Holy Land Study Tour Pilgrimage

Israel and Palestine

May 16 - June 6, 2017

Program Highlights

  • Jerusalem, a place where Jews, Christians, and Muslims all live
  • The Western Wall, a spot sacred to Judaism
  • The Dome of the Rock, third holiest site in Islam
  • Bethlehem, the city where Jesus was born
  • Galilee, the region where Jesus walked and taught
  • Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher and the Resurrection, where Christ died and rose from the dead
  • The Golan Heights, home to the Druze People
  • Qumran, center of the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • The Dead Sea, lowest place on earth
  • Masada, a desert fortress with an infamous past
  • Mamshit and Aydat, ruins of the splendid Nabataean civilization
  • This is a diversity designated core course

Program Description

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

The group size is limited to a maximum of 15, with preference given first to seminarians, graduate theology students, undergraduate theology majors, and undergraduates in other majors.  

Israel: Galilee

  • Nazareth, Cana
  • Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Peter Primacy, Latin and Greek Capernaum, Kursi
  • Mount Tabor, Sepphoris, Belvoir, Bet Shean
  • Haifa/Akko
  • Tel Dan, Caesarea Philippi, Golan Heights
  • And places in between

Israel: Jerusalem

  • Bethany, Jerusalem, Tower of David Museum, Dormition Abbey
  • Basilica of the Anastasis (Holy Sepulcher), Harem al Sharif (Temple Mount) if possible
  • Saint Anne's, Church of Christ's Flagellation, Ecce Homo
  • Mount of Olives, Mary Magdalene Church, Gethsemane, Tomb of the Virgin
  • St. Peter Gallicantu, Cenacle
  • Wadi Qelt, Jericho, Qumran
  • Yad Vashem, Ein Karem, John the Baptist Grotto, Visitation Church
  • Hezekiah's Tunnel, Siloam Pools
  • Jewish Quarter, Moslem Quarter, Armenian Quarter, Christian Quarter
  • Jerusalem excavations
  • Caesarea Maritima
  • Masada, Dead Sea

Palestine: Bethlehem

  • Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity
  • Milk Grotto, Syrian Church, and Lutheran Church
  • Greek and Latin Shepherds' Fields, Herodion
  • Solomon's Pools
  • Bethany
  • Mount of Olives
  • And places in between

Program Cost

The anticipated program fee is between $3,500-$4,500, including tuition (1 graduate credit with a cost ranging from $300-$530 dependent on enrollment status OR 2 undergraduate credits estimated $1,146). 

This price includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Some meals
  • Expenses related to course

The Program Fee does not include: 

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Some meals


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. 


Your instructor and guide will be New Testament scholar 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 the Holy Land and Mideast. 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.