MiddLE East / Israel
No international study location in the world is like Israel.
This is especially true for Christians; the Holy Land has been called a “Fifth Gospel,” and the testimonies are endless of how the Bible comes alive when you experience it firsthand. Anyone who loves the scriptures and their faith heritage will benefit in extraordinary ways by spending time in Israel.
Studying abroad in Israel is an even more amplified experience than simply spending time as a brief visitor. Through vigorous academic study, students will be challenged to understand and think through the important influences that come out of this complex and dynamic part of the world. Tomorrow’s international leaders will continue to face the global challenges made real by the history, creeds, and ideals of the peoples of the Middle East. We desperately need Christian leaders to be amongst them, with deep understanding born of actual experience in this land.
“What Good Could Come Out of Nazareth?”
PHōS has an answer to those famous New Testament words of Bartholomew! Studying in Nazareth takes your study experience to new levels. Yes, you’ll get to visit all the usual, famous locations in the Holy Land, including the sites around Jerusalem and Galilee. But your base will be in Nazareth - the hometown of Jesus, where he spent 90% of His time on earth. Nazareth is today a predominantly Arab city, giving PHōS students a truly cross-cultural study experience that will broaden and stretch you like no other.
The academic program consists of intensive courses taught by highly-qualified teachers, all of whom are vetted and approved by Hope International University (hiu.edu) in Fullerton, California. HIU is historically affiliated with the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, though now it considers itself multidenominational in purpose and scope. HIU has regional accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and College (WASC). Its Bible and Ministry Department is also accredited with the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).
The PHōS program is robustly missional, meaning your time in Nazareth will also be spent serving alongside indigenous Arab Christians as they seek to share the gospel locally. The relationships you build across cultural and international lines may well be your most valuable takeaway from a semester in Israel.
Living in Nazareth
Students will be sleeping in the guesthouse of a local Christian children’s ministry, giving the students the opportunity to meet local Arab evangelicals and participate in their work. They will sleep in double rooms with all the amenities necessary for communal living: living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and opportunities to sit outside, enjoying the Nazarene weather. A cleaning lady will come once a week to clean the rooms.
During study time, students will eat lunch and supper in the college. Outside of study time students will be responsible for their own meals. They can either eat in local restaurants, get healthy Palestinian fast food, or shop in the mini-markets located nearby and cook in their accommodation.
Students will participate in two week-long excursions in order to discover the fascinating and diverse geography, history, and cultures of this small country. In the first excursion we will focus on the north, visiting the Galilee, Golan Heights, and Sea of Galilee, in the second we will visit Jerusalem and then onwards to the Dead Sea and the Negev desert regions.
During study time students will also have free days and weekends to discover the country together. They will be provided with a bus ticket and SIM card along with suggested useful apps for discovering Israel on their own or in groups. Mediterranean beaches are about a forty-minute bus journey away.
In the evenings, downtown Nazareth has a number of cafés and restaurants for students to visit, all within walking distance of the guest house (and perhaps a bus for the return, up-hill journey).
NAZARETH EVANGELICAL COLLEGE
PHōS partners in Israel with Nazareth Evangelical College (NEC), an independent, multi-denominational, evangelical college located in the American Quarter of the historic city of Nazareth in northern Israel. As Israel’s only Arab evangelical seminary, NEC’s vision is to advance, equip, and inspire the Arab Christian community in Israel through profound theological and Biblical training and reflection, effective leadership training, and promoting reconciliation and unity within the body of Christ. Students from North America enjoy the privilege of pursuing their studies in this uniquely cross-cultural and missional context.
Is Studying in Israel Safe?
The city of Nazareth is a peaceful Arab town that enjoys a very secure situation and low crime rate. It is far from the tensions of Jerusalem and the troublesome Gaza region (125 miles). Still, international travel always has associated risks. Neither PHōS nor NEC can guarantee the absolute safety of any student. However, you can be assured that the staff of NEC takes every measure to ensure student safety and provide a secure environment for all its participants.
