A correlated curriculum of survey courses provides students with an introduction to biblical studies and Near Eastern history, geography, culture, and current events. Classroom study is built around field trips that cover the length and breadth of the Holy Land and includes travel to Jordan and to either Egypt, Turkey, or Greece. The extended nature of this program provides an ideal environment to study the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the early apostles and prophets in their original settings. In addition, students have the opportunity to gain an understanding of the peoples of the Near East by living among them and comparing cultural and religious traditions and practices.
Each Jerusalem Center program includes:
As you will notice, the Jerusalem experience begins before you actually reach the Holy Land. We wish to emphasize that each of the above items is an integral part of each Jerusalem Center program, and you will be expected to participate in all of these activities. Please make sure you are willing to commit to the entire package as outlined above before submitting an application.
Mandatory orientation meeting in Provo: Monday, May 1
Estimated program cost: $11,880*
Applications accepted for priority placement March 6–17, 2017
Mandatory orientation meeting in Provo: Monday, September 4 (Labor Day)
Estimated program cost: $11,980*
2018 Winter Program: January 9 - April 26
Applications accepted for priority placement: July 10-21, 2017
Mandatory orientation meeting in Provo: Monday, January 8
Estimated program cost: $11,980*
*All students on the above programs will receive a $1000 grant to help offset the increase in program fees. These grants are made possible through generous donations from former students and friends of the Jerusalem Center.
Program costs include tuition, airfare (round-trip SLC/TLV/SLC), field trip expenses, room & board, books & fees, medical insurance, laundry, application fee, and a refundable room deposit of $250. The $150 deposit paid at the time of application will be applied towards the total program cost.
Items not included are of a personal nature, such as excess baggage charges, bottled drinking water, food or beverages not part of the group menu, gratuities for special services, passports, immunization fees, postage, and souvenirs. For this program, we recommend an average of $500 for personal expenses. .
The above admission requirements are subject to change for future programs. Please review individual program information as it becomes available and prior to submitting an application.
The Jerusalem Center has a two-part admissions process:
The Jerusalem Center accepts applications for placement during a two-week application window for each program. (Refer to specific program information for individual submission dates.) All qualified applications received or postmarked during those two weeks are considered on an equal basis. If, during the two-week period, more students apply than the Jerusalem Center can accommodate, students will be randomly drawn for Part II of the admissions process (or for a waiting list). In the event that both the randomly drawn list and the waiting list are filled, remaining applications will be returned. Applications received after the two-week window will be considered for Part II of the admissions process on a space-available basis and in the order received.
Each applicant given placement in Part I of the admissions process will be interviewed for final acceptance. Applicants will be admitted for study at the Jerusalem Center based on their preparation for and ability to benefit from study at the Jerusalem Center as well as their ability to contribute to the success of the experience for others in the unique Jerusalem Center setting. Applicants on the waiting list will be interviewed as needed, or as space becomes available.
The curriculum is designed to achieve a balance of spiritual, academic, and cultural development consistent with the unique goal of the Jerusalem Center. Each student accepted will be registered for the following courses (15 credit hours total). Class and field trip attendance is required.
• Old Testament Studies-- Religion 303 (3 credits)
• New Testament Studies -- Religion 311 (3 credits
Study of the Old and New Testaments integrated with extensive field study in the biblical world; leads to understanding, appreciation, and application of scriptural teachings today.
• Ancient Near Eastern Studies -- NES 336 (3 credits):
Study of the history, geography, and archaeology of the ancient Near East, designed to provide a historical background of the people, places, customs, cultures, and events of the Bible
• Arab and Islamic Civilization -- NES 347 (2 credits)
Social science/humanities course covering Arab and Islamic civilization; historical evolution of Middle East to present. Provides overview of modern Palestinian society.
• Israeli and Jewish Civilization -- NES 349 (2 credits)
Social science/humanities course; broad introduction to Jewish self-understanding and history, focusing on relationships among people, faith, and land.
• Field Trips – NES 395 (1 credit)
Field trips correlated with classroom study to maximize the advantage of on-site learning.
• Introdouction to Arabic -- Arabic 100 (1 credit), or
• Introduction to Hebrew -- Hebrew 100 (1 credit)
All students will be be registered for either Arabic or Hebrew. Introductory course with particular emphasis on the spoken word to engage in a short conversation, to distinguish the sounds of the consonants and vowels, and to gradually read and write some words in either Arabic or Hebrew. These courses are taught by local native-speaking instructors, and are graded pass/fail.
Every Wednesday evening, the Center hosts a distinguished guest who will speak to students about a topic of current interest. Attendance at these outstanding lectures is mandatory and is an important part of the Jerusalem Center experience.
● All 6 credit hours of Religious Educaton taken at the Center will count towards the core requriement in Religious Educataion. Successful completion of the REL 311 New Testament course will fill the 2 credit-hour requirement for "Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel." The other 4 credit hours count as electivee credits.
● BYU-Provo students who successfully complete the two Modern Near Eastern courses (NES 347R and NES 349R) will automatically