Emphasizing the lived experience of pilgrimage as Christian formation, the course encounters the land of Jesus’ ministry, engaging the biblical narratives in their physical, historical, and archaeological contexts. The course roughly follows a chronological arc of Jesus’ life. Some attention is given to the Old Testament and Intertestamental periods as background context for Jesus’ life and ministry, as well as to the commemorations of Acts and the early development of the Church. Palestine of Jesus has an appreciation for pilgrim traditions over the centuries. The course also engages the Living Stones of Israel and Palestine.
The course includes a 3-day, 2-night excursion to the Galilee and typically has two free afternoons in Jerusalem. Alongside teachings and reflections in the field, occasional mini-lectures prepare course participants for site visits.
While Palestine of Jesus has the same aims and objectives as the 10-day Footsteps of Jesus course, the four additional days of Palestine of Jesus provide a more immersive experience with respect to the sites and Scriptures of the life of Jesus as well as the present-day realities of the Land of the Holy One, including its contemporary identities, narratives, hopes, and challenges.