair of the Dept. of Psychology & Sociology, Park University and Park University Representative

Professor Cowley completed a Bachelors of Science degree at Utah State University in Psychology (1987), a Masters of Science degree at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Behavior Analysis and Therapy (1989), and a Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Kansas in Developmental and Child Psychology (1998).  His previous teaching posts were at Northeastern State University as an Assistant Professor (4 years) and at the University of Florida as a Senior Behavior Analyst (2 years).  Dr. Cowley has taught at Park University for 11 years.  He is currently Professor of Psychology.  His most recent scholarship includes environmental sustainability, internationalization, interfaith dialogue, and Holocaust studies.

  • Jeffrey Myers, Prof. of History, Avila University and Avila University Representative

Professor Myers is a historian of modern German history, initially studying nineteenth-century Germany. Since his arrival at Avila University in 1995, however, he has collaborated with Dr. Charlene Gould, Professor of Theatre, to teach, research, publish, and produce actual productions in the field of Holocaust theatre. His most recent scholarly interests are located within the interdisciplinary space of Holocaust Studies.

Affiliated Faculty from MCHE's Holocaust Education Academic Round Table (HEART)
  • Connie Corbett-Whittier, Prof., Dept. of English & Humanities, Friends University
  • Charles Heller, Prof. Emer., Command & Leadership Dept., U.S. Army Comm. & General Staff College
  • Milton Katz, Prof., Dept. of Liberal Arts, Kansas City Art Institute
  • Carla Klausner, Prof., Dept. of History, University of Missouri -Kansas City
  • James Murray III, Prof., Dept. of Music, MCC-Maple Woods Community College
  • Martin Shuster, Assistant Prof., Dept. of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Avila University
  • Zvi  Tannenbaum, Prof., Dept. of Social Science, Missouri Southern State University
  • Hal Wert, Prof., Dept. of Liberal Arts, Kansas City Art Institute
  • George Wiley, Prof. Emer., Dept. of Religion and Philosophy, Baker University
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