Photographing the Temple of Artemis, Jerash, Jordan.

Johnson University

CMSM 5323

Bible Lands Study-Tour (For Graduate Credit)



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.



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. Graduate students enroll in CMSM 5323 Bible Lands and complete a version of the class that includes the trip.


In addition to the normal tuition for the class, students will be charged a $3,500 course fee to cover the cost of the trip. Students can use financial aid toward this course fee if they are taking 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.  

 Professor and Additional Teachers

Dr Mark Ziese, Professor of Old Testament at Johnson University Florida, will teach the class and lead the trip. Dr Jody Owens from Johnson University Tennessee will provide additional leadership and teaching while abroad.


1. Complete the Registration Form (see below) and send it to Daniel Overdorf (7900 Johnson Dr, Box 72, Knoxville, TN, 37998 or DOverdorf 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. Registration deadline is November 15.

2. When registration opens for the spring term in early November, graduate students should register for CMSM 5323 Bible Lands.

3.  A course fee of $3,500 will be added to the student's account.

4. Students will begin coursework when the spring term begins in January, participate in the trip on March 13-24, and complete coursework by the end of the spring term.