The St. George’s College staff and community mourns the loss of the former Dean of St. George’s College,  the Revd. Canon Dr. John Wilkinson, who passed away on January 13.

John  began his career at  St. George’s College in 1961 as a tutor and subsequently became Dean of the college  from 1969-1974.

During his tenure at St. George’s College, John designed short courses and his format is still experienced today whereby our students visit holy sites, engage in theological reflection and experience worship and fellowship with the local Palestinian Christians. The Rev. Dr. Stephen Need, former dean of the College from 2005-2011,  reflected on the significant contribution of Revd. Wilkinson, calling John the “founding father of St. George’s College. His scholarship and love of Jerusalem and the Holy Land were legendary.” Stephen Need wrote:

During my time as Dean of St. George’s College when traveling around the land and in the Sinai with groups, John’s name would come up frequently because he had translated the famous Egeria’s Travels to the Holy Land (1971) and numerous other texts published in “Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades,” (1977) and “Jerusalem Pilgrimage 1099-1185 (1988). ” 

In addition to his Biblical scholarship and teaching excellence, John played a key role in supervising the construction and design of the college building that is used today. The cornerstone visible on the eastern facade of the building was designed and installed by John in 1962.

Besides his legacy in the role of Dean  and leader within the St. George’s Cathedral close community,  Revd. Wilkinson was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of London and the Courtauld Institute of Art for his research dissertation entitled, “ Interpretations of Church Buildings before 750.” Whilst serving as Dean and in the subsequent years when he frequented Jerusalem, becoming the Director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem,  John was still a familiar presence in the worshipping life of the cathedral close; Revd. Wilkinson became a canon of St. George’s Cathedral in 1973.

Recently while visiting the cathedral close, The Revd. Canon John L Peterson,  dean of St. George’s College from 1983-1994, reflected on the legacy of John Wilkinson at the college:

Without a doubt, it was Canon John Wilkinson’s vision that laid the foundation on which St. George’s College is built today.  For those of us who knew John, we knew him as a scholar, educator and a dedicated priest who cared deeply about giving clergy and laity a profound appreciation for the bible, the land, the historic churches and the peoples of the land. Thank you John for being an inspiration to all the Deans (as well as College staff and course members) who have followed you.

The Revd. Canon Dr. John Wilkinson was preceded in death by his first wife, Alexandria McFarlane, and is survived by his widow, Mzia; the St. George’s College staff and community send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. John’s impact on the college academics, leadership and affection for the local Christian community will be remembered with  admiration and gratitude for his years of ministry herein.



We are grateful for the contributions of the following former deans and their permission to include them in this memoriam.

The  Revd. Dr. Stephen Need and The Revd. Canon John L. Peterson.
Photo from Church Times, 16 Feb. 2018.

Yesterday, Sunday February 25, the Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. For the first time in decades, in an act of solidarity the doors were locked at noon in protest to recent actions initiated by the Mayor of Jerusalem by which various church accounts have been frozen, millions of dollars in property taxes levied against 887 church and UN properties, and a bill brought before the Knesset that is said to open the way for permissible church property expropriation. All of which is being felt as a sudden precipitous threat to the Christian presence and ministry in this land as not seen in the 70 years of this State.

Last night it was my privilege to be invited by Archbishop Suheil Dawani to a dinner hosted at our Cathedral Close which welcomed Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch who presided earlier that day over the closing of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was a stirring evening as he and our Archbishop spoke in strident terms of the challenge they, and the churches of Jerusalem, are facing in this moment. The Christian community in this city stretches back across 20 centuries of worship, ministry and service in the name of Jesus Christ, and no one can say where this will lead.

At this hour only the Guardian, in Western press, appears to be reporting the closing of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Middle East Monitor, in an article on February 2, 2018 drew dots between these developments and the pronouncement made by President Trump in December. “US President Donald Trump’s decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has encouraged the Israeli government to annex large swathes of the city and force its laws on it.”

I should tell you that one of the two accounts of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem that was frozen by the Israeli government earlier this month was one of our smaller College accounts. The College is able to function and pay our staff. Courses are thriving.

O give thanks

  • for the united stance of the Churches of Jerusalem
  • for the witness of our Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem
  • for the ministry of the College by which faith is enhanced and invigorated.

Pray for us, as we pray for you in your witness to the living Christ.

Warm regards,

Richard LeSueur

Women in the Bible Course June 5-14, 2018 will be lead by Bishop Jane Alexander, Bishop of Edmonton, Anglican Church of Canada.


