Semester in Jerusalem
is a Wheaton College faculty-led fall semester program where a cohort of students study and engage with ancient biblical and modern Middle East narratives. The program is:
Anticipated Semester Dates*
- Inter-disciplinary—students can earn thematic tags and apply elective credits to various majors and minors.
- Experiential—the courses include on-site field studies and excursions.
- Cross cultural—students experience meaningful interaction with local individuals and communities.
- Formative—the program provides foundational learning, experience, and application that can help shape a student’s vision of love, service, and peace.
August 27–December 17, 2021 (*Contingent on sufficient program enrollment)
Students will reside and study at Jerusalem University College in Jerusalem, the cradle of ancient civilizations and one of the most vibrant cultural and religious communities in the world. Nestled atop Mount Zion, the original campus building (formerly the Bishop Gobat Boys’ School) was constructed in 1853 where the southeastern section of the ancient first century wall of Jerusalem once stood—some stones of which form the façade of the college’s main building today. Immediate neighbors of JUC include the Roman Catholic Dormition Abbey and Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox seminary, as well as the traditional sites of the tomb of King David and upper room of the Last Supper and Pentecost Spirit outpouring. A cemetery adjacent to the campus is the resting place of the mortal remains of a number of prominent individuals from the 19th and early 20 centuries, including the archaeologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, the architect Conrad Schick, and Horatio Spafford, writer of the hymn "It Is Well with My Soul."
After completing their studies at JUC, students will transition to Greece where they will trace Paul's cross cultural journeys, providing a template to help calibrate their reentry and interactions in the West.
With the exception of hotels and other accommodations during overnight excursions, students live in dorm rooms both at Jerusalem University College and Hellenic Scripture Union in Kifissia, Greece.
Requirements and Pre-Requisites
Students must be undergraduates in good academic and judicial standing and have at least a 3.0 GPA. All program participants must register for GPS 231: Orientation to Study Abroad (2 hrs.)
offered during B quad of Spring semester 2021. It is recommended (but not required) that students complete either BITH 211: OT Literature and Interpretation
or BITH 213: NT Literature and Interpretation
prior to the program.
Students earn 16 credit hours during the program. Most courses carry CATC thematic core tags and are accepted for major or minor elective credit by various academic departments. Courses are taught at Jerusalem University College by a wide array of noted professors from local educational institutions such as Hebrew University, Bar-Ilan University, the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, Bethlehem Bible College, and Bethlehem University. Students also take a one-credit service practicum and a two-credit integrative course, both overseen and taught by the Wheaton College professor in residence.
Students complete the following required courses:
Students choose two electives from the following courses:
- Physical Settings of the Bible (4 hrs.) HP
- Introduction to Modern Middle East (3 hrs.) GP, SI
- Journeys across Cultures (2 hrs.)
- Practicum: Engaging Modern Middle East Narratives (1 hr.)
- Biblical Archaeology I (3 hrs.)
- History of Ancient Israel (3 hrs.)
- History of the Church in the East (3 hrs.)
- History of the Jews during the Medieval and Modern Periods (3 hrs.)
- Iconographic Art in Judaism and Early Christianity* (3 hrs.) VPAV
- Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls (3 hrs.)
- Palestinian Society and Politics (3 hrs.)
- Readings in Biblical Hebrew - Historical and Geographical Texts** (3 hrs.)
Course will be offered only with sufficient student enrollment.
HEBR 102 is a prerequisite for this course
Major/Minor Elective Credits for Courses
Physical Settings, Biblical Archaeology I, and History of Ancient Israel taken together can count toward fulfilling the 6 hour elective block in the Archaeology major plus either ARCH 345, 365, or 366. Journeys across Cultures, History of the Church in the East, Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, or Biblical Hebrew: Historical and Geographical Texts can count toward the 6-hour advanced interdisciplinary concentration in Biblical Studies option in the Archaeology major.
BITH majors/minors may earn 8 elective credits, 10 with department permission
IR majors/minors and those completing the PACS Certificate Program may earn 6 elective credits by taking Intro to the Modern Middle East and Palestinian Society and Politics.
- Physical Settings of the Bible: ARCH, BITH, GEOL
- Introduction to Modern Middle East: ANTH, IR/PACS
- Journeys Across Cultures: BITH
- Biblical Archaeology I: ARCH, BITH
- History of Ancient Israel: ARCH, BITH
- History of the Church in the East: BITH, HIST*
- History of the Jews during the Medieval and Modern Periods: HIST*
- Iconographic Art in Judaism and Early Christianity: ART
- Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls: BITH
- Palestinian Society and Politics: ANTH, IR/PACS
- Readings in Biblical Hebrew - Historical and Geographical Texts: BITH, CL
The Biblical Hebrew course can count toward the 14 hours of supporting coursework for the CL major.
* with department permission
Program costs are equivalent to a full-time on-campus semester at Wheaton (full tuition; double/triple room; full board-18 AYCE meal plan) and cover program tuition, room and board, academic excursions, and transportation within the program (surface and air). This does not cover passport or visa fees, airfare to Tel Aviv and return from the program, vaccinations, textbooks, and other personal expenses.
Financial aid is available for the program on the same basis as that of an on-campus semester.
Dr. Chris A. Vlachos, Visiting Associate Lecturer in Biblical and Theological Studies
For further information
Contact us at Semester.in.Jerusalem@wheaton.edu