It’s not every day that you get to ride a boat on the Sea of Galilee, float in the Dead Sea, and explore the caves in which David hid from Saul.
Calvin Seminary students didn’t do all of these in one day. This is just a sampling of their activities over the course of a 13-day Israel/Palestine Study Tour in January.
Led by Professors Amanda Benckhuysen and Sarah Schreiber, group members immersed themselves in the world of the Bible, engaging all their senses in the study of the culture, geography, and history of Israel and Palestine.
All participating Master of Divinity students received a class credit, as well as a generous scholarship from a donor who wanted to enrich the preaching of future pastors by offering the opportunity to experience the Bible in the land where the events of Scripture took place.
Twenty-seven students from both the distance and residential programs explored sites like the Western Wall, the Mount of Olives, Qumran, Gethsemane, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
“This week has been a beautiful combination of deep reflection and profound illumination,” said Brian Tarpy, a third-year M.Div. student. “I’ve seen the face of Christ on the quiet waters in the Sea of Galilee; I’ve pondered the temptation of Christ as I gazed upon the wilderness he wandered. Following in his footsteps has been deep and profound.”
For first-person summaries and reflections, as well as pictures and videos, visit
GTItours.org. The Calvin Seminary blog is listed under “Follow a Study Tour.”