Study Trips

Jerusalem and Athens Forum participants, past and present, are sometimes given the opportunity to take fully or partially subsidized study trips. These ventures also serve to bring together JAF participants from the same and different cohorts.

September 2015 | Iceland
Through joint excursions, readings and discussions, this trip takes as its purpose to consider the relationship between culture, religion, and location, and how their mutual interaction shapes human experience. Iceland fascinates. Its beguiling landscape is well known: a plethora of active volcanoes, glaciers, lava beds, waterfalls, thermal baths, geysers, fjords, not to mention regular appearances of the “northern lights.” But Iceland’s past is equally beguiling. A frontier outpost of Scandinavian culture and therefore a land of the Norse gods, Iceland witnessed the coming of Christianity (1000) and then the coming of Lutheranism (1540-50s) in truly perplexing ways.

June 2014 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
Philadelphia, the “city of brotherly love,” is one of America’s most iconic and historically significant cities. Not only did its environs witness some of the earliest arguments for principled religious freedom (through William Penn) but in the late eighteenth century it served as a cradle of American independence and the drafting of the US Constitution. This trip will have as its central thrust an inquiry into the intellectual foundations of American religious and political freedoms and their relationship to Christian theological considerations. View photos >>

May 2013 | Germany
This study trip will tie its agenda to the scholarly aims of Noll and Howard. Was the Reformation a success? Is it over or ongoing? How should it be remembered? What should one make of the many divisions within Protestantism today and its “globalization”? What is the relationship between “American evangelicalism” and sixteenth-century, “confessional Protestantism”?

June 2012 | Savannah, Georgia
An alumni study trip exploring the life and writings of Flannery O'Connor in what she called the "Christ-haunted" American south. Participants read excerpts from her Complete Stories and Mystery and Manners and visited historical sites with relevance to O'Connor in Savannah and Milledgeville, GA--including, the Savannah Historical Society museum, the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home, the Savannah College of Art and Design (S.C.A.D.) museum, the First African American Baptist Church, and Andalusia Farm where O'Connor lived until her death in 1964 at the age of 39.

April 2011 | Providence, Rhode Island
A JAF student trip exploring the foundations of religious liberty in the United States.  Beginning the day at the First Baptist Church in America and visiting the Providence Athenaeum, Rhode Island School of Design (R.I.S.D.) Museum of Art and Brown University, participants finished the day with professors and students from the Catholic, Dominican school, Providence College.

January 2011 | Orvieto, Rome and Florence
An alumni study-trip to Italy exploring the cardinal virtues in history, theology and art. Participants read Dante's Purgatorio and texts by Josef Pieper on the four cardinal virtues and stayed at the Monastery San Paolo, home to the Gordon-in-Orvieto program.

August 2009 | San Antonio, Texas
An alumni study trip to explore the many-layered connections between Christianity and culture by exploring the eighteenth-century missions of "New Spain" established by Franciscan missionaries.

May 2009 | Washington D.C.
An alumni study trip for those interested in a vocation in politics or for those desiring to think more reflectively about the meaning of US citizenship today; and focused opportunity to visit the various museums and national exhibits in the capital.

October 2007 | Yale University & New York City
A JAF student trip to visit a JAF alumnus studying at Yale and to learn more about the pursuit of post-baccalaureate education; and a continuing trip to New York City to sample many of the cultural offerings there.

May 2006 | Orvieto, Siena, Rome & Assisi, Italy
An alumni stury trip to Italy to explore the history, theology and art of Roman Catholicism in the early modern and modern era, and to learn about ecumenical relations between Catholics and Protestants. Participants also spent time at the Gordon-in-Orvieto program.