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Religious Studies Program
30 Days, 60 Days, 90 Days
Enrich your knowledge and strengthen your faith as you explore the roots of our Christian Faith with fellow students while visiting the Biblical Sites in Greece, Turkey & Israel.
Daily Classes, Sunday evening Worship Services with the local Church and Field Trips
Welcome to Athens, Greece! You will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to get settled in. After dinner we will have an orientation meeting.
Included Day Tours
Suggested Field Trips
1. Explore the most important Christian Sites in Northern Greece & Visit Macedonia, the Land of Alexander the Great (5-Day Field Trip)
Day 1: Delphi-Kalambaka
Drive through the fertile plain of Boeotia, crossing small towns and villages, finally arriving to the slopes of Mt. Parnassos in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty. Visit the panhellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which had the most famous oracle of ancient Greece and was regarded as the centre of the Ancient world. Also visit the Archaeological museum containing masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and famous athlete Aghias. Continue to Kalambaka for overnight.
Day 2: Meteora-Vergina -Thessaloniki
Spectacular drive up to visit two of the breathtaking monasteries at Meteora, first built in the 14th century by monks seeking isolation. The monasteries were accessible only by ropes thrown from above. Continue north to Vergina, the first capital of Macedonia to visit the tomb of Philipp II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. Upon arrival to Thessalonica we enjoy a panoramic tour of the city. At Thessalonica (Acts 17:1) Paul went immediately to the synagogue where for three Saturdays he explained the prophecies of the Old Testament to Jews and Greeks. According to the Book of Acts many Greeks believed and even many <<Greek Chief Women>> (Acts 17:1-4) Overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 3: Amphipolis-Philippi-Kavala
We travel to the Lion statue of Amphipolis for a short photo stop and then proceed to Philippi. Here the apostle Paul came and worked, establishing a strong church. To this congregation he later sent his Philippian letter. See the river where Lydia is thought to have been baptized, the ruins of a Prison where Paul and Sylas had been kept, the Agora, 5th and 6th century Basilica and Theatre. Continue to the ancient port of Neapolis (Acts 16:11). Return to Thessalonica in the late afternoon.
Day 4: Pella-Berea
In the morning we visit Pella, the capital of the glorious kingdom of ancient Macedonia and the birthplace of Alexander the Great. Learn about the rich history of the Macedonian state. See the remains of the monumental palace, the biggest agora of the ancient world and the two storey private houses which brings to mind images of a prosperous ancient city. Continue to Berea, where the Apostle Paul arrived and according to custom went to the synagogue where to his pleasant surprise, he discovered that these Jews were “more noble” than those he had encountered in Thessalonica. See the Byzantine mosaic in the monument commemorating his preaching. According to custom it was at this place where he stood and delivered his sermons (Acts 17:10-11). Overnight stay in Thessalonica.
Day 5: Dion-Athens
Drive to Dion, the religious centre of the Macedonians on the lower slopes of Mt. Olympus. Impressive remains demonstrate the importance of Dion to Greek religious life in antiquity. Temples and theatres and the museum featuring sculptures, relief and mosaics of the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Gaze upon the snow capped Mt. Olympus, home of the twelve Olympian gods and goddesses. En route back to Athens, stop at Thermopylae to see the statue of Leonidas commemorating the historic battle between the 300 Spartans led by Leonidas and the Persian army of Xerxes in 480BC.
2.Biblical Corinth-Acrocorinth, Epidaurus, Mycenae & Olympia (3-Day Field Trip)
Day 1: Corinth-Acrocorinth-Nafplion
Depart from Athens, via the historic Corinthian Canal (photo stop) to ancient Corinth (Acts 18:1-18). It was to this megalopolis where the apostle Paul came and worked, established a thriving church, subsequently sending two of his epistles now part of the New Testament. Here, we see all of the sites associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s Seat. The small archaeological museum here is an absolute must! We view from the bus the ruins of early Christian 5th century basilica in Cenchrea and drive up to visit Acrocorinth, an important Greek castle during the Middle Ages, both strong and strategically placed. Continue to the picturesque town of Nafplion, the first capital of the modern state of Greece.
Day 2: Corinth-Epidaurus-Mycenae-Olympia
Our first visit is to Epidaurus: the Sanctuary of Asclepeios, ancient god of healing. We see the best-preserved ancient theatre in all of Greece, famous for the harmony of its design and the perfection of its remarkable acoustics, easily accommodating 12,000 people. Continue to Mycenae and visit the remains of the prehistoric citadel fortified with the Cyclopean Walls, the Lionesses’ Gate, the remains of the Mycenaean Palace and the Tomb of Atreus. Continue to Olympia for overnight.
