Israel & Jordan
February 23-March 7, 2019
Have you ever wanted to experience for yourself the sights, sounds, and scenery of the lands of the Bible? Can you imagine walking where Jesus walked? Reading the Sermon on the Mount while standing atop the Mount of Beatitudes? Contemplating the crucifixion and resurrection at Calvary and the Garden of Gethsemane? Why not join us for the trip of a lifetime?
Printable Itinerary (PDF)*
- Departure from U.S. gateway city to be announced, destination Tel Aviv, Israel. Meals will be served on board.
- We arrive in Tel Aviv, which was founded on the outskirts of Jaffa (biblical Joppa) in 1909 and today encompasses the ancient port city. Transfer to the Grand Beach Hotel overlooking the Mediterranean for dinner and overnight.
- We drive along the Mediterranean to the coastal city ruins of Caesarea, ancient capital of Roman Palestine, where we see the theater, aqueduct, recently-excavated hippodrome, and Crusader fortress.
- Then at Mount Carmel we visit the traditional site of Elijah's battle with the prophets of Baal and enjoy the sweeping panoramic view of the Jezreel Valley from atop the mountain.
- We visit the ruins of Megiddo, site of the Biblical Armageddon; see Ahab's stables and the famous water system.
- We proceed to Sepphoris, traditional home of Anna and Joachim (the parents of Mary, mother of Jesus), and Mary's birthplace.
- Our destination this evening is the Nof Ginosar Holiday Village along the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Dinner at the hotel.
- We drive along the edge of the Sea of Galilee to Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene. When excavating the synagogue, archaeologists found a coin minted in Tiberias in 29 A.D., indicating that the synagogue dates back to the time of Jesus' ministry. After a visit to the Mount of Beatitudes, we travel north to the foothills of Mount Hermon and Banias (Caesarea Philippi), where Jesus said, "I will build my church..."
- We travel back through the Golan Heights past Gadara, one of the Decapolis cities. Matthew describes the miracle of Jesus delivering demon-possessed men who were "of the country of the Gadarenes." We take some time to enjoy a lunch of St. Peter's fish near the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
- In the afternoon we visit the ruins of ancient Capernaum where the greater part of Jesus' ministry of teaching and healing took place. We’ll see the ancient synagogue and the excavations of Peter's house
- We stop at the Kibbutz Ginosar to see the 1st-century "Jesus Boat," which was discovered in 1986 partially buried in the muddy shores of the Sea of Galilee.
- A highlight of the day will be a memorable boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
- We begin our day at Nazareth, site of the boyhood of Jesus, for a visit to Mary's Well at St. Gabriel's Church, and the Church of the Annunciation, commemorating the location where Mary was visited by the Archangel Gabriel.
- Following our time here we go to Mount Precipice for breathtaking views of Nazareth and the Jezreel Valley.
- From there, we travel south to Beit She'an, Israel's largest active archaeological dig site, and see the Roman theater, built in the second century. It is one of the largest and best preserved ancient theaters in the entire Middle East.
- We continue to a baptismal site on the River Jordan before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight..
- This morning we cross Sheik Hussein Bridge, enter the Kingdom of Jordan and travel to Jerash, a city of the Decapolis that was one of the most important and best-preserved cities in the Near East. As we journey through mountainous Upper Gilead we see Tishbe, birthplace of the prophet Elijah, and Mahanaim, where Jacob divided his camp into two groups prior to meeting Esau.
- We view the Jabbok Stream, where Jacob wrestled with a "man" who wrenched Jacob's hip socket.
- From there we drive south among spectacular canyons to the marvelous "rose-red" city of Petra for dinner and overnight at the Petra Guest House.
- Today we have most of the day to explore Petra. The last mile of the journey is along a winding narrow path, the Siq, between two high cliffs. The entire city of rose-colored temples and amphitheaters is carved out of the multi-hued rock of the cliffs which surround its hidden valley. Explore the monastery, tombs, and other fascinating ruins of this remarkable city.
- Leave Petra mid-afternoon and travel to Aqaba. Dinner and overnight in Aqaba at the Marina Plaza Hotel.
- Cross border back into Israel, and visit the Underwater Observatory Marine Park in Eilat in the morning.
- Drive through the Negev to Beer’sheva and visit the site.
- Drive to Dead Sea near Masada for overnight at the David Dead Sea Hotel; time permitting we have the opportunity to swim in the Dead Sea.
- Visit Masada and ascend by cable car to visit the magnificent ruins of the fortress where Jewish defenders made the last stand of the Judean revolt against the Romans.
- Drive to Ein Gedi to visit the oasis nature park.
- Visit Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.
- Time permitting we have the opportunity to again swim in the Dead Sea before returning to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight at the Dan Jerusalem Hotel.
- Drive to New Testament Jericho (political situation permitting), believed to have been at the mouth of the Wadi Qelt, where Herod had his winter palace.
- Drive by the Mount of Temptation.
- Go to Bethlehem (political situation permitting) and visit the Church of the Nativity, built over the traditional site of the birth of Christ.
