Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Cities of Paul and John Study Tour: April 17-29, 2017

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Study Tour
The Cities of Paul and John
The Best of Turkey, Greece, and Rome

April 17-29, 2017

A once-in-a-lifetime and potentially life-changing experience!

Join me for my eighth (and possibly last) study tour to the cities of Paul and John. Participants may take the trip as a course for credit (graduate or undergraduate—reading and writing required) or just as an educational and spiritual adventure. Family members (18+) and friends are welcome.

Included: Roundtrip air from Washington, DC, including current air taxes and fuel surcharges (taxes and fuel charges are subject to change); 11 nights lodging at 4-star hotels; breakfast and dinner daily; full-time English-speaking tour escorts; air-conditioned deluxe motor coach; all guides, entrances, touring and transportation as appears on itinerary; baggage handling at hotels (one piece).

Not included: all lunches; drinks with meals; Turkey Visa (must purchase online prior to travel); tips to driver, guides, hotel staff (required; approx. $100-$120; collected at departure); optional travel insurance; fee for paying for trip by credit card (3-5%); transportation to and from airport (probably Dulles).

Highlights: Morning prayer en route to sites; great fellowship with an interesting, diverse group of people; expert guiding; Scripture reading and discussion of relevant texts on site; encounters with people from other cultures and their countries; pre-trip and in-trip recommended reading.

Finances: Approx. $4,500 as of May 12, 2016 (subject to final airline fares and taxes); cost is based on double occupancy (single-room supplement = approx. $600); deposit due late fall.

Tentative Itinerary as of May 12. 2016 (subject to minor changes)

Monday Day 1 Depart Washington DC

Tuesday Day 2 Arrive in Izmir (Smyrna); visit Smyrna agora; drive to Kusadasi (ON Kusadasi)

Wednesday Day 3 Ephesus: main site including terrace houses and St. Paul caves (ON Kusadasi)

Thursday Day 4 Ephesus: museum and Mary’s House; travel inland (ON Pamukkale)

Friday Day 5 Laodicea; Hierapolis (ON Pamukkale)

Saturday Day 6 Colossae; Sardis (ON Bergma)

Sunday Day 7 Pergamum (Acropolis and Asclepeion); fly Izmir-Athens (ON Athens)

Monday Day 8 Athens: Acropolis, Mars Hill, Forum, Archaeological Museum; panoramic drive (ON Athens)

Tuesday Day 9 Corinth, Acrocorinth, Isthmia, Cenchreae (ON Athens)

Wednesday Day 10 Fly Athens-Rome; Roman Forum and Colosseum (ON Rome)

Thursday, Day 11 Rome: St. John Lateran, Appian Way, Catacombs, and St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica (ON Rome)

Friday, Day 12 Rome: Vatican (Museums and Sistine Chapel), St. Peter’s Basilica; walking tour of the old city; special farewell dinner (ON Rome)

Saturday, Day 13 Flight home

Further information and to get on the mailing list for updates
Prof. Michael J. Gorman:

Going to the Grotto of St. Paul?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Travelers to Turkey: Have you been to the Grotto of St. Paul in Ephesus? If so, would you recommend it? What was your experience of it? (Time to get there and back.) I have permission to take a group up to it, just deciding if I have the time and if it is worth it. I think it is…. What’s your view?

April in Greece and Turkey, Anyone?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

I still have room for people in my bi-annual journey to the cities of Paul and John. See here for more information (once you get to the site, go first to “Event Specifics.”). You can go for fun or for 3 undergraduate or 3 graduate credits. The trip is from April 9 (Easter Monday) to April 20, and the cost is $4,399, which includes RT airfare, lots of flying in the countries, 4- 5-star hotels, daily breakfast and dinner, and all admission costs. Our itinerary includes Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Pergamum, Sardis, Laodicea, Colossae, Pisidian Antioch, Cappadocia, and more. Contact me for more information.

Taizé Course

Monday, November 1st, 2010

As many people know, I am a huge Taizé “fan” and have been to the community in France seven times. I am excited to be teaching a course about Taizé next term (spring 2011). Following are the texts for the course:

Required Texts

1.      Jason Brian Santos, A Community Called Taizé: A Story of Prayer, Worship and Reconciliation. InterVarsity Press, 2008. ISBN13 978-0830835256.

2.      Kathryn Spink, A Universal Heart: The Life and Vision of Brother Roger of Taizé. SPCK/GIA, 2005 [1986]. ISBN13 978-1579995683.

3.      Brother Roger [Schutz] of Taizé, The Sources of Taizé: No Greater Love. GIA G-5363. ISBN-13: 978-1579990862(ISBN10 1-57999-086-X).