Day 3: Ancient Olympia-Athens
Visit the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the most important sanctuary of Zeus, father of all gods and goddesses, Ancient Olympia. The starting line is still visible etched on the marble in the stadium, inviting you to run and compete with the ancient athletes in your imagaination! Continue our visit in the archaeological museum with the metopes of the Temple of Zeus and the statues of Nike and Hermes. Return to Athens.
3.Field Trip to Israel; Experience the Rich & Amazing History of the Holy Land focused on the Life and Ministry of Christ & Biblical Archaeology (7 Day Field Trip)
Day 1: Welcome to Tel Aviv
We will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel in Tiberias. After dinner enjoy an orientation meeting.
Day 2: Sea of Galilee-Capernaum & Tabgha
Our day begins with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (Matt 4:18) from Tiberias to Nof Ginossar. View the remains of a town from the time of Jesus. Continue to Capernaum (Matt 4:13), centre of Jesus’ ministry. See the ruins of an ancient synagogue and the site of Peter’s house. Proceed to Tabgha, the site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (Luke 9:10-17) and see fish mosaics from the 5th century Byzantine basilica. Onto Mount of Beatitudes the site of the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt 5-7). Free time for personal meditation before we travel through Upper Galilee to Banias springs (Caesarea Philippi) where Peter made his confession of faith (Matt 16:13-16)
Day 3: Mt. Tabor-Cana-Nazareth-Megiddo-Caesarea Maritima –Jerusalem
Morning visit to Mt Tabor, the site of the Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-9), continue to site of Jesus’ first miracle, Cana (John 2:1-11) and proceed to Nazareth, where Jesus spent his childhood (Matt 2:19-23) to visit Mary’s Well and the Church of the Annunciation. Continue to Megiddo (Armageddon) (Rev. 16:16), one of King Solomon’s chariot cities. Continue via Haifa to Mt. Carmel (2 Kings 2:25) and along the Mediterranean Sea coastal road to Caesarea Maritima where Paul was imprisoned and where Peter converted Cornelius (Acts 10). Drive to Jerusalem.
Day 4: Jerusalem
Enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire city from the Mount of Olives (Matt 24:3), walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:36-44) on Palm Sunday Route. Visit the Room of the last Supper (Mark 14:12-26) and David’s Tomb. Continue on foot into the Walled City to the Jewish Quarter, here we see the Cardo and Western (Wailing) Wall. Next enjoy the panoramic view of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount before continuing to the Christian Quarter and visit St. Ann’s crusader church, the Lithostatros, Antonia Fortress and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Matt 23:27). Time for worship in the Garden Tomb (Gordon’s Calvary)
Day 5: Jerusalem-Masada-En Gedi-Dead Sea-Qumran-Jerusalem
A morning drive through the Judean Wilderness takes us to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea we stop en route for a breathtaking view of St. George’s Monastery in Wadi Kelt. Drive along the shores of the Dead Sea to the base of Masada, the last stronghold of the Jewish zealots against the Romans. Visit the archaeological site including Herod’s palace, an ancient synagogue and a bathhouse. After descending, drive to En Gedi, a nearby oasis and enjoy the unique opportunity to swim or “float” in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. Before returning to Jerusalem, visit Qumran where the Essene community wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.
DAY 6: Jerusalem
Visit the New City of Jerusalem beginning at the Holy land Hotel and see the scale model of ancient Jerusalem in the time of the Second Temple. Continue to the Israel Museum to see the Shrine of the Book and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our last visit is to the new Museum of Yad Vashem, a memorial to the Holocaust. Overnight in Jerusalem.
DAY 7: Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Airport-Athens
Transfer to Tel Aviv International Airport to take the flight back to Athens. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel in Athens.
4.Field Trip to the Seven Churches in Turkey & cruise to the Greek Islands (10 Days)
Day 1: Athens-Istanbul
Arrive to Istanbul, originally Byzantium and then Constantinople, a most fascinating city which actually crosses two continents Europe and Asia. View the highlights of this cosmopolitan city such as the Byzantine Walls by bus and then enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus viewing the many traditional wooden houses “yali”. Return to the port and cross the road to visit the Egyptian Spice market. The air is filled with the fragrance of the exotic East, with about 85 shops selling various items including spices, Turkish delights, sweets, jewellery and souvenirs. Continue to the hotel for check in.
