Please update your web browser or disable Compatibility View.

Holy Land Study Tour

Holy Land Program

Dates of Study Tour:  10 May - 1 June, 2016

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 and 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.

Holy Land Study Tour Pilgrimage Overview

The travel to the Holy Land consists of two components:

1.) The Churches of Revelation and Saint Paul in Turkey and 2.) The biblical and historical sites in Israel and Palestine.

The study tour is from mid-May to mid-June each year. 

2016 Travel Dates:  10 May - 1 June, 2016


  • departure from USA to Turkey
  • Arrival Istanbul, transfer to Izmir, Turkey  
  •  Izmir, Ephesus, Colossae, Laodicea  
  • Pammukale 
  • Depart Pammukale for Istanbul - Tel Aviv 
Israel Galilee
  • Arrive Tel Aviv, Israel.  Upon arrival to Ben Gurion Airport, meet Sindbad Driver, transfer to Nazareth to St. Gabriel's Hotel. Breakfast and early check in.   Late morning visit of Sepphoris return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
  • Nazareth, Cana, Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Peter Primacy, (accommodations, Casa Nova Tiberius)
  • Mount Tabor, Latin and Greek Capernaum, Kursi
  • Belvoir, Bet Shean
  • Tel Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Omrit (if permitted)
Palestine:  Bethlehem
  • Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, Milk Grotto, Syrian Church, and Lutheran Church, 
  • Greek and Latin Shepherds' Fields, Herodion
Israel: Jerusalem
  • Bethany, Jerusalem, Tower of David Museum, Orientation, Dormition Abbey 
  • Basilica of the Anastasis (Holy Sepulcher), Harem al Sharif (Temple Mount, if possible), Saint Anne's, Flagellation, Ecce Homo, 
  • Mount of Olives, Mary Magdalene Church, Gethsemane, Tomb of the Virgin, St Peter Gallicantu, Cenacle
  • Early Mass at Holy Sepulcher, Wadi Qelt, Jericho, Qumran
  • Yad Vashem, Ein Karem, John the Baptist Grotto, Visitation Church, (Hezekiah's Tunnel, if time; bring flashlight)
  • Caesarea Maritima 
  • Masada, Dead Sea
  • Tel Aviv-Istanbul 
Turkey Istanbul
  • Istanbul
  •  Dep Istanbul to USA

2016 Program Fees

The anticipated price range for this experience is $7,300 - 7,700, 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
  • Gratuities for hotels, drivers, Turkish guides, breakfast and supper wait staff
  • Tuition 
Not included:
  • Turkish Visa fees (online payment or 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 19, 2016
  • All other applications: March 18, 2016
  • Full payment: April 15, 2016

Questions about the itinerary and program itself, please contact:

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

Requirements: Study Abroad Programs
  1. 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 this link to those writing recommendations for you.)

More Information

Events Information

Admissions:  320-363-2896

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