A busy morning in Jerusalem's Damascus Gate.

Johnson University


Bible Lands Study-Tour (For College Credit)


course description

This course offers a 14 day study-abroad experience in Israel and Palestine, regions integral to the historic development of biblical literature and home to three text-oriented communities of faith, namely, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Observation, engagement, and contemplation within these contexts--whether focusing on archaeological reconstructions of the past or theological interpretations of identity and action in the present--allow learners to explore Christian ministry in an increasingly complex world.


key documents

Syllabus for CMSM 4323

Syllabus for BIBL 4323

Assignment Schedule

Book review rubric (for use with Tom Wright's The Way of the Lord)

Essay 1 Grading Rubric

Essay 2 Grading Rubric

Essay 3 Grading Rubric

Travel Brochure

Select Bibliography

Pre-Travel Videos (These videos were originally recorded for another class--so pardon some of the comments directed toward that end.) The larger discussion, however, is directly relevant to the objectives of this experience. See syllabus for further comments about using these videos.

1 Our Purpose

2 Our Strategy

3 Foundations

4 Trends and Trendbreakers

5 Climate Flora and Fauna

6 The Coastlands

7 The Central Hills

8 The Great Rift Valley

9 The Eastern Tableland

The fine print for Johnson University students:

Johnson University students can earn credit toward their degrees through a spring 2018 class that is built around a trip to Israel-Palestine. Undergraduate students may enroll in CMSM 4323 or BIBL 4323 Bible Lands which will meet the requirement for the upper level Bible Selective in the Bible major. 


In addition to the normal tuition for the class, students will be charged a course fee (see travel brochure above) to cover the cost of the trip. Students can use financial aid toward this course fee if they are taking at least 6 (undergrad) or 4.5 (grad) credits that term. Students should contact the financial aid office to discuss how the aid will work out in their particular circumstance.  

Teaching team

Mark Ziese will serve as professor of record and lead the trip. Other personnel from Johnson University will provide additional guidance and teaching while abroad.


1. Complete the Registration Form (see below) and send it to Jeff Snell (7900 Johnson Dr, Box 72, Knoxville, TN, 37998 or JSnell@JohnsonU.edu). Space is limited to 25 persons and some seats have already been reserved. Students do not have to submit a deposit with the registration (as the brochure suggests), it will be covered by the course fee. The registration deadline is November 15.

2. When registration opens for the spring term in early November, undergraduate students should register for CMSM 4323 or BIBL 4323 Bible Lands.

3.  A course fee (see travel brochure above) will be added to the student's account.

4. Students will begin coursework when the spring term begins in January, participate in the trip in March, and complete coursework by the end of the spring term.