Matt Guynn

Matt Guynn is director of organizing for church and community groups for On Earth Peace.  He works with groups around the U.S. and internationally build capacity for nonviolence and develop projects to challenge violence and build justice. He has been part of Training for Change, an international social change training center based in Philadelphia, PA, for twenty years. He currently serves as co-chair for nonviolent moral fusion direct action training with the Oregon Chapter of the Poor People's Campaign. Guynn is a co-founder the Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee, which provides online and face-to-face trainings and extends the Kingian Nonviolence legacy. He is a trainer with and serves on the training advisory council of PeoplesHub, an online social change training school. Matt has consulted with organizations including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Greenpeace USA, and previously worked as co-coordinator of training for Christian Peacemaker Teams, preparing people to carry out nonviolent direct action and unarmed accompaniment in conflict zones. He served as an unarmed bodyguard in Chiapas, Mexico. Matt holds a B.A. in Peace Studies (Manchester University, 1995), an M.A. in International Peace Studies (University of Notre Dame, 1996), and an M.A. in Theology (Bethany Theological Seminary, 2003). He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Sarah and sons Daniel and Owen. On Twitter at @OEPNonviolence.

  • rsvped for OEP Community Meetup #14 2021-07-23 13:13:07 -0400

    OEP Community Meetup #14 - Faithful Witness in a Fractured World


    Join us for On Earth Peace's next community meetup on August 27th from 3pm-4:30pm EST. These meetups, initiated as the pandemic arose in early 2020, are relational gatherings with a theme. In each meeting, we welcome new and returning friends and seek to build community, conviction, and capacity. These sessions are not "webinars" - they provide a time for relationship and conversation, with focused content that we engage together. 

    The theme of this meeting is focused around the book Faithful Witness in a Fractured World: Models for an Authentic Christian Life (2019) by Nicole L. Johnson and Michael T. Snarr. The book has central themes of, frankly speaking, "How Not To Be A Crappy Christian", by showing compassionate neighborly love. The book follows seven individuals in the pursuit of their Christian calling, characterized by active, embodied faith in pursuit of the common good; a broad and inclusive love for all people; rightly ordered political identities and loyalties; and a commitment to work toward holistic redemption of both people and the systems that constitute our life together. The authors hope this book will offer readers a more positive, hopeful look at Christianity that makes clear what Christians can be for rather than what they should be against. "Everyone is welcome to the table, regardless of faith background"

    It is recommended, but not required, to read their book in advance of the discussion. 

    Three ways to purchase your copy:


    Hearts and Minds Books

    Wipf & Stock publishers

    A note from Niki and Michael: "All profit from sales of our book provide financial support to the faith-based organizations that
    our models of faith work with. And we’re available for presentations or more informal author
    talks. We have done both virtual and in-person workshops, lectures, and smaller-group

    We will be joined by BOTH authors. Here's a little about them:

    Niki Johnson is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Peacebuilding & Social Justice Program at the University of Mount Union, where she has been teaching for 14 years. In addition to co-authoring Faithful Witness in a Fractured World with Michael, Niki is the author of Practicing Discipleship: Lived Theologies of Nonviolence in Conversation with the Doctrine of the United Methodist Church (Wipf & Stock, 2009) and editor of the forthcoming volume Humanities Perspectives in Peace Education: Re-engaging the Heart of Peace Studies (Information Age Publishing). Niki teaches courses in Christian ethics and history, religious conflict and peacebuilding, and a first-year seminar on "heroes of faith-based social justice." She lives in Hartville, Ohio with her husband, Glenn Griffin (a theology teacher at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron) and they have 3 kids: Georgia (12), Cecilia (10), and Noah (6).

    Michael T. Snarr is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Honors Program at Wilmington College (OH). He has edited several books on a variety of issues, including Quakers and Politics, comparative foreign policy, and global issues; Michael has traveled on peace missions to Afghanistan and Israel-Palestine. He has served on the boards of various faith-based organizations, including Sugartree Ministries, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Christian Peacemaker Teams. 

    You can connect with their Facebook group here

    What to expect: 

    • Nicole and Michael sharing stories and readings from the book.

    • Highlights and recurring themes from the lens of the seven individuals interviewed in the book
    • Small and large group sharing and discussion 

    • Personal reflection time 

    Event Date: Friday, August 27th 2021

    Event Time: 3pm - 4:30pm US Eastern

    Click here to find the start time in your local timezone

    If you have any questions, please email Dennis at [email protected]

    August 27, 2021 at 3pm
    3 rsvps rsvp

  • Kingian Nonviolence as a Resource for Community Leaders Today

    "Structures of evil do not crumble by passive waiting. If history teaches anything, it is that evil is recalcitrant and determined, and never voluntarily relinquishes its hold short of an almost fanatical resistance. Evil must be attacked by a counteracting persistence, by the day-to-day assault of the battering rams of justice." – Martin Luther King, Jr., in his 1968 book "Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?"

    Isn’t it cognitive dissonance for a nonviolence practitioner like Dr. King to preach about the need for battering rams?  Kingian Nonviolence is a philosophy of engaged action based in values like Beloved Community and attacking problems not people, and using tools like conflict analysis, dialectical thinking, and strategic campaigns, to help practitioners become grounded, hopeful individuals and build powerful efforts for a reconciled world. . . to become nonviolent battering rams.   

    In December 2020, twenty-nine people completed the coursework component of On Earth Peace’s Level One Certification in Kingian Nonviolence. This spring they can earn their certification through twenty hours of practice teaching. We asked three of our cohort members to reflect on Kingian Nonviolence as a resource for today’s conflicts and problems. All three shared their reflections in a Martin Luther King Day program convened by On Earth Peace on January 18, with participants from the US, UK, the Philippines and India.

    Read on for reflections from:  

    • Dwight Dunston, co-founder and teaching artist, City Love, a West Philly-based social justice music and education group (Philadelphia, PA)
    • Katie Shaw Thompson, pastor, Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren (Elgin, IL)
    • Thomas Dowdy, pastor, Imperial Heights Church of the Brethren (Los Angeles, CA) 



    Read more

  • Congregational Visit: University Baptist and Brethren Church, State College, PA

    It was great to visit with folks in the adult education hour at University Baptist and Brethren Church in State College, PA, this weekend. We shared about their work for peace and justice, On Earth Peace's current program opportunities, and the Kingian Nonviolence framework. If you would like to schedule an OEP Program Update or Kingian Nonviolence intro session for your congregation, please contact [email protected] - Matt Guynn, director of church and community organizing  

  • commented on Congregational Peace Health Checkup 2018-07-16 13:14:28 -0400
    Thanks Ken and Gerald! I’ll follow up with both of you in a couple of weeks when we have more info to share about the pilot phase.

  • published MLK Day 2018 Signup in Events 2018-01-12 18:14:44 -0500

    MLK Day 2018

    Thank you for your interest in Kingian Nonviolence.

    If required, enter your email below.

    Then select "Send me the handout," and you'll receive a copy of On Earth Peace's handout, "Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Approach to Nonviolence."









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On Earth Peace's Director of Church and Community Organizing. Portland, OR.
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