Bishop Jane is a well known for her wit and friendly wisdom. Known throughout the Anglican Communion for her position on the Anglican Consultative Council, Jane also holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from University of Alberta, Canada. Recently, Jane was in Jerusalem and during this visit, Jane was asked about the possibility of  bringing her  teaching  gifts to the college.

Bishop Jane writes, ” Whether we are considering Mary, Sarah or the nameless Samaritan woman at the well, the women of Holy Scripture call us to look deeper into our own lives of faith and to be bold witnesses of the power of God in this world.  At times of joy or sorrow, there are lessons in discipleship, faithfulness, and mission that call to us across the centuries.  Come and allow yourself to be challenged and encouraged. ”

We are honored to have Bishop Jane for our 4th Women in the Bible Course. Please visit our website for course registration or send inquiries to

We are excited about the Dean of Southwark Cathedral in London, The Very Reverend Andrew Nunn,  joining us to lead the Palestine of Jesus Course, October 16-29, 2018.  Imagine the transformational experience of being pilgrims who learn the Secret Places in Jerusalem where the narrative of Jesus took place:

We will travel to the Monastery of the Cross where the tree that formed the cross grew. Then we will walk  the way the cross would have been taken to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, visit Calvary and then the Chapel of St Helena  where the cross was rediscovered.

After lunch we will visit the excavations beneath the Holy Redeemer Church (for those who wish to we climb the tower of the church) and then visit the excavations at the St Alexander Nevsky Convent. We finish the  day with tea at the Austrian Hospice. This is just one snippet of the pilgrimage that will accent the itinerary  of our foundational course, Palestine of Jesus.

Register on our website or  email the Associate Dean, The Rev. Dr. Susan Lukens, for conversation about this extraordinary  opportunity to be a pilgrim with Andrew Nunn.



Texan friends of North American Committee member, The Very Revd. Barkley Thompson, welcomed in the Deanery at St. George’s College



Dear Alumni, Friends, and future Pilgrims,


March has been a month of both new and renewed friendships at St. George’s College- living out our mission to be a place in Jerusalem that can be a home to all those who enter our gates.


          for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger   and you took me in; ( Matthew 25:35)


Renewed visits with Nick Porter, Jerusalem Peace Builders, and his co-chair, Stuart Kensinger, included a day at the Herodium after their important work bringing MD Anderson Cancer teaching conversation to the people of Gaza, 8 Houstonians arrived for evening prayer- and we followed this with drinks at the deanery to celebrate new friendships! And on a personal note- my fellow Virginia Theological Seminary alums- Regina and Lark from California surprised me with a dinner night out and of course conversation about returning to St. George’s College with a group of their students! Our college community has welcomed Palestinian theologian, Naim Ateek, as a resident scholar, for several months. ( see below for more details). And our March course welcomed British and Canadian chaplains whose  laughter amid serious theological discourse ended with a meal together celebrating the beauty of fellowship in gathered community.

Wendy, a Floridian here a few weeks ago for the Palestine of Jesus course, reflected about the welcoming presence that St. George’s College and Cathedral Close provide for all who enter, whether you are here for the first time or returning for rest and renewal.

Although I have only been here 2 weeks, in my own small way, I feel passionate about St. George’s too. You have an incredibly wonderful facility with a beautiful  church, remarkable library, fine accomodations, beautiful gardens- all together    in a marveous cloister like environment.

          I need not tell you that it feels like Holy Ground here—and all in Jerusalem-  how fabulous!! 

Welcoming is hospitality and this is how we authentically live into our St. George’s College mission; by making St. George’s your home, the theology of place and the sacredness of this land come together herein. It is amazing how within just a few days, course members become family and a community is born in the midst of prayer at Capernaum, song at St. Anne’s Church, and morning Eucharist shared in the Cathedral chapel.

As we approach the end of Lent and begin our Easter vigil, I know that most of you reading this newsletter are alums who have walked the Way of the Cross. Those memories will hopefully begin to nourish you in the days to come. Are you with Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane? Are you with Joseph from Arimathea asking Pilate for the body of Jesus or are you with Mary Magdalene crying outside the tomb? I am in Bethany helping to find the donkey to carry our Lord.

Whoever you are in the Easter story, our prayers are with you at the foot of the cross for the healing nourishing love of Christ.

On behalf of the entire St. George’s College staff, I send you many blessings from all of us who do feel “passionate about the college,” and thank all of you for feeling the same way.






