Historical and Geographical Settings of the Bible

Explore the lands of the Bible with our academically-qualified faculty members, and learn to “read” the land of the Bible in the process. Join the thousands of students who have experienced this course as a part of their Christian college or seminary training.


Three Weeks. 150 Miles.
One Changed Perspective.

What You Will Learn

This intensive three-week course will introduce you to the geography, history, and archaeology of Israel. You will begin to feel at home on the playing field of biblical history after traveling through the land of the Bible. We visit biblical sites in nearly every corner of Israel and engage the biblical text in the field using custom maps, reference material, and lectures.

What You Will Do

You will walk the streets of Jerusalem to understand aspects of the biblical and modern city. Explore archaeological ruins from the time of Hezekiah. Visit Jesus’ backyard to understand his life and ministry. Hike through the canyon of a desert oasis. Learn how the biblical writers were influenced by the land of the Bible. And much, much more. Students and participants in this program will primarily use the maps and resources created by Biblical Backgrounds.

When It Is Offered

Currently offered three times each year:

  • January
  • May
  • June

Click here for specific dates

Ready to Apply?

Follow the link below to submit your application to JUC.

Click here to apply!

The Details

Sample Itinerary*

On this short term program, students typically visit the following sites:

1. Jerusalem Walks

  • The Four Quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem
  • Mount Zion
  • City of David
  • Western Wall
  • Southern Steps of the Temple Mount
  • Pool of Bethezda
  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre

2. Jerusalem Approaches Field Study

  • Mount of Olives and its churches
  • Herodium
  • Bethlehem

3. Benjamin Field Study

  • Judean Wilderness / Wadi Qilt
  • Jericho
  • Nebi Samwil
  • Gezer

4. Judah, Shephelah, Philistine Coast Field Study

  • Beth Shemesh
  • Valley of Elah
  • Bet Guvrin
  • Lachish
  • Ashkelon

5. Negev and Great Wilderness Field Study

  • Beersheba
  • Arad
  • Ein Avdat
  • Avdat
  • Makhtesh Ramon

6. The Dead Sea Area Field Study

  • Masada
  • Ein Gedi
  • Qumran
  • Dead Sea beach for swimming

7. Sharon Plain and Jezreel Valley Field Study

  • Caesarea
  • Mount Carmel
  • Megiddo
  • Nazareth

8. Galilee Field Study

  • Sepphoris
  • Arbel
  • Hazor
  • Dan
  • Banias / Caesarea Philippi
  • Golan Heights
  • Capernaum
  • Magdala
  • Tabgha / Primacy of Peter
  • Chorazim
  • Mount of Beatitudes
  • Kursi
  • Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee
  • Swimming in the Sea of Galilee

9. Jordan Field Study (Optional)**

  • Jerash
  • Jabbok River
  • Moabite capital of Dibon
  • Arnon gorge
  • Petra
  • Edomite capital of Bozrah
  • Ammonite capital of Rabbah
  • Amman
  • Madaba
  • Mount Nebo

*All itineraries are subject to change due to logistical
reasons or the preference of the instructor or group leader.

**The Jordan Extension requires a minimum of seven

Short-Term Studies Program Faculty

Important Information

JUC offers both on- and off-campus housing for our short-term students on nights when they will stay in Jerusalem. We also arrange accommodations with hotels when the class is traveling for field studies. The hotels furnish buffet-style breakfasts and dinners. JUC students are provided with lunches by JUC whether in Jerusalem or on field studies.

Jerusalem Off-Campus Housing

Students can choose hotel housing rather than JUC campus housing for an increased housing fee. While JUC cannot guarantee that students will stay at any particular place, each hotel we contract with is well-rated and in or adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem On-Campus Housing

Students who opt to spend nights in Jerusalem on campus will stay in dormitory-style housing, with 2-6 persons (or sometimes more) to a room. The campus has limited housing for couples with no double beds available. According to season and demand, private rooms for couples on campus may be available. Shared bathroom facilities are a short walk away from each room, sometimes across a courtyard and up or down a flight of stairs.

JUC’s program is academically and physically rigorous, including up to twelve hour days in the field or longer. The field studies involve hours of walking, standing, and several hikes (although some are optional). There are usually opportunities to sit throughout the day and plenty of time on the bus. However, students should expect an intensely physical program and plan to sweat.

Students who travel from countries that have normal relations with Israel will be issued a three month tourist visa on arrival. Students from the United States, Canada, and most European countries fall under this category.

Students who come from countries that do not have normal relations with Israel will need to make prior visa arrangements before entering the country.

Everyone traveling to Israel must have a passport that expires no less than one year after they plan to exit the country at the end of their program.

Students from countries who do not have a regular relationship with Israel may need additional security or immigration approval to study in Israel. Students from such countries may be responsible to apply for a visa at their nearest Israeli Consulate or Embassy, or JUC may need to apply on their behalf at the Ministry of Interior in Jerusalem. Visa decisions are entirely at the discretion of the Ministry of Interior, so JUC cannot guarantee that you will be able to obtain a visa successfully. Please contact us if you are from a country that does not have a regular relationship with Israel and have questions about this process.

Please note: if you plan to participate in the Jordan Extension and you are required to secure an entry visa into Israel prior to the start of the program, you MUST request and be granted a visa allowing multiple entries into Israel.

Our 3-week Historical and Geographical Settings of the Bible is a 4-semester credit course in which the assessments include map work, daily written impression reports and in-class exams. Our 2-week Jesus and His Times course is a 2-semester credit course in which the assessments include map work, daily written impression reports and an in-class exam. Students may petition to do an additional paper to increase the number of credits for each of these courses. Students are also welcome to take both of these courses on an audit basis without sitting for exams.

A suggested packing list for JUC students is available in our student manuals. For long-term students who will be at JUC for a semester or more, here is a list of what to pack. For short-term students who will be at JUC for a few weeks, here is a list of what to pack

We take the safety of our students with the utmost seriousness and have a proven track record of operating for over 60 years in the Holy Land. Click here for detailed information about how JUC handles local issues related to safety and prepares students to do the same. 

How Much Does It Cost?

Studying at JUC is affordable. Learn about the program costs and our financial aid options.

Contact Us

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