- We drive by the Field of Shepherds, where the angel announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds.
- We continue up to Jerusalem, the Holy City, for dinner and overnight.
- We drive past the Hebrew University and on to the Mount of Olives.
- Here we visit the Church of Pater Noster, whose walls are decorated with 140 ceramic tiles, each one inscribed with the Lord's Prayer in a different language.
- We walk down the traditional "Palm Sunday Walk" where Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, stopping at the Garden of Gethsemane with its ancient olive trees and the Church of All Nations.
- At Mount Zion we see the traditional Room of the Last Supper.
- Then we go to Caiaphas' palace, where Jesus was first brought before the high priest.
- We then visit the City of David, the narrow hill near the Western Wall where Jerusalem "began." Here we view walls, towers, and fortifications that protected the city from enemies, pass through the water systems, see the Gihon Spring, and encounter the personalities and dwelling places of the city as reflected by archaeological discovery and in the Bible.
- We conclude our afternoon driving past the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament building, to visit the Shrine of the Book, which houses the original Dead Sea Scrolls.
- We also take some time to view the scale model of Jerusalem in the 1st century. We then return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
- Time permitting, we will visit the Jewish Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem.
- We check out of our hotel this morning and in the Old City we follow the Via Dolorosa, seeing Pilate's Judgment Hall in the Antonia Fortress where Christ was imprisoned and concluding at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
- We visit the Temple Mount (political situation permitting), the holiest site in Judaism, for a closer look at the Dome of the Rock.
- Nearby we view the Western Wall and pass through its tunnels, taking an awe-inspiring journey through time and gaining further insight into the complexities inherent in the relationship between Jews and Muslims.
- We then visit the Davidson Center at the entrance to the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, one of the largest and most significant archaeological sites in the country.
- Nearby are the "Southern Steps," leading to the original main entrance of the temple mount in the Second Temple period. It is certain that Jesus climbed these steps when he visited the temple in Jerusalem.
- We end our day at Gordon's Calvary and the Garden Tomb, for an inspiring service celebrating the resurrection of our Lord.
- We will enjoy a special farewell dinner this evening and then proceed to the airport for our overnight flight back to the U.S.A.
Cost: Figures reflect anticipated rates*
- Projected tour cost: approximately $4,799 per person (double occupancy).
- Single room fee $980
- Roundtrip airfare between Columbus, Ohio - Tel Aviv, Israel
- 10 nights in 4-star hotels in Israel and Jordan
- Sightseeing as per the itinerary
- All escorted transfers
- Daily breakfast and dinners (plus 1 lunch at the Sea of Galilee)
- Transportation by private, climate controlled, bus with driver throughout the tour
- English speaking professional tour guides.
- Entry fees to all scheduled sites and museums
- Service charges and local taxes and tips to hotel and restaurant staff, portage for one piece of luggage
- Minimum tips for tour guides and drivers
- Lunches and all drinks (approx. $6-15 per meal), snacks or any drinks for lunch or dinner (approx. $1-2 per meal). Coffee, milk and juice are included in the breakfasts.
- Personal expenses, such as souvenirs, snacks, and in-room Wi-Fi service (some hotels charge extra)
- Any other service which is not mentioned above
*Cost may vary depending on departure/arrival airports. Advertised cost is for trips originating and ending in Columbus, Ohio. Please contact us for departure and arrival from airports other than Columbus, Ohio.
Important Note: Tour prices based on group minimum of 25 passengers, projected 2019 airfare rates, and cost of land arrangements as of February 2018. These are subject to any changes that may be imposed prior to departure.
Registration Form (students must register for classes separately)
Medical Release Form (NOTE: This form must be notarized) *
MVNU Executive Insurance Forms
Preventing Sexual Harassment Training and Test
(Only for MVNU faculty/staff/students. See below for generic form)
Sexual Discrimination, Harassment, and Violence Compliance Form *
(For everyone else not directly affiliated with MVNU)
Scholarship Application - Scholarships are exclusively for MVNU students.* Due September 1, 2018
Fundraiser Letter Sample - Edit and send to church, family, friends.
* Print, fill out and mail OR scan/email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- BIB1014 - Narrative of Scripture - Dr. C. Jeanne Serrao
- BIB3023 - Life and Teachings of Jesus - Dr. C. Jeanne Serrao
- BIB2083 - History and Geography of the Biblical Lands - Dr. Michael VanZant
- BIB3003 - Eighth Century Prophets - Dr. Michael VanZant
- ITD1009 - Crossing Cultures Training and Experience (0-1) - Dr. C. Jeanne Serrao
- ICS2042 - Global Diversity and Intercultural Understanding - Dr. C. Jeanne Serrao
- ITD5013 - Contemporary Concerns - Prof. Carlos M. Serrao
- Other classes may be added if interest arises
*Course availability may be dependent on number of students registered. Credit is available for both undergraduate and graduate levels. Courses are not required for alumni and friends of MVNU.