Professors Menn and Pickett to host January 2010 "World of the Bible" travel seminar to the Holy Land August 18, 2009

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Old Testament Professor Esther Menn and New Testament Professor Ray Pickett will host an in-depth travel seminar exploring ancient sites and current struggles in the Holy Land January 5 – 18, 2010.  Menn and Pickett are experienced travelers in the Holy Land.

This is the fourth time Menn will co-lead this tour for students, alumni, pastors, and others eager to join a pilgrimage of study, archaeology, and faith reflection.

On previous visits to the Holy Land, Esther Menn did fieldwork at an archeological dig in Galilee, worked on a Kibbutz in the Negev, and lived with a Muslim family in East Jerusalem. She describes Israel/Palestine as a “land of contrasts, conflict, and hope.”

Ray Pickett has led tours to Turkey, Greece, and, in June 2009, to the Holy Land. He uses archeological sites to bring biblical text to life.

Travelers will journey to the Galilee, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jerusalem to visit sites holy to Christians, Muslims, and Jews. They will establish connections with their sisters and brothers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and hear many voices reflecting on the current situation, including leaders of peace and reconciliation movements.

Cost of the tour, including round-trip air fare, accommodations, breakfast and dinner, ground transportation and luggage handling, is $3,449 (shared rooms. Add $420 for a single room.)

A special three-day extension is available to St. Katharine’s, a stone-built village at the foot of Moses’ Mt. Sinai campsite in Egypt. An early-morning climb up Mt. Sinai to watch the sun rise is followed by a visit to a 6th century Greek Orthodox Monastery founded at the foot of the mount where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. Cost for the extension is $645.

Reservations for limited spaces should be made immediately by sending a deposit of $395 to Group Travel Directors. For a detailed brochure for the tour, see

Academic credit is available to masters level students who register through LSTC.



Esther Menn
Professor of Old Testament


Jan Boden
Director of Communication and Marketing

The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.

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