Experience an Ancient World.

Experience the ancient world of the Bible first-hand! The study tour will combine extensive travel within Israel and the Palestinian territories, on-site exploration of archaeological remains, and a detailed study of the history, culture, and geography of the region with an emphasis on illuminating the world of the Bible.

The 11-day trip is led by GRTS professors in cooperation with GTI Study Tours and is held each J-term as the credit offering BBL 601/604 Experiencing the Ancient World of the Bible. The course (or the on-campus alternative course BBL 506) is required for all Master of Divinity students who began their program since the Fall 2013 semester and has been heavily subsidized by generous donors. The study tour is also open to students in other degree programs, as well as other family and friends of GRTS, though different costs apply.

  • 2017 Israel Study Tour Dates: Monday, January 2 - Thursday, January 12, 2017
  • Course: BBL 601 or BBL 604 Experiencing the Ancient World of the Bible

Preview Trip Itinerary

Eligibility and Fees

Eligibility and fees are determined according to the degree program in which you are enrolled at the seminary.

  • Master of Divinity Students: Enrolled M.Div. students in good standing entering their final year of study (45 credit minimum at the time of application) are eligible to apply to participate in the trip at the subsidized rate of $1000 ($1100 after June 24, 2016) payable as a course fee in addition to tuition for the 2 credit offering of class. If the student anticipates that a trip will not be feasible during their final year, they may apply for consideration with a 23 credit minimum at the time of application. Students not awarded the subsidy may still choose to participate under the "Other GRTS students" parameters below.
  • M.A. Urban Cohort Students: Enrolled M.A. Urban Cohort students in good standing entering their final stages of study (16 credit minimum at the time of application) are eligible to apply to participate in the trip at the subsidized rate of $500 ($600 after June 24, 2016) payable as a course fee in addition to tuition for the 3 credit offering of the class. If the student anticipates that a trip will not be feasible during their final stages, they may apply with a 12 credit minimum at the time of application. Students not awarded the subsidy may still choose to participate under the "Other GRTS students" parameters below.
  • Other GRTS Students: Enrolled students in programs other than the M.Div. and M.A. Urban Cohort programs in good standing are eligible to apply at any time in their program (provided the prerequisite BBL501 Biblical Hermeneutics course has been completed) at the rate of $3280 ($3380 after June 24, 2016) paid as a course fee in addition to the audit fee for the 2 credit offering of the course ($66).
  • Friends of GRTS: Student spouses and family, alumni, and other friends of GRTS are also eligible to apply. Upon acceptance, these individuals must register for the course as non-degree seeking audit students via the GRTS Admissions Office and pay the rate of $3280 ($3380 after June 24, 2016) as a course fee in addition to the audit fee for the 2 credit offering of the course ($66).

Subsidies are available on a competitive basis for certain degree programs thanks to generous donations from supporters who value this experience for students. For those interested in supporting this program, please contact Jonathan Greer.

Please Note: Tuition remission cannot be applied to direct trip costs. Therefore, students using tuition remission should see Kate Mondal for specifics on their course fees. Students who wish to use spring financial aid towards trip costs must contact the Student Financial Services office to complete a form requesting advanced financial aid.

Application Process

Participants will be selected by application essay and committee decision; the committee is comprised of biblical studies faculty and administrative personnel.

  • Application Essay: As the first step in the process, applicants must submit an application essay as a PDF file via email to: kate.mondal@cornerstone.edu (and cc: jonathan.greer@cornerstone.edu). The application essay should be no more than one page in length (single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, 1 inch margins) and must include the following:
    • (1) Contact information (name, email, phone number, and student ID if applicable)
    • (2) Reasons one would like to participate in the trip
    • (3) Any previous experience in biblical lands
    • (4) Current academic transcript attached (for degree seeking students only)
  • Application Deadlines: First round: June 4, 2016; priority will be given to first round applicants. Second round: September 10, 2016; applications will be received on a rolling basis until the second round deadline as long as spots are available.
  • Participation Approval: Applicants will be notified within one week of the respective deadline informing them of a decision. Selected applicants will be required to pay the course fee, register with GTI, sign a confirmation form, trip agreement form, liability waiver, and medical information form requiring a doctor's signature before being approved for course registration. Once approved, applicants will be registered for the course by Kate Mondal via the GRTS Admissions Office.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Kate Mondal by phone (616.254.1646) or by email.

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