Holy Land Study Tour

Holy Land Program

Offering more than a typical tour, the Saint John's Holy Land Program sets study of the biblical sources of our faith within the unique combination of study, pilgrimage, and prayer. Students venture to biblical and early Christian holy sites in Turkey, Israel, and Palestine, places frequented by Christian pilgrims for over 1,700 years.

In order to ensure affordability and to foster an authentic encounter with the Church in the Holy Land, the group will stay in monasteries and religious houses whenever possible. Space in the study tour group is limited to a minimum of 7 participants and a maximum of 15, so we encourage early application.

Your instructor and guide will be New Testament specialist Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, professor at Saint John's University School of Theology · Seminary. His course expands the Biblical text by emphasizing the culture, geography, history, archaeology, and people of Western Turkey and the Holy Land. Through his instruction, students and pilgrims will experience the world of Sacred Scripture in the lands which gave birth to the Bible. This course, Biblical and Archaeological Sites, can be taken for credit or audit. All students participate fully in the readings, site visits, and discussions.

2014 Study Tour Pilgrimage

The travel to the Holy Land consists of two components, the Churches of Revelation and Saint Paul in Turkey, and the biblical and historical sites in Israel and Palestine.


Departure from USA
  • Tuesday, May 20, MSP to IST
  • Wednesday, May 21, Arrival Istanbul, transfer to Izmir, Turkey  
  • Thursday-Sunday, May 22-24 - Izmir, Ephesus, Colossae, Laodicea.  Depart Izmir - Istanbul - Tel Aviv 
Israel (Galilee)
  • Sunday, May 25 - Arrive Tel Aviv, Israel.  Upon arrival to Ben Gurion Airport, transfer to Nazareth. Breakfast and early check in.   Late morning visit of Sepphoris return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
  • Monday, May 26 - early morning departure, Nazareth, Cana, Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Peter Primacy, (accommodations, Casa Nova, Tiberius)
  • Tuesday, May 27 - Mount Tabor, Latin and Greek Capernaum, Kursi
  • Wednesday, May 28 - Belvoir, Bet Shean
  • Thursday, May 29 - Tel Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Birkat Yam 
Palestine (Bethlehem)
  • Friday, May 30 - Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, Milk Grotto, Syrian Church, and Lutheran Church, 
  • Saturday, May 31 - Greek and Latin Shepherds' Fields, Herodion
Israel (Jerusalem)
  • Sunday, June 1 -  Jerusalem, Israel Museum, Orientation
  • Monday, June 2 - Mount of Olives, Gethsemane, Tomb of the Virgin, Saint Anne's, Ecce Homo, Basilica of the Anastasis (Holy Sepulcher)
  • Tuesday, June 3 - Mount Zion: Dormition, Harem al Sharif (Temple Mount) St Peter Gallicantu, Cenacle, Hezekiah's Tunnel 
  • Wednesday, June 4 - Early Mass at Holy Sepulcher, Wadi Qelt, Jericho, Qumran
  • Thursday, June 5 - Yad Vashem, Ein Karem, John the Baptist Grotto, Visitation Church 
  • Friday, June 6 -  Caesarea Maritima 
  • Saturday, June 7 - Masada, Dead Sea
  • Sunday, June 8 - Tel Aviv-Istanbul 
  • Monday, June 9 - Istanbul, Hagia Sophia, Chora, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, 
  • Tuesday, June 10 - Istanbul, Hippodrome, Byzantine Cistern, Markets, Bosphorus Cruise
  • Wednesday, June 11 - Dep Istanbul to USA

Program Fees:  2014

The anticipated price range for this experience is $6,800 - $7,000, including: tuition, lodging, half-board, guides, land travel, bus transfers, and incidentals.

(Variable rate depends on single or double occupancy, graduate or undergraduate program, currency fluctuations, unforeseen fuel surcharge, and number of participants.)

Participants must be enrolled in the course and pay the applicable tuition rate for 3 graduate credits or 4 undergraduate credits.
Scholarships are available to qualified, registered students.

Rate includes accommodation for 22 nights on a half -board basis as follows:

  • All transfers and tours by tourist A/C vehicle
  • Airfare: Istanbul-Izmir-Istanbul-Tel Aviv-Istanbul
  • All entrance fees to places mentioned on itinerary
  • Exit taxes
  • Administrative costs
  • Tips and gratuities for hotels, drivers, Turkish guides, breakfast and supper wait staff
  • Tuition 

Not included:

  • Turkish Visa fees (paid upon entry at border control, ~US $20, cash)
  • Roundtrip airfare between USA and Turkey
  • Lunch en-route
  • Beverage with meals
  • Expenses of a personal nature 

Important deadlines:

  • Undergraduate applications: February 10, 2014
  • All other applications: March 10, 2014
  • Full payment: April 10, 2014

Requirements: Study Abroad Programs

Questions about the itinerary and program itself, please contact:

Fr. Michael Patella, OSB
Holy Land Study Tour Coordinator 
Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary
P.O. Box 7288
Collegeville, MN 56321

Questions related to admission procedures, please contact Mary Beth Banken mbanken@csbsju.edu  

  1. A completed application form (.pdf) or apply online with a non-refundable application fee of $25.
  2. A one-page essay describing how this program can help you fulfill your personal and professional goals and objectives.
  3. Official transcripts if applicant is seeking credit.
  4. Two recommendation from educational or professional contacts
    • For clergy and religious: One recommendation must come from the bishop or major superior

Online Recommendation Form (Email link to recommenders.)

More Information

Events Information

Admissions:  320-363-2896

School of Theology
P.O. Box 7288
Collegeville, MN 56321

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