Palestine of Jesus
This basic course provides the best introduction to the Holy Land, in a 14 day study tour with both academic and devotional aspects. This course has been the most popular and most requested program at St. George’s College Jerusalem. For a sample of the itinerary, please click here
Scriptures, according to our Christian Faith, are inspired by the Holy Spirit but not dictated in heaven. They have been written by human persons in a place and a time, even more they reflect a time in a space. The Land became a part of the Bible, the geo-topography, the fruits, the flowers, the birds, the weather, have their echo beyond the text we read…
Befriending with these realities would help to go in depth and to enjoy reading and meditating the text
This course invites the course members to enjoy the natural set used by the Lord to teach the crowd and the disciples. Jesus insight will become more evident when the participants walk on His foot steps in Galilee, on the Jordan River and in Jerusalem
In Galilee pilgrims are invited to walk a segment of the short cut road between Nazareth and the north side of the Sea of Galilee near Magdala, the town of Mary of Magdala, or walk on the Way of the Sea between Capernaum and “Mensa Christi”(Peter’s Primacy)
In Jerusalem pilgrims are invited to walk the Kidron Valley or the steps next to the house of the High Priest or the steps, south to the Temple, leading to the temple Mount…where He walked with the disciples, or stand on the Mount of Olives
St. Jerome called this Holy Land “the fifth Gospel” where, for those who come with faith, the stones would speak to them about Him
“I was glad when they told me, let us go to the House of the Lord” Psalm 122:1
Children of Abraham
Today as never before our world is confronted by the reality of religious and cultural pluralism. Many of us have had the luxury of living in a society where there was little necessary contact with those of other faith communities, but the world grows increasingly smaller. It is absolutely essential that we all begin to seek a fuller understanding of each other and begin to look at the spiritual health of the whole world. Such a search deepens our own faith even as it increases our understanding of others. It is in response to that mission that St. George’s College Jerusalem offers its first explicitly interfaith course: Children of Abraham, perhaps unique in receiving the blessings of both the Grand Mufti and the Chief Rabbi. Lecturers from both Islam and Judaism will join our own faculty in leading us. The course focuses on the theology, history and common heritage in the Holy Land of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (the three Abrahamic faiths). In each tradition it will address the themes of Covenant, Election, Promise, Law, and Faith. It will discuss the importance of Land and the cultural implications as each faith develops. Abraham, the towering figure of the Genesis narratives, is the original model of faith and fidelity in all three religions. It is Abraham who stands at the center of this course, providing hope in our search for a common spiritual experience that may transcend historical conflicts. Convergences and divergences in relations between the three traditions are traced through a study of texts relating to Abraham in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Scriptures. Jerusalem provides an ideal setting for such a discussion since the dialogue can be heightened by excursions to places holy to the three faiths, visits to synagogues, churches, and mosques, and even to private homes of each faith for conversation. The lecturers will challenge us to open discussion and debate on interpretation and will hopefully send us to St. George’s College Library for research and study. As with every St. George’s College course, participants are invited to make connections with their own faith commitments and to link their experiences in the Holy Land with their lives back home. Children of Abraham is a course with a particular focus, and will NOT take participants to all of the famous holy sites and tourist spots in Israel and Palestine. Places of relevance to the theme of interfaith dialogue and the life of Abraham will be visited in Jerusalem, the Galilee and the Negev Desert. This course is ideal for those who have already visited the Holy Land and now wish to focus their attention. Course members are encouraged to have some background knowledge of the texts and traditions of each faith tradition before they arrive. A recommended reading list is provided.
For a sample of the itinerary, please click here
Islam or Islams Today
What is the shape of Islam in the contemporary Holy Land? For many people, especially in the West, Islam is monochrome and homogeneous. But, historically, Islam, the first shock to the rule of Christendom in the Holy Land, has developed to include many factions. Though Sunnism appears from the fifth century of Islam (eleventh century of the Christian era) with coherent religious identity focused around the Unity of God, the imitation of the Prophet, coherent worship and ethics, there were different branches that have shaped what we call today Sunnism, comprising of Sufi orders, modernist Muslim movements, and political Islam, each giving a different face to what we call today ‘Islam’.
One major schismatic branch of Islam that is distinguished from Sunnism with its political and religious ideology and with mass following was Shiism. Shiism is not a monolithic movement either. Its provenance goes back to political dissent among the first Muslims. However, its character was not only shaped by political ideas. Posthumous supporters of the fourth Caliph Ali, unhappy with the corruption of the political leaders of Umayyad Damascus, developed a theory of religious authority vested in their charismatic Imams. This in turn reflects the lack of coherent religious authority in the first few centuries of Islam. Shiism, however, as it developed later was highly productive of splinter groups and movements, such as the Ismailis, the Twelver Shiites, the Alawites, the Druze, The Bahais, and The Ahmadiyya movement.