The Rev. Dr. Susan Ackley Lukens

Associate Dean

St. George’s College


In the News

   March 27 through 30, St. Georges College hosted the Mission Theology Conference under the direction of Bishop Graham Kings, Mission Theologian for the Anglican Communion. and Dr. Muthuraj Swamy, Associate Professor in Theology and Religion from Pune, India.   Nine contributors “zoomed in” everyday for discussion of their papers; Myanmar, Egypt, Sudan, Brazil, Japan, and Kenya.

Bishop Graham and Dr. Muthuraj take a break from the conference and enjoy a day in Galilee


Read all about the conference in Anglican News!,-hosted-in-jerusalem,-links-up-theologians-from-around-the-globe-via-the-internet.aspx

Palestinian Theologian in Our Midst

Naim Ateek, Palestinian theologian and founder of Sabeel, is staying in our community at St. George’s College for a few months to finish his next book. On Wednesday, March 29, Naim joined the Mission Theology conference and spoke about how the quest for peace here must begin with justice.

Read more of Naim’s important work.

Justice and Only Justice; A Palestinian Theology of Liberation

EBOOK   ISBN 9781600833677

A Palestinian Cry for Reconciliation

ISBN 978 1 570 75 784 6


Looking Ahead

Our course Easter Fire begins next week but already students have begun to arrive. Several alumni of the college are returning, and we are pleased to have Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement, as one of our students during Holy Week. North American Committee member Ed Weidlich arrives soon as well as John Angle from the British Regional Committee. These friendships are vital links with our alumni all over the world.

Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury, will be visiting next month and the college looks forward to celebrating his presence amongst us on the Cathedral close. Curtis Prather, Director of Communications at Virginia Theological Seminary, will be arriving April 17 to spend the week filming the college. We anticipate the video will be available by early June so all of you who are interested in bringing pilgrims to the college may use this an effective tool for telling our story. In advance, thank you goes out to VTS for loaning us Curtis, and thank you for your talents- Curtis!


April 15 is around the corner, so if you are seriously considering a course at St. George’s College, you will receive a 10% discount on the course fee if you register and pay in full by April 15. Please email the office manager, Rana Khoury, with any questions.

And don’t forget- if you are an alum and bring 5 pilgrims your course fee is $0.00. This offer is good through June 2018.


A Grateful Thank You to Our Regional Committee Volunteers

The college staff is very grateful for the volunteer work of our three regional committees under the leadership of Bishop Richard Cheetham, (U.K.) Bishop Jim White (Australia and New Zealand) and the Rev. Dr. Barney Hawkins (USA and Canada). These leaders and their committees are funding scholarships to the college, organizing forums and preaching engagements around the globe, raising money and recruiting pilgrims. Please accept our most gracious thank you for the countless hours you volunteer. Questions about the regional committees or ways you can volunteer, please email the associate dean, The Rev. Dr. Susan Lukens

Reminder: Please stay connected with us!

The sustainability of St. George’s College depends on our alumni staying connected with us and sharing the news about programs at the college. If you are not already a friend, please join our facebook page. We also would like you to get our digital newsletter by going to the website; scroll to the bottom and sign up now.


We would also appreciate your current mailing address so that our database can continue to be updated with your changes. Please email our registrar with your new address:


February News from St. George’s College: “Wrapped in the Arms of Christ”



Dear Alumni and Friends of St. George’s College,

One of my evening pleasures is to read the evaluations at the end of our college courses. Recently re- reading the reflections from February, I was struck by the beautiful imagery of one anonymous writing; I have used it almost like Lectio Divina for the past few days.

            “ This was an experience of a life time.   I felt welcomed, secure,                                    nourished and wrapped in the arms of Christ. “

As we enter the season of Lent, may these forty days of prayer and fasting bring us closer to such a Grace-filled encounter with the living Christ. My hope is that his infinite love can continue to strengthen us, embrace us during life’s journey for our own selves and for how we might better serve our neighbor.

It is my privilege to welcome all pilgrims who come to St. George’s College and together with the staff lead you to the sacred spaces where the Holy Spirit dwells- to be “wrapped in the arms of Christ.”


In the friendship of Christ,



Associate Dean

St. George’s College



                                                Exciting News to Share

March Madness begins today… We are offering two very important promotions in hopes that you and your friends will enroll in a course at St. George’s College.

The college will extend a 10% discount on program fees if you register by April 15, 2017, for a course offered in 2017. Please visit our website or email for details.

The college is also offering an additional promotion for all alumni. If you bring 5 pilgrims with you for an SGC course, your course fee is $0.00!! This offer is good on all courses through July 2018.

Please spread the news about our current promotions and email us for any additional information. Inshallah- we will see you soon at the college and welcome you to our community once again for a transformational faith journey in the Land of the Holy One.


