Faith-Based Sample Experiences
Footsteps of Faith: From Ephesus to Rome
This program, in its 13th year with Seminars International, takes high school seniors who have completed a yearlong theological study on a transformative ten-day journey to trace the footsteps of Paul through Greece, Turkey and Italy. The group begins in Athens with a tour of the famous Acropolis, including the Parthenon and the Areopagus, also known as Mars Hill, where Paul is thought to have spoken to the Athenians. Two other notable visits in Greece include a visit to Corinth, the ancient city made famous by St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. The other excursions include the Island of Samos with a visit to St. John’s Monastery and the Grotto of Revelations. In Turkey the group spends a day visiting the Basilica of St. John ruins, believed to be the burial site of St. John, the Isa Bey Mosque and of course an expedition through the magnificent ruins of Ephesus. The schedule in Rome contains the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica including a special tour of the Scavi. The group also sees the Roman Forum, the ancient Coliseum, and the Pantheon. The journey ends at the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, believed to have been erected over the tomb of St. Paul.
Land of the Covenant: Israel and Jordan
Program participants spent 12 busy days experiencing the ancient biblical sights of Israel and Jordan and also learning about present day political issues. Arriving into Jordan, the group experienced Mount Nebo where Moses was given a view of the Promised Land and Karak Castle, a crusader fortification defending the Kingdom of Jerusalem. At the archaeological site of Petra, the group toured one of the New7Wonders, an UNESCO World Heritage site. A highlight included dinner and music in a small Bedouin village. In Israel, highlights included touring a kibbutz, visiting the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth thought to be built over Mary’s childhood home and a visit to Mar Elias Educational Institution. The group also visited Northern Galilee including the Mount of Beatitudes, the Jordan River and Capernaum followed by a scenic boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. In Bethlehem the group experienced Shepherd’s Field and the Church of the Nativity, built over the cave believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. Other highlights included: swimming in the Dead Sea, dinner and discussion with Arab and Jewish families, speakers discussing the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, walking down the Mount of Olives, visiting Jericho and Beit Shean.
Christianity in Rome
The focus of this Theological Seminary program was to explore the history of the christian church in Rome, spending two weeks seeing everything from the earliest remnants of the faith in the catacombs to enormous church monuments to the achievements of a secular society. The group also had the opportunity to engage in ecumenical dialogue with Catholics and Protestants in Rome learning from them about the contemporary setting in Italy and what it’s like to be a protestant minority in a Catholic country. The days were spent experiencing the many magnificent churches of Rome. One day was focused on the Vatican including a tour of the Scavi, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. The group ventured out of Rome to visit Assisi touring several churches. Other highlights included: the Forum and Coliseum, the Pantheon, Cappucin Cemetery and Castel Sant’Angelo.