Jesus and His Times

Explore the land, historical context, and cultural setting of the Gospels.


Follow in the Footsteps of Jesus

What You Will Learn

This special two-week course emphasizes the geographical, historical, and cultural setting of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee during the time of Jesus. Students will study the historical context of the Second Temple Period and learn how historical figures and world powers shaped the political, religious, and social environment of the world of Jesus and early Judaism.

What You Will Do

The field studies follow the basic chronology of the life of Christ, spending one week in the Galilee region and one week in the Jerusalem region. Sit on steps where early rabbis taught to better understand the context of Jesus’ teaching. Watch the sunset on the Sea of Galilee. Feel the personality of Herod through his massive building projects. All this and more will make Jesus and his ministry come to life in new ways. 

Students and participants in this program will use maps created by Biblical Backgrounds.

When It Is Offered

This course is offered every summer during the first two weeks of July.

Those interested in a five-week period of study may combine the three-week Historical and Geographical Settings of the Bible program offered each June with the Jesus and His Times program offered in July.

Ready to Apply?

Follow the link below to submit your application to JUC.

Click here to apply!


Sample Itinerary*

On this program, students typically visit the following sites:

1. Herodian Jerusalem

  • Temple Mount
  • Temple Mount Area
  • Pool of Siloam
  • Pool of Bethezda
  • Jewish Quarter/Wohl Museum

2. Dead Sea 

  • Masada
  • Ein Gedi or Ein Feshka
  • Qumran
  • Swim in the Dead Sea

3. Bethlehem 

  • Herodian
  • Bethlehem
  • Shepherd's Fields
  • "Solomon's Pools"

4. Galilee

  • Nazareth
  • Sepphoris
  • Arbel Cliffs
  • Augusteum at Omrit
  • Banias/Caesarea Philippi
  • Golan/Damascus Road
  • Bar'am
  • Kedesh Temple
  • Bethsaida
  • Capernaum
  • Kursi
  • Chorazin
  • Magdala
  • Tabgha/Primacy of Peter
  • Gamla

5. Approach to Jerusalem

  • Baptism Site at Jordan River
  • Herodian Jericho
  • Judean Wilderness
  • Mount of Olives

6. Jerusalem to the Ends of the Earth

  • Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Samaria
  • Caesarea

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

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.

Everyone traveling to Israel must have a passport that expires at least six months after they plan to exit the country at the end of their program.

Short-term students who travel from countries that have normal relations with Israel will be issued a three-month tourist visa upon 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.

Read more about obtaining tourist visas here.

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.

Yes! If you are interested in combining our 3-week Historical and Geographical Settings of the Bible program with our 2-week Jesus and His Times program, you may take both back to back. This would be a combined total of 6 academic credits unless you choose to audit the programs.

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

Send us a note and we'll be in touch.