Designing structures to withstand earthquakes requires an accurate estimation of the expected ground motion. While engineers use the peak ground acceleration (PGA) to model the strong ground motion, seismologists use physical characteristics of the source and the rupture mechanism, such as fault length, stress drop, shear wave velocity, seismic moment, distance, and attenuation. This study presents a method for calculating response spectra from seismological models using random vibration theory. It then investigates the effect of various source and site parameters on peak response. Calculations are based on a nonstationary stochastic ground motion model, which can incorporate all the parameters both in frequency and time domains. The estimation of the peak response accounts for the effects of the non-stationarity, bandwidth and peak correlations of the response.