Day 2: Istanbul
Discover the Byzantine and Ottoman treasures of Istanbul. We visit Aghia Sofia, the “Church of the sacred wisdom”, converted to a mosque from a Christian basilica after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. We see the Hippodrome and the Obelisk brought from Egypt, the Blue Mosque with its 6 minarets and the Topkapi Palace, imperial residence of the Ottoman sultans with its fabulous treasure chambers. Our last visit is to the Grand covered Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops where you can try your bargaining skills. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Troy-Canakkale
Morning departure to Gallipoli, through the European lands of Turkey. Cross the Dardanelles Strait by ferry-boat arriving at ancient Troy, mentioned in the Iliad by Homer. See the legendary walls and the replica of the wooden horse. Continue to Canakkale for overnight.
Day 4: Pergamon-Thyatira-Izmir
Our day begins with a visit to Pergamum, (Bergama), one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Explore the impressive Acropolis, the steepest theatre in the world, the Altar of Zeus or «Throne of Satan», the white marble columns of the Temple of Trajan and the remains of the impressive Library. Continue to Thyatira, (Akhisar) [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. We visit the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period. Lydia, the seller of purple in Philippi, was from Thyatira. Enjoy a panoramic sightseeing drive of Izmir (Smyrna), the 3rd largest city in Turkey [Rev. 2:12-17]. We ascend to Mount Pagus and see the Citadel of Lysimachos, commander of Alexander the Great, erected in the 4th century BC.
Day 5: Sardis-Philadelphia-Hierapolis
Enjoy a morning visit to Sardis, presently Sart, one of the most picturesque areas of any of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4]. This was the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC, portrayed as a dying church. We visit the great Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele. We also see the «golden» river Pactolos and visit some ancient Lydian houses and shops. Continue our journey to Philadelphia (Alasehir) [Rev. 1:11; 3:7], the only church not censured. Here we see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick and some 11th century frescoes. We drive to the healing city of Hierapolis, actually Pamukkale, the white «cotton fortress» where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. In Hierapolis [Col. 4:13] we visit the Martyrium of Apostle Philip and the most important sites.
Day 6: Laodicea- Aphrodisias-Kusadasi
Our tour today begins with Laodicea (Denizli) [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. We see the ancient theatre, the remains of a basilica and ancient stone water pipes. We continue to Aphrodisias and see the best-preserved ancient stadium ever excavated, where the seating capacity was 30,000. We see the Odeon with its extraordinary blue marble stage, the Temple of Aphrodite that marks the site of ancient veneration, Hadrian’s Bath and the Bishop’s Palace. We continue to Kusadasi for overnight.
Day 7: Ephesus-Kusadasi
Today we enjoy a visit to the ancient city of Ephesus. Apostle Paul preached to the Ephesians and lived here for three years. This church also received an epistle from him. We tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city, which was founded in the 10th century BC. Walk through history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings. Among them, the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. We will also visit the Basilica of John the Apostle and see the remaining column of the Temple of Diana (Artemission) of the Ephesians, another of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Drive to Kusadasi for overnight.
Day 8 (Saturday): Kusadasi-Patmos
In the morning we transfer to the port of Kusadasi and embark on our cruise-ship. In the afternoon sail for Patmos, Greece. Upon our 4:00 p.m. arrival, we disembark by tender-boats (sea & weather permitting) and enjoy our included shore-excursion to visit this rocky island where the exiled Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation. We visit the Greek Byzantine Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, where we have a wonderful view of the island, and the Grotto (cave) of the Revelation where the heavenly voice of God revealed to St. John the future of humanity (Rev. 1:12-21). After some free time, return to the cruise-ship and sail to Heraklion Crete.
Day 9 (Sunday): Heraklion, Crete & Santorini
At 7:00 a.m. we call at Heraklion Crete, (Acts 27:7-13) where our optional shore-excursion takes us from the bustling city to visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos, legendary home of the Minotaur. Sail for Santorini at 11:30 a.m., where we arrive at 4:30 p.m. We will disembark by tender-boats (sea & weather permitting). Take a mule or the cable-car up to the white-washed town of Fira; perched high on the rim of the ancient volcano, the eruption of which (1,600 BC) literally buried a flourishing Bronze Age town now excavated at Akrotiri. Sail for Athens (port of Piraeus) at 9:00 p.m.
Day 10 (Monday): Athens
In the morning arrive at the port of Piraeus/Lavrion. We disembark after breakfast and transfer to our hotel in Athens.
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