Logsdon News

Logsdon Travels to Israel to Study Lands of the Bible

 

Sixteen Logsdon students, faculty, alumni, and staff traveled to Israel for the Lands of the Bible May term travel course. During this fifteen-day excursion, the group visited Nazareth, Jerusalem, and other places from Jesus’ ministry.

As Assistant Professor of Scripture and Ministry, Dr. Meredith Stone saw the trip as a valuable educational and spiritual experience.

“There are a lot of archaeological sites that I’ve studied in depth that I had never seen with my own eyes,” she said. “There is also a spirituality of place that is why there are things called pilgrimages. To take that in, to breathe the same air, and be in those places was a very spiritual experience.”

Stone says that even though some of the places the group visited may not have been the exact locations mentioned in scripture, she still felt a spiritual connection.

“There is still a sense that people have worshipped in this spot for thousands of years thinking about this very thing,” she said. “You’re not only connecting with the place, but you’re also connecting with other pilgrims where you’re worshipping.”

Because of Logsdon’s partnership with the Nazareth Evangelical College, the students experienced lectures from their dean and rabbi. During the lectures, they learned about Palestinian-Israeli relations.

“It is one thing to watch things happening on the news,” she said. “But it’s another to be there, to meet people, and to understand what it means for there to be a wall separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem. It made us think about that part of the world in a whole different way.”

Logsdon takes a trip to Israel every other summer and a trip to Greece every year during Spring Break. Dr. Stone says that these trips help seminary students prepare for ministry.

“Travel courses expose students to the fact that their perception of reality is defined by their geography,” she said. “When you’re in a new place and you’re engaging with different people, you start to see the image of God in other people more fully when you’ve sat in their space. When you’re studying intercultural ministry, it’s always a good thing to experience being in the minority for once.”

MDiv student Hunter Brown said that the trip affected his spiritual walk.

 “There was a moment at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, built on Caiaphas’s house where Peter denied Jesus,” he said. “There were steps there that our tour guide said that this is where Jesus probably would have walked on the way to the cross. Spending time there praying was one of the big parts.”

Brown said that the trip made the stories of Jesus come alive for him.

 “When we focused on the passion narrative, the location brought out that feeling of Jesus’ presence in that place,” he said. “The trip also helped me understand how to pray in every situation. When we visited the place where Peter denied Christ, I prayed, ‘Lord, help me not to deny you.’”

The trip also included HSU faculty. Jim Jones is the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services, but he also teaches a Sunday school class on the Jewish roots of Christianity at First Baptist Church. He says that the trip has given him some new perspective for his class.

“I really enjoyed seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Israeli museum,” he said. “It was amazing to see something written that far back.”

Jones said he also enjoyed the provincial atmosphere of Galilee.

“I could really get a sense of where Jesus taught with his disciples and where most of his ministry occurred,” he said.