By Maddie Ruth
An exciting new opportunity now exists for students who love to travel, learn, and explore their faiths. A new May Term course, Journeys of Paul in Greece and Rome, will lead participants on a trip that follows in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul on his second missionary journey, as described in Acts 16-18.
The path creeps from northern Greece down into Italy through the cities of Florence and Rome. As they experience first-hand key biblical sites that Paul reached, students will explore the issues of the various religious communities he influenced and the books of the Bible associated with those churches. They will also study the cultural and religious issues at the time of Paul while cross-culturally experiencing the contemporary realities of Greece and Rome. The course will facilitate learning through a variety of experiences like field trips, on-site lectures, readings, reflections and worship.
Bob Yoder, campus pastor and the course leader, expects the trip to be both an academically and spiritually enriching experience. When he was a student at Eastern Mennonite University, he went on a similar trip and said that “it forever changed the way I view and read scripture, and so continues to impact me to this day.”
As for this course, students do not need to be aspiring pastors or Bible and religion majors to participate. There are no prerequisites, and the idea is to deepen students’ biblical knowledge in an experiential and exciting way. Some may go with the desire of a spiritual pilgrimage, while others will hope to enjoy the historical sites. The group will see famous art and architecture, including the Duomo in Florence, the Coliseum, and Michelangelo’s statue of David. The group will also visit notable sites like the place of Lydia’s baptism and the monasteries of Meteora.
Keith Graber Miller, professor of Bible and Religion, will accompany Yoder and the group, pending the number of students who sign up.
“I’m really pleased that we’re having this offering out of the Bible and Religion Department,” said Graber Miller. “It’s a great opportunity to see sites important to the early Christian tradition, and I hope it fills up so I can accompany Bob and the student group,” says Graber Miller.
Due to the global education offered by Journeys of Paul in Greece and Rome, the May Term may serve as an SST Alternative. The twenty-day adventure of flying, sailing, and traveling back in time is certainly different than most May Term courses! The course description, complete itinerary, and tentative pricing for the course can be found at footstepministries.org/GoshenCollege.html.