At the beginning of the academic year, the Jerusalem and Athens Forum sponsors a weekend retreat. The two-day retreat includes a Friday afternoon discussion with an invited speaker and evening worship gathering. On Saturday, students enter group discussions and spend an afternoon enjoying various outdoor activities on the North Shore.
Outings and field trips in Boston and across New England
Actors' Shakespeare Project
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston Opera House
BU Huntington Theater
Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Islamic Society of Boston
Museum of Russian Icons
NorthShore Music Theater
Peabody Essex Museum
St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church
The Orthodox Church of St. John the Russian
Annual spring semester, public debate on a topic crucial to the Gordon community
Resolution: "The American ideals of 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' are compatible with a Biblical worldview."
Opportunities to hear and interact closely with distinguished guest speakers
A class period of Q & A with The Right Reverend N.T. Wright, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, University of St. Andrews.
An annual essay competition open to all current JAF students, and past participants still studying at Gordon
Winning essays are awarded a $100 cash prize
Focused assistance with preparation for post-baccalaureate education and work choices
Joanna Gallagher ('12) participant in the 7th cohort, receives her diploma at commencement
Open discussions with Gordon faculty on issues of pressing concern for contemporary moral, political, and intellectual life
Professors Tal Howard (History, right) and Gregor Thuswaldner (Language and Linguistics, left) discuss Howard's book, God and the Atlantic: America, Europe, and the Religious Divide (Oxford, 2011), at a faculty-student discussion
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 excursions, readings, and discussions, this trip considers the relationship between culture, religion, and location, and how their mutual interaction shapes human experience. Iceland 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 examines the intellectual foundations of American religious and political freedoms and their relationship to Christian theological considerations.