Tantur Experience

Tantur’s Continuing Education Programs

A Spiritual and Educational Journey Through the Holy Land

Beautiful Caesarea Maritima on the Northern Israeli coast

The Continuing Education Programs of Tantur Ecumenical Institute introduces its participants to many fascinating and unique aspects of the Holy Land.  It is often said that to experience the Holy Land is to live “the fifth Gospel” – that is, once you know the land, you will then understand the other four gospels more deeply.  Our programs weave classroom instruction in such topics as Old and New Testament, Biblical Geography, History of the Middle East and Spirituality with guided tours of the many religious and historical sites this land has to offer. In addition, our Tantur Programs also seek to introduce you, our participants, to the people of this land.  As precious as the holy places are, the “living stones” are those Christians who have faithfully lived in the Holy Land through the centuries, often at great sacrifice.  So we introduce them to you, both in their history and in their contemporary existence. 

The view from beautiful Masada with the Dead Sea in the background

But the peoples of this land are more than other parts of the Christian family.  They are also our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters.  Distinguished professors and lecturers who live and work in both Palestine and Israel will discuss Jewish and Muslim thought, belief and practice as well as exploring the reality of Christianity as it is practiced and lived in this complex milieu.The classroom experience is not complete without the many field trips that bring to life the very religious faith we speak of.  These are wide ranging and include sites around Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, the Dead Sea and the Negev.   Each program also includes an extended trip to Galilee to visit the places where most of Jesus’ ministry occurred.  We aim to immerse each participant into one of the most intricate historical, religious, cultural and political places in the world today so that they may discover for themselves what the Holy Land truly is. 

Pacing and Extra-Curricular Activities

The iconic Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

One aspect that distinguishes the Tantur experience from other worthwhile short pilgrimages is the amount of free time the program offers.  Our schedule generally includes either a lecture or trip six days each week, with Sundays  usually being free.  Besides Sunday, several other free days or half-days are scheduled as well. This pacing allows each participant to personalize their time for study and/or exploration.  Some choose to visit the many museums in the area, or savor the opportunity to wander the streets of Bethlehem or through the Old City of Jerusalem.  Others prefer desert hikes or visits to Tel Aviv, Jaffa or Hebron.  Many simply appreciate the long uninterrupted hours of reading and study either in our magnificent library or among the roses and palm trees in the garden.  All of these opportunities are readily available to those who participate in the Tantur program.


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