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Wheaton in the Holy Lands

Experience the land of the Bible where Jesus taught and ministered and follow in the footsteps of Paul as he helped the early church to take root.

Program Overview

Wheaton in the Holy Lands 2019 is a study of the New Testament, Christian theology and historical geography through on-site lecture/instruction in Israel, Greece, and Rome. In addition, through contact with leaders of Roman Catholic and non-western churches, Wheaton in the Holy Lands engages students with issues of the theological development of the Church through the centuries. The six-week program offers students the experience of a lifetime, exploring the Holy Lands under the guidance and instruction of Wheaton professors and local experts.

This year, the program will be led by Dr. Matthew Bruce (Theology) and Dr. Chris Vlachos (New Testament).  Dr. Bruce and Dr. Vlachos will provide biblical, historical, and theological lectures and commentary as students study the life and times of Jesus and the Apostles in Israel, Paul and the early church in Greece and Rome, and the Apocalypse on the island of the Patmos.  In addition, supplementary lectures on ancient historical, cultural, and geographical backgrounds will be provided by faculty and local guides of Jerusalem University College in Israel and Hellenic Scripture Union in Europe. Students will also be introduced to a variety of Christian traditions and how these traditions have been preserved and developed throughout the history of the church, with special attention given to Palestinian Christianity, Jewish Messianism, Orthodox Christianity, and Roman Catholicism.

  • Sponsoring Department: Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Program Director: Dr. Chris Vlachos
  • Program Leader(s): Dr. Chris Vlachos and Dr. Matthew Bruce
  • Term: Summer
  • Spring Semester Meetings:  There will be four logistical/informational meetings during Spring semester to prepare for the program.
  • On-Campus Program Dates: May 13 - 17, 2019, departure for Tel Aviv on May 18, 2019
  • International Program Dates: May 19 - June 29, 2019
  • Estimated Cost:  $8,100 (airfare not included) 
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Eligibility: Open to Wheaton students only; preference may be given to BITH majors and upperclassmen
  • Partner Institution(s): Jerusalem University College and Hellenic Scripture Union
  • Highlights: In Israel, watch the sunrise over Jerusalem, drink water from the well where Jesus met the Samaritan women, take a short journey by boat on the Sea of Galilee, and climb Masada. In Europe, experience sunset at the Temple of Poseidon on the Aegean, read the Book of Acts on Mars Hill in Athens, spend two nights on the island of Patmos where John received the vision of the Apocalypse, and walk through the catacombs in Rome. 

Course Offerings for 2019

Wheaton in the Holy Lands students earn a total of 8 credit hours, registering for two of the following courses:

BITH 317: New Testament in the Holy Lands (4 credit hrs.) 
A study of the New Testament integrated with field studies designed to introduce the student to the historical, geographical, cultural, and religious settings of the New Testament in locations where the events recorded occurred and the writings were composed.

BITH 318: Christian Theology in the Holy Lands (4 credit hrs.) 
An exploration of the core beliefs of the Christian faith with special emphasis on the role of the ancient church in its historical contexts in the development of Christian thought and practice. (BITH majors may substitute BITH 318 for Systematic Theology.)

BITH 317/318 may be used to satisfy the Shared Core requirements in New Testament and Christian Thought.

BITH 333: Historical Geography and Context in the Holy Lands (4 credit hrs.) 
A survey of the geographical, historical, religious and archaeological material of biblical Israel and Second Temple Judaism as well as the earliest Christian communities in the Greco-Roman world. Classroom lectures are supplemented by regional studies with overnight field studies, on-site lectures and relevant preparation (map work, biblical readings, etc.). Meets the HP (Historical Perspectives) thematic core requirement.

BITH 417: New Testament and Context in the Holy Lands (4 credit hrs.)
A study of the New Testament in the geographical, historical, religious, and archaeological context of Israel at the time of Christ and the Greco-Roman world of Paul and the early church. Classroom lectures are supplemented by regional studies with overnight field studies, on-site lectures and relevant preparation (map work, biblical readings, etc.).

BITH 418: Christian Theology and Context in the Holy Lands (4 credit hrs.)
A study of Christian theology in the geographical, historical, religious, and archaeological context of Israel at the time of Christ and the Greco-Roman world of Paul and the early church.  Classroom lectures are supplemented by regional studies with overnight field studies, on-site lectures and relevant preparation (map work, biblical readings, etc.).

BITH 333, 417 and 418 can serve as electives for BITH majors/minors.

Anticipated Course Offerings for future summers (subject to change)

  • Summer, 2020 - BITH 317, BITH 318, BITH 333, BITH 417, BITH 418
  • Summer, 2021 - BITH 316, BITH 318, BITH 333, BITH 418

Program Fees

The estimated program fee covers tuition, airfare and ground transportation within the program, lodging, meals, and group admission to historical sites.

Estimated Additional Expenses: Students are responsible for the cost of international airfare to Israel and departing from Rome, books, lunches in Rome, passport fees, visa fees (where required), and all personal expenses.

Expense       Estimate
International airfare              $1,200.00
Textbooks $100.00
Lunches in Rome $50.00

Learn More

If you would like further information or have questions about Wheaton in the Holy Lands, please contact Dr. Chris Vlachos, Program Director for Wheaton in the Holy Lands. 

How to Apply

For more information and to apply, visit GoGlobal, Wheaton College's registration system for off-campus study and international travel, research, and internships.

The Wheaton in the Holy Lands program has a 45+ year long-standing tradition as a cornerstone experience, especially for those students majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies.  That said, Wheaton in the Holy Lands alumni represent almost every major offered on Wheaton's campus. 

Wheaton in the Holy Lands