SO...YOU WANT TO walk & learn IN Israel?
An excellent choice! Here are more details about studying in Israel with PHōS:
A WORD ABOUT PROGRAM PRICING
Though you will be attending a PHōS program, you will ultimately be graduating from your home college or university. There are a number of extra costs associated with you studying abroad, including approving courses, transferring course credits, keeping you registered while you are abroad, and all of the duties of your school’s study abroad office. Because of these considerations, each school sets its own policies and pricing for study abroad.
If you are studying with PHōS in order to gain credit toward a degree at your home school, please consult them about costs, course approvals, and the availability of financial aid.
The prices you see listed are for students who study with PHōS directly. Without a prescribed association to a particular college or university.
The price for all PHōS programs includes the following:
Pre-departure Support & Advising
Theology | Palestinian-Israeli Contextual Theology with Dr. Yohanna Katanacho (3)
Contextual theology is concerned with providing theological responses to specific challenges that arise from our everyday lives. Palestinian contextual theology thus attempts to develop theologically sound responses to the challenges faced by the Palestinians and the Palestinian-Israeli community. Dr. Yohanna Katanacho is a Palestinian-Israeli theologian who has experienced life in the region from multiple perspectives: he grew up in the old city of Jerusalem during the First Intifada, lives in Israel, and is involved in inter-religious dialogue with Jews, Muslims, and Christians—both traditional and evangelical. He has dedicated his life to developing an evangelical and Biblical response to the needs of his community. In this course students will discover the questions posed and answered by various Palestinian theologians since the creation of the State of Israel along with Katanacho’s own Evangelical critique and response.
Political Science / Theology | Reconciliation (3)
What is a theology of reconciliation? Can we put such a theology into practice? What implications would it have for Christian ministries, churches and communities in the midst of conflicts? This course will introduce students to the nature and necessity of a theology of reconciliation in the contemporary world with attention given to theories in this field. The course also explores some practical aspects of how to live in a reconciling way and the role of the local church in fostering forgiveness, repentance, remembering rightly, justice, embrace and reconciliation. Application of the understandings of reconciliation will be applied to contemporary case studies for discussion and debate. The course involves lectures, group discussions, presentations, and a final paper.
Social Science / History / Religious Studies | Religions in the Holy Land
Israel-Palestine is a center for three major monotheistic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is also home to a number of offshoots from these religions: from Islam we have the Druze community, from Judaism we have the Samaritans, and from Christianity it is arguable that we have a distinct form of Messianic Judaism which considers itself more Jewish than Christian. In this course we will learn about the history of these religions and their beliefs, particularly as they are related to the Holy Land, and we will visit some of their leaders and religious centers.
Geography / Theology | Place and Proclemation in the Bible: a canonical introduction to the Biblical geography
Many come to the Holy Land in order to get background information for the events in the Bible. If one can see and experience the places where the various events of Biblical history happened, one can better imagine them and better understand them. Often, however, the places mentioned in the Bible are not just background for key Biblical events, they are part of the message of the Bible itself. For example, according to Matthew 2:23, Jesus’ association with Nazareth was no accident but something planned by God beforehand and foretold by the prophets. This course looks at Biblical places and asks the question: “In what sense are these places part of the Biblical message?” This course will equip students to develop a nuanced understanding of the relationship between Biblical geography and the Biblical message.
Political Science | The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
This course introduces students to the historical, geographical, political, and religious dimensions of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Through course readings, class lectures, and multi-media, students will be exposed to different narratives, points of view, and assessments of the conflict’s root causes and its contributing factors. They will grapple with the question: Is the Israel-Palestine conflict inevitable or unresolvable? Particular attention will be given to the interpretation of historical events; the legitimacy claims of both Israelis and Palestinians; and the relationship between religion, politics, and nationalism. Generally, course content will be framed around the five most contentious issues (borders, settlements, refugees, Jerusalem, and water) and five geographical regions (Israel, West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, and international) where the conflict takes shape in specific ways.