The Holy Land is famous for being a Land loyal to Sunni Islam, but has its share of the different faces of Sufi, modernist and political Sunnism. Despite the lack of allegiance to Shiism here, the Holy Land is home to different sub-movements of Shiism, mainly the Druze, Bahaism, and the Ahmadiyya in particular. It is not as though there is a clear Islamic political and religious system on offer here.
This course at St. George’s College aims to offer a basis to understand and relate to the complexity of the different faces of Islam as represented in the Holy Land today. What are the implications for the political reality here? And what does the Church and the Churches of the Holy Land have to offer in response to this diversity as a basis for moral society?
Pilgrimage and Spirituality
As the cradle of the three Monotheistic faiths, the Holy Land remains a permanent invitation, a way and a voice reflecting God’s Presence and Message to all humanity. For Christian faithful it was and remains the very place where the Incarnation and human salvation took place. Even the stones proclaim and praise the Risen Christ!
Pilgrims from all nations love to see what He saw and to walk where He walked, taught, preached and healed….
This course opens up the land for a personal encounter with the Teacher to offer a deep spiritual encounter with the Gospel in its authentic context. Beyond the sites, course members can read the spiritual, the political and the social background Jesus knew.
Our aim is not to look towards the past but to consider our past in the light of the Gospel, determined to reconnect with the Lord and to restart our witness to His Presence and Love.
Our spiritual goal is to find the special meaning of our human life lived with the Lord and for Him and to try a renewal of real faith, of a positive energy and of a joyful hope.
“ Come and see, says the Lord!”
Risen With Christ
This course enables participants to study aspects of the liturgical traditions of some of the Eastern Churches in Jerusalem, as well as to attend some of the Easter liturgies over Eastern Holy Week and Easter. For a sample of the itinerary, please click here
St. Paul and the Early Church
This course not only traces some of the journeys and thoughts of the Apostle Paul, but puts special focus on the history of the Early Church in Asia Minor, the Ecumenical Councils and the development of the creeds. Course members blend theological issues like the nature of Christ with personal insights into the essence of their own faith. The course is conducted entirely in Turkey; visits include Cappadocia, Ephesus, Pergamum, Nicea and Istanbul, and many more. (Entire Course in Turkey)
For a sample of the itinerary, please click here
Ways in the Wilderness
This course reflects a growing interest in wilderness spirituality. Excursions begin at Jerusalem, and reach Cairo, the monasteries of Egypt, Mount Sinai and Jordan (including Petra). Some nights are spent under the stars, in tent encampments, and in monastery guest houses. Focus is on prayer, reflection on the scriptures and traditions of the desert mystics, and explorations of the silent desert vastness. Applicants must be physically fit for a challenging and rewarding wilderness adventure. For a sample of the itinerary, please click here
?What is written in Scriptures about women
The differences between various streams of theology and philosophy are not a result of what is written but from “How do you read it”. Three Monotheistic faiths, each has its own reading, other groups have also theirs
?How these faiths, these ethnic groups consider the woman in her person, dignity and human rights
?Do civil rights and religious by-laws meet or conflict when it comes to women’s rights
Humanity needs the woman as an equal companion, sharing and protecting values and educating new generations. How could we expect Peace and Harmony in a world where women don’t enjoy harmony and peace in their own homes and in their own societies! This course is designed to meet, listen and discuss with women in their context and try to proclaim the due recognition of the woman’s personality, her equal rights and her responsibilities with men
Sisterhood could encourage women in this Holy Land to join together for more sharing and more contribution to the need of living together, respecting each other and building up new hope with each other
.Visiting different groups with a spirit of mutual respect, aiming at the creation of new ways and new bridges of understanding and co-responsibility, is the real goal beyond this course
The St. George’s College Jerusalem YOUTH COURSE is held once a year and lasts 9 days. The young people on the course are normally between 16 – 18 years of age, although the range is sometimes wider. Palestinian, Jordanian, American, and European teenagers have taken part. The course focuses on providing an encounter with the Holy Land and its people through Bible studies in the College lecture room and at sites; visits to major archaeological and holy sites with introductions to the history and traditions associated with the places; and meetings with local Palestinian youth. There is also a significant ‘physical’ side to this course: a hike up Mount Tabor, when the course is spending time in Galilee; hikes at Gamla, and at Masada are also sometimes included; floating on the Dead Sea, and swimming at one of the main swimming venues in the land. All of these activities enable participants to learn a great deal about the city of Jerusalem and the land at the time of Jesus and today. A major part of the course is getting to know other teenagers and learning something of the different cultural perspectives represented. Participants worship, pray and sing together as they travel the Holy Land. For a sample of the itinerary, please click here