                                                February Course Highlights

Director of Studies, the Revd. Dr. Hector Patmore, along with our college Chaplain, the Revd. John Reese and Bishara Khoury, Liaison and Logistics Officer, took our February group atop the ancient fortress of Masada. Riding a camel was an unexpected addition to the day spent in desert places.


Riding a Camel in Jericho

Our course “ Palestine of Jesus- the Spirituality of Lent, “ is underway as you receive this newsletter. Hazel Reese, our chaplain’s wife, shared a reflection with me about the Shrove Tuesday festivities at the Guest House with students and the St. George’s Cathedral community. “We have a lovely group in now (mainly Canadian Military Chaplains) and have just come back from pancake races and a tea party organised by David Longe.[ Archbishop Suheil’s chaplain] Not long ‘til dinner if any of us has room for it!Never underestimate the good food of our Chef Joseph and having fun whilst being a pilgrim in the Holy Land.


                                    February Alumni Reconnections

February has been a very celebratory month of alumni reconnections and celebrations across the United States for the Associate Dean! I drove over 800 miles and crisscrossed airspace from Philly to North Carolina, down to Houston and back to Washington DC.  The month began with preaching and teaching in Lancaster Pennsylvania with alumni who attended the Women of the Bible Course. Nestled in the bucolic hills of Amish country, it was a warm and fun filled reunion. However, this was my first time in over a decade driving in snow- and I survived thanks to Helen leading me out of town through the maze of traffic, snow flurries and pointing the way to Interstate 76! Thank you Helen!

Wilmington alumni welcomed me for a forum at Christ Church where one of the alumni brought a scrapbook about her pilgrimage at St. George’s College in 1993.  What a walk down memory lane we shared together! Thank you Matilda Maassen, class of 1993!


Matilda SGC Class of 1993

Our Presbyterian alumni from First and Central in downtown Wilmington welcomed me with a packed forum in anticipation of their return trip to SGC in 2018. This will be the Rev. Dr. Doug Gerdts 3rd trip to St. George’s College, and the Rev. Kaci Clark-Porter’s 2nd pilgrimage… now that is love and friendship!

Presbyterian Love and Friendship



Between out of town speaking engagements, my home base was Virginia Theological Seminary courtesy of Dean Ian Markham and his wife, Lesley. Seeing 3 classes of SGC alumni who are current VTS seminarians defined my daily happiness- chapel worship, refectory meals together, and evening class audits engaged in theological debate. More alumni and new friends were made at the CEEP conference where St. George’s College had an event table. Thank you Virginia Theological Seminary for opening your community to me; I leave with immense gratitude for the partnership you share with St. George’s College.

Rev. Robin and Rev. Michael- the joy of worship together

I returned home to Houston’s Christ Church Cathedral where my homily began with the requisite nourishment of Tex-Mex queso! Rev. Barkley has just joined the North American Committee, and I look forward to partnership in creative ways we might bring more Texans to St. George’s College in the near future.

As I prepare to return to Jerusalem, my heart is filled with gratitude for meeting so many alumni in their home churches, sharing meals, prayer and laughter together. These days nourished me and you made me feel “ wrapped in the arms of Christ.” I am very grateful to all the people that helped organize my visits and shaped the time I spent with you.


Looking Ahead to March


Mission Theology at SGC

We have a very special program at the college in March:  

            The Mission Theology in the Anglican Communion Conference in Jerusalem                                                        at St. George’s College

The Right Revd. Graham Kings, from the U.K. and Dr. Muthuraj Swamy from India, will host the event at St. George’s College with morning 3 hour webinar sessions Monday, March 27 thru Thursday, March 30. Participants from Nairobi, Abuja, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Brazil and Myanmar will join together in engaged conversation and shared writings.

Please email the Associate Dean for any additional information.

                                    Welcoming Pilgrims from Ghana 

Our staff is looking forward to welcoming 19 pilgrims from Ghana who will be participating in the March Introduction to Bible Lands course. They will bring great insight to our community and strengthen our faith journey that we all share in Christ. Welcome! Karibu!

                                    North American Committee Meeting

St. George’s College could not exist with out the sustaining support of the alumni and friends of the college and those that volunteer their time to serve on the North American Committee. It is through this network of friendships and countless volunteer hours that our college leadership is strengthened by wisdom from these committee members.The NAC members traveling or skyping in from various places across America and Canada, will be hosted at Virginia Theological Seminary March 2 and 3. We are grateful for this committee and the vision they continue to provide for the college. Thank you for scheduling this meeting during a time when the Associate Dean can attend in person.

