Heritage of the Holy Land Trip

10/11/23 Update: At this time, the situation in Israel is too uncertain and we need to cancel the May 2024 trip. All registrants will receive a 100% refund.

Hosted by 

Dr. Trisha Wheelock, Director of the Moses Project Director of Faith Life and Rev. Dr. Mark Mattes, Theology Department Chair.

Tour Cost

$4,695 per person, based on double occupancy, with air from Chicago and airport transfers from Des Moines. 


(Meals included:  B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Saturday, May 11

The day of departure has arrived! Meet this morning in Des Moines to transfer to Chicago O’Hare Int’l Airport and check in for your overnight flights to Tel Aviv. (D-in flight)

Sunday May 12

Arrive Tel Aviv > Jerusalem 
Welcome to Israel! After we land at Ben Gurion Airport, we meet our tour guide and board the waiting motor coach to transfer to Jerusalem for the next four nights. Check in for a late welcome dinner and a night of well-deserved sleep. (B-in flight, D) 

Monday, May 13

After breakfast, we visit the Church of the Redeemer and then head to the Israel Museum, featuring the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. This afternoon, we walk through the Temple Mount, viewing the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque, and visiting the Western Wall—Judaism’s holiest site. Explore the City of David excavations and have an opportunity to walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which ends at the Pool of Siloam. (B, L, D) 

Tuesday, May 14

Bethlehem, Jerusalem 
We start the day traveling to Bethlehem. Visits include Shepherds’ Fields and Cave, the Church of the Nativity, and an olive-wood shop. Enjoy a group lunch at the Tent Restaurant. This afternoon  we head back to Jerusalem and visit the Mount of Olives, descending the road traveled on Palm Sunday. Pause for a time of reflection at Gethsemane, then enter the city near St. Anne’s Church and reflect by the Pool of Bethesda. Walk the “Good Friday” steps from Pilate’s Judgment Hall, past the Arch of Ecce Homo, and down Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Our day concludes at the Garden Tomb. Enjoy a group dinner together to reflect on the day. (B, L, D) 

Wednesday, May 15

Masada > Qumran > Dead Sea > Jerusalem 
This morning we visit Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, to learn about the story of the Shoah. Next, we travel to Masada; this is the fortress where the Zealots made their last stand against the Romans. Make a stop at Qumran, the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls community, and then take time to float in the buoyant salt water of the Dead Sea. Return to Jerusalem for dinner. (B, L, D) 

Thursday, May 16

Mount Arbel > Magdala > Sea of Galilee > Tiberias
Today we visit Mount Arbel for a spectacular view of the area where Jesus did much of his ministry and stop at the first-century synagogue at Magdala, the traditional hometown of Mary Magdalene. Enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee later this afternoon and view the “Ancient Boat” at Nof Ginosar. After, we settle in at our hotel in Tiberias for a three-night stay. (B, L, D) 

Friday, May 17

Bethsaida > Bet Shean > Jordan River > Tiberias
Start the day traveling to Bethsaida, the home of at least four of Jesus’ disciples. Next, we visit Bet Shean, the largest archeological site in the Holy Land, as well as the Mount of Temptation in the Judean Desert. We also make a stop at the Jordan River baptismal site before heading back to our hotel. (B, L, D) 

Saturday, May 18

Korazin > Dan > Caesarea Philippi > Mensa Christi > Tiberias 
Our day begins with a visit to Korazin and then Dan, an Old Testament site that became the center of Jeroboam’s Baal cult. We then travel to Caesarea Philippi (Banias), where Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say I am?” From there we go to Mensa Christi, “The Table of Christ,” which commemorates Christ’s restoration of Peter following the Resurrection. Upon return to Tiberias, enjoy an evening at leisure. (B, L, D) 

Sunday, May 19

Nazareth > Mount Carmel > Caesara Maritima > Tel Aviv 
We first travel to Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. Our time in this old city includes visits to the Church of the Annunciation and the remains of a first-century home at the Sisters of Nazareth convent. We then cross the Jezreel Valley to Mount Carmel and Megiddo, the site referred to in Revelation as Armageddon. After, head to Caesara Maritima on the Mediterranean Sea, a majestic port built by King Herod and the harbor from which Paul sailed on his first missionary journey. The day concludes with a farewell dinner. (B, L, D) 

Monday, May 20

Early this morning we head to Ben Gurion Int’l Airport for our return flights to Chicago and then the motor coach ride to Des Moines. (Meals-in flight)