4. Marcello Fidanzio, ed., Brother Roger of Taizé: Essential Writings. Orbis, 2006. ISBN13 978-1570756399.

5.      Taizé. Seeds of Trust: Reflecting on the Bible in Silence and Song. GIA, 2005. GIA G-6719. ISBN13 978-1579-995386 (ISBN10 1-57999-538-1).

6.      “Songs and Prayers from Taizé.” GIA CD, 1995. B000003YKF

In addition to normal academic requirements (analytical essay, research paper, book review), students will use Seeds of Trust and the CD for daily prayer,  visit a Taizé prayer service, and write about these experiences.

I wonder if anyone else has taught such a course. The closest I have found thus far in a quick search is a pilgrimage course to Taizé offered at Drew’s theological school. I took students and others there once as part of a study trip course called “Courage and Conviction in Christian France.”

Off to Turkey and Greece

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Tomorrow, God willing, I am headed on a journey to the cities of Paul and John with 21 students and others. We will go to Istanbul, Izmir/Smyrna, Ephesus, Pergamum, Assos, Neapolis/Kavala, Philippi, Thessaloniki, Athens, and Corinth/Isthmia.

If you teach or preach from the NT, I hope and pray that one day you will take and/or lead such a trip. This will be my fifth, and I am now acting as a consultant with the educational and pastoral travel organization Illume to encourage and help others go to Turkey, Greece, Israel, Palestine, and elsewhere. If you are a pastor or biblical scholar reading this post, please read the letter below and then email me at Illume. I will answer you in late February when I return.

Dear Colleague in Biblical Studies and/or Church Ministry:

Like you, I love teaching biblical studies and/or preaching from the Scriptures, and I have been doing so for quite some time now. In the last 10 years or so, I have discovered that there is something that enhances teaching and learning the Bible more than the latest book, article, theological movement, or pedagogical strategy. I am talking about travel to the “lands of the Bible.”

Since 1999, I have led and/or participated in one trip to Israel and Palestine and five to Turkey and Greece. (What do you expect? I’m a student of Paul!) I’ve seen stunning Jerusalem, the arid region of Masada and Qumran; the Jordan and the Sea of Galilee; the incredible rock formations of Cappadocia; the amazing ruins of Ephesus and Corinth; the imposing acropolis at Pergamum and the more famous one in Athens; the unexcavated Colossae and the nearly unvisited Pisidian Antioch; and so on. More importantly, many of my students—as well as some of their family members and friends—have seen these same places, read their Bibles on location, and been transformed in unexpected ways because of their travel experiences.

I have come to believe so firmly in this kind of educational and spiritual travel that I recently became a consulting scholar with Illume, the pastoral and educational resource center that I have worked with for years in planning and taking trips. Illume collaborates with educational and pastoral leaders to create transformative programs that involve travel to places of great historical and religious significance, educational and pilgrimage-like tours to places related to the Bible (Israel, Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Egypt, Italy) and beyond.

Illume is different from other travel organizations you may be familiar with. Illume brings important resources to the table for successful program development and coordination:

• two in-house scholars (Michael Hartwig and myself) for program development;
• a portfolio of client-scholars that Illume also draws on for program development;
• a Boston-based professional staff that is attentive to detail, is quickly accessible, and has more than 35 years of experience, relationships, and resources; and
• a global network of long-term partners and affiliates who consistently deliver professional on-the-ground expert guides and tour managers.

This letter is both an introduction—to Illume and to my role in it—and an invitation. It is an invitation to consider leading a group on a life-changing journey. (And if you already lead study tours, perhaps we can discuss the difference working with Illume can make.) Let’s explore this further: send me an email with some thoughts and/or questions, and I will be in touch. We can begin the process of collaboration that is Illume’s trademark.


Michael J. Gorman

Rick Steeves and I in the Footsteps of Paul

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Not together, unfortunately.

I will be leading my fifth trip to Greece and Turkey, “The Cities of Paul and John,” February 11-21, 2010. It’s a great trip, and I am always eager to share my experiences (and Illume, the company I work with/for) with others. I am also usually able to take students from other institutions with me.

What about Rick Steeves?

Rick Steeves is a wonderful travel writer and travel documentary producer. He is also an active Lutheran. The following 40-minute video features Steeves following in Paul’s footsteps. Though not an academic resource, it includes commentary by biblical scholars, including Craig Koester, whose own web sites of his travels (here [Paul] and here [Revelation]) have great photos.

Source: ELCA Book of Faith web site.