                                                Lenten Prayers


My good friend Rev. Grey Maggiano spoke yesterday about Lent, and he posited that the season might include forty days of “ repairing our relationship… develop and strengthen our relationship with God and our neighbor.” The staff of St. George’s College and the Cathedral Close will keep those wishes and you in our prayers during this Holy season. May you also pray for us that peace can find a home in   our worlds  and let all people be “ wrapped in the arms of Christ.”


On behalf of the St. George’s College Staff for whom I have the honor to serve,



Jerusalem Ministry Formation Program: Amazing Grace

January has come and gone, but we at the college are still celebrating the Ministry Formation program that brought students and staff  from Canada, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, New Zealand, Tanzania, the U.K.  and America; a gathering of God’s people that gave us rich conversation, deep reflective time, and a sharing of each other’s contextual  challenges, hopes, and visions for a better world.  Within the community of St. George’s college and  the cathedral, the divinity students, teachers of theology, and priests journeyed to the Galilee, Caesarea Philippi,  and spent nights in Jesus’ hometown of  Nazareth.  All the while, the formation groups meet daily for “unpacking” together the day’s holy journey and focusing on the overall theme of the program ” Empire” – both the personal sense of empire and the new understandings of empire here in the Holy Land.

Yet, beyond the truths shared in faith conversations, the warmest memories for me were the unexpected – tears shed after listening to Claire sing ” Amazing Grace” in the outside byzantine chapel atop Masada and watching the clip of Bishop Dhilo’s contagious laughter along with Andrew during their evening group formation.  Do we read of Jesus laughing with his disciples? Does the Psalmist write of Prophets in merriment?  I think not.  But, these past weeks of January, I know with utmost certainty that God’s laughter was in us as we are in him. As one student reflected, ” My life has been changed by this experience and my ministry impacted forever.”  It was a blessed program wrapped in God’s amazing Grace. I thank you.

And what lies ahead for February? Many blessings.

  • St. George’s College will be at the CEEP conference in Washington DC and please stop by our table to receive your coaster tile, the latest brochure, and more news about upcoming programs.
  • Our new promotion  will be announced digitally February 1.  If you are an alum of the college and bring with you 5 pilgrims- your course fee is $0.00.  This promotion is good for the next 18 months.
  • The Rev. Dr. Hector Patmore has arrived with his wife Lydia and son, Bertie.  The St. George’s Cathedral Close now has 7  children under the age of 12 and that officially fills our fellowship with the joy and wonder that only children can bring.

I close with the voice of a recent St. George’s College pilgrim.

” I felt I really belonged here even on the first day experiencing morning Eucharist together.”

Thanks be to God for the blessings pilgrims bring to St. George’s College in January and always.

You are in our daily prayers from this holy place- the city of hope, peace and light- filled with God’s amazing Grace.



The Rev. Dr. Susan Ackley Lukens, 

Associate Dean of St. George’s College Jerusalem


Greetings from the land of the Holy One, as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child this Christmas.

Wherever you are at this time, we wish you God’s deepest blessings for this festival and for the year ahead.

Eid milad saeid

The deep mystery of Christmas is captured in the ancient Hebrew word, Emmanuel (God with us).

God is with us in Jesus, the Christ.
God is with us in the community of the Church.
God is with us, with every breath that we take, as the source of our life.

God is indeed with us, and we are Christ-bearers, God-bearers, to those whose paths we cross each day. In particular, we express the presence of God among those with whom our lives are most closely bound.

May we all know the deep joy of the Saviour’s birth this Christmas, and live the sacred mystery of Emmanuel every day in the year that lies ahead.

Gregory C. Jenks

In late November, Dean Gregory Jenks met several Bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Philippines during his  brief visit to St Andrew’s Theological Seminary in Manila. During that visit the Prime Bishop mentioned that he was leading a delegation of bishops to Jerusalem in December and asked if the College could facilitate their program.

The visit was to be very brief: just 5 days. But the College was able to arrange a program at short notice. The Dean had the pleasure of renewing his acquaintance with these Filipino bishops and the other members of the delegation, as he accompanied them to selected holy sites: Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. A highlight of the last day in this program was to walk the Via Dolorosa prayerfully together as pilgrims in the streets of the Old City.

After joining the Arabic congregation for worship on Sunday morning, together with a number of Filipino Episcopalians who are here as guest workers, the Bishops led a  performance of indigenous music and dance. The brief video of this performance, which was offered as an expression of thanks for their pilgrimage in the Holy Land, offers a glimpse into this aspect of our ministry at the College.

People take away many fresh insights after a course at St George’s College, Jerusalem. Fr. Richard Bonifant participated int he Palestine of Jesus course in July this year. He was inspired to create a new telling of the Christmas story.

Richard wrote in a recent Facebook post:

When I was in Israel back in July Greg Jenks raised the question of why more people don’t contextualize the Christmas story! That sowed the seed … so here it is, this year’s pageant: A Very Kiwi Christmas.

video of the 2016 Christmas Pageant at  St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Epsom offers a fresh perspective on ther Christmas story while preserving the essential message.

The great challenge—and the immense privilege—of leading courses at St George’s College Jerusalem is the necessity to tie together threads that we might easily leave as loose ends, or even ignore, because it can be hard to bring them all together.

What are these threads that we seek to weave together? Four words come to mind, and each of them is the tip of an iceberg:

  • History
  • Scripture
  • Place
  • People

As I reflect on those four strands, I am reminded of the summary of the Law that Jesus offers in each of the Synoptic Gospels. Here is the earliest version, found in Mark 12:30:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. (NRSV)

Jesus edits the original form found in Deuteronomy my adding “with all your mind”, and I appreciate that as an essential element of every program we offer at St George’s College. In every course we seek to love God with all our mind, as well as with heart and soul and strength. Indeed, I would hope that we engage all four dimensions (heart, soul, mind, strength) with each of the threads (history, scripture, place, and people).

Not every pilgrimage program will seek to do that. Not every study tour will seek to do that. Not every advocacy visit will seek to do that. But here at St George’s College we seek to do all this every time.

Not every SGC course gets every element just right, but a lot of the time we get most of the parts right, and occasionally everything comes together beautifully. I think we have had several of those courses in the past three months, and that is a deep joy. These are the times that encourage us to keep going, and to try harder for the sake of our pilgrims, for the sake of our students, for the sake of the living stones in this land, and for the sake of God’s kingdom.



As a center for Christian study and faith formation, we need to engage with the historical dimensions of this land and of our religion.

History matters, and especially for a religion that understands God to have come among us in the person of Jesus: a unique person, at a particular time, and in specific places.

We have come to realise that Christianity includes a mix of historical and other traditions. And we know all too well that some Christians consider everything to be historical, while other Christians do not see their faith that way. The College exists for them all, but has a responsibility to be a place where we seek to love God by our critical thinking: “with all our mind”.

We are not primarily an academic institution, but we are a place of rigorous discipleship and careful thinking. As one of my theology lecturers said in a class many years ago, “Form your ideas carefully, and sit on them lightly.”

We address the questions that arise from the texts and the places. Sometimes we find answers. Always we seek wisdom to live by. Holy wisdom. Faith seeking understanding. Love of God that is not afraid to ask questions, to live with doubt, and to be faithful to God’s call on our lives.



We are quintessentially the ‘people of the Book’. From its first moments, the Christian community has been blessed with the gift of Scripture.

At first those Scriptures were the sacred texts of Second Temple Judaism, which are not exactly the same as the Jewish Tanak or the Protestant Old Testament. The Christian Old Testament includes all the books of the Tanak (albeit arranged in different categories and sequences) along with another dozen or so writings that are found in the Greek Bible but were excluded from the Jewish Tanak after 100 CE.

Later these Jewish texts were supplemented by the Gospel and the Apostle: the message and mission of Jesus, and the pastoral wisdom of Paul, Peter, James, and John.

We engage with these sacred texts as people of faith. We are neither fundamentalists or literalists, but people who know of God’s work in our lives and in our world. We receive these sacred texts in the contexts of our contemporary reality. We read the texts to hear the whisper of God’s Spirit, and not to find proof texts to validate or deny our sense of God’s call in today’s world.

We are the people of the Book, but we are first of all the people of God, and the people of Christ. By the end of every College course our knowledge of the Bible should have been increased, along with our love for God, and our capacity for mission.



In our programs at St George’s College we seek to engage with the land, with the ‘fifth gospel’.

We want you to touch this land, to see the landscape, to feel the wind, to splash in the water, to smell the flowers, and to walk among the rocks.

This land is the place where our faith first took shape.

This land is a sacrament that connects us with the sacred—with that kingdom of God that is amongst us and within us, yet which we so easily overlook in the busy schedules that pass for lives in today’s world.

We want you to learn how to read the stones and interpret the hills. We want you out of the lecture room, off the bus, and into the field. We want you to stay long enough to get a feel for the place. More than that, we want you to appreciate the God whose call still echoes in the contours of this land.



There is more to our programs than history, Bible and land.

We want you to meet the ‘living stones’, the people of this land. Some of them are Christians, others are Jews and Muslims. A few may be Baha’i or Druze.

Where there are people, we also find politics, injustice, and compassion. It is impossible to travel this land as pilgrim or student and avoid the politics. The injustices of this land may open our eyes to injustices at home to which we were previously blind. For sure a deep engagement with the people of this land will stir our compassion. Maybe it will also offer a glimpse of some new work to which God is calling us.


Not every visitor to the land of the Holy One will be seeking such a comprehensive and challenging engagement. But this is the mission of the College. To be more than a devotional pilgrimage. To be more than a study tour. To be something other than an advocacy visit.

As a mission agency of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, we welcome you to our programs and we offer to be your companions on the journey as we dig deep into the history of the land, as we engage with the Christian Scriptures, as we learn the contours of this land, and as we encounter the people of this ‘once and future’ promised land.

Deepening our discipleship is an essential element of every course offered by St George’s College Jerusalem. Pilgrimage takes many forms, and the programs listed for the first part of 2017 offer some different opportunities for people to go deeper in their faith, and to renew their discipleship.

Please join us for one of these courses, or recommend them to friends.

Introduction to the Bible Lands (8 days)
Monday, February 6 – Monday, February 13

Palestine of Jesus: The Spirituality of Lent (14 days)
Tuesday, February 28 – Monday, March 13
Guest leader: Fr. Andrew Mayes

Introduction to the Bible Lands (8 days)
Monday, March 27 – Monday, April 3

Easter Fire! (10 days)
Saturday, April 8 –  Monday, April 17

Abraham and His Children (10 days)
Wednesday, April 19 – Friday, April 28



The 2016 annual report of St George’s College submitted to the meeting of our Diocesan Majma’ (Synod) held in Amman, 14–16 November is now available online.

The Majma’ is our major reporting line, since the College is a mission agency of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

2016 SGC Majma’ Report

This report covers the period since the last Majma’ meeting. Since that meeting was held during the first few days after Canon Gregory Jenks commenced his ministry as Dean of the College, the report covers the first year under his leadership.

The inaugural offering of the Jerusalem Ministry Formation program is scheduled for January 10–23, 2017. We are excited about the impact of this new course on the participants, as well as on the life of the church in various parts of our global Communion. With numbers limited to around 36 people, there are just a few places remaining.

The Jerusalem Ministry Formation program is a special course tailored for the needs of people preparing for ministry, whether as clergy or lay leaders, and including clergy in the first five years of ordained ministry.

The program will include sessions on Anglican identity and mission, as well as postcolonial hermeneutics, as we assist people to prepare for their ministry in new and challenging contexts during the next few decades. There will be opportunities for small group reflection and prayer each day.

Numbers are limited to 36 participants, with two-thirds of the places reserved for people from the Global South. This will help to ensure a good mix of participants that reflects the diversity of the Anglican Church around the globe.


As this newsletter goes out the Division and Hope program will be commencing its final day. This course is a joint program with the Anglican Centre in Rome, and it has been a powerful experience for everyone: participants and presenters.

As our second last day draws to a close and I sit to reflect on the insights we have been offered, many of our family and friends will be observing Halloween. This was no ‘trick or treat’ day for us, although it had its share of horrors and blessings.

We began the day with an extended visit to the Caritas center here in Amman, spending more than an hour with a small group of Iraqi refugees. These Christians from villages near Mosul shared their stories of tragedies that compelled them to leave their homes. They spoke of the horrors that have befallen their families. They shared their dream of a new life in Australia or some other place of assylum far from the violences that has torn up their lives. They asked us what the churches were doing to help them.

To protect them and their families, no photos will be posted here. Suffice to say we left with deep respect for their courage and their faith, and immense sadness at the tragedies that have engulfed them. And some anger at the bureaucratic processes that delay their dream of a new life and seem not to see them as people. They were real people for us this morning, and they have challenged us to act for their sakes and the sake of the millions more like them.

The photo that follows is from another event a little later in the day, when we meet with local Christian leaders at the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies in Amman.


Here we met not with refugees but with local Christian leaders, who spoke with one voice about the destruction inflicted on the communities of the Middle East by the colonial and military adventures of Europe. As one priest said most eloquently: “Take our money. Take our oil. Just leave us in peace, and stop sending your weapons here.”

After dinner we met with the Rev. Dr. Khalid Freij and his wife, Rana. They spoke about the work of the Christian community in Jordan, and especially the Anglican Church here. They described the good relations between Muslims and Christians, and the impact on everyone from the violence in the region. We were blessed to hear something of their mission as a Christian couple engaged in God’s work together, and we sensed the hope they offer to the people they serve.

One deep conviction emerging from this course, and especially coming directly after the Living Stones course that concluded the day before this one commenced, is that the College needs to strengthen its involvement in the ministry of reconciliation. That will be a serious challenge for us, but it is one to which I am committed as Dean.


Our new online registration system for courses in 2017 and 2018 is now live. We hope it will provide a convenient way to register for a course at the College, while also providing an efficient way for us to collect the essential information needed for every participant. Many hours have gone into this project as the admin team at the College has developed and tested every step in the process.

The new registration system is built around our online learning software, MOODLE. This software allows us to offer a rich online learning experience to people before they arrive and to extend that service for as long afterwards as people wish to stay connected to the resources we provide.

Step One

When people first select a course they will be asked to create their unique user account on the system, or to sign in with their existing username if they already have a user account. For this step we need just a few essential items so that we begin the process: first name, last name, email address, city/town, and country. You then choose your own password, following the guidelines listed on the page, and you will be automatically added to the online learning space for your chosen course.

Step Two

Of course, we do need some more detailed information from you before we can confirm your place in the chosen course, but this is gathered in step two. This includes essential information such as your full legal name and passport details, as well as optional information such as any dietary preferences.




Step Three

The final step is to pay your non-refundable deposit of $500. The web form will offer you an easy option for online payment, using either PayPal or your own credit card, as well as options for payment by other methods. This also allows for those people who may be scholarship recipients not to pay the deposit.

Once these steps are completed your will receive an email welcoming you to the course, and you can begin to explore the resources that may already be available online for your chosen course. Typically these will be available a couple of months before the start of a course, but you will be able to engage with other participants in the dedicated online forum for your course and also ask the teaching staff any questions on our mind as your prepare for your program with us.

You will be invoiced from the College office for the remaining balance of your fees around 60 days prior to the commencement of the course.

There may be teething problems with this process, but we have tested it quite extensively. Please contact the College office directly if you have any queries or need any assistance with the process.


The College’s new web site now offers a simple and secure way for alumni and other friends of the College to make gifts to the College using online payment systems. The GIVING page on the web site offers payments buttons for gifts of various sizes, as well as options for pledges, recurring gifts and single payments.

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In ancient times pilgrims who made their way to the Holy Land had to wait until they were safely home before they could share their insights with their family and friends. This was a double challenge as travel was arduous and dangerous in both directions.

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Participants in the Division and Hope course were treated to a masterful address by Fr. David Neuhaus, SJ as he presented the 2016 St George’s College Peace Lecture. Fr. Neuhaus chose a bold topic: Division and Hope in the Holy City, The Role of Christians in the Israel/Palestine Conflict.

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St George’s College Jerusalem offers a unique opportunity for sabbatical programs.

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St George’s College is pleased to announce that the Revd Dr Hector Patmore has accepted the Dean’s invitation to serve as the Director of Studies from the beginning of 2017.

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British Regional Committee of St George’s College, Jerusalem

Annual Lecture in the UK 2016

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We are delighted that Fr David Neuhaus, SJ has accepted the Dean’s invitation to deliver the 2016 St George’s College Jerusalem Peace Lecture.

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October is shaping up as a busy month for the College. As noted elsewhere, the Dean will be making a brief visit to London in the first few days of October for a meeting of the British Regional Committee and the annual gathering of alumni from the UK. Later in the month we are hosting the  2016 SGC Peace Lecture, to be presented by Fr. David Neuhaus.

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We have some exciting programs lined up for early 2017.

We begin the year with the inaugural offering of the Jerusalem Ministry Formation program, but this will be followed by a series of rich opportunities for pilgrimage and study at St George’s College Jerusalem.

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Our new web site is now online.

As always with such a project, some work still remains to be completed as we implement our integrated online strategic with a single user account for the Library, our SGC Online digital classroom, the web site, our registration system, and the online payment system. However, we are delighted with the progress made so far.

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The College is pleased to offer hospitality to visiting scholars who can benefit from a short period of residence in Jerusalem while they pursue their personal research projects. This is a valuable gift we can make to to the life and mission of the wider Church. In return, these guest scholars enrich our community life as they share their wisdom with students and staff of the College.

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St George’s College is seeking a suitable person to serve as Chaplain for 2017/2018.

This is a volunteer role, with no stipend or other allowances paid. The College provides accommodation and board, as well as a return airfare for the Chaplain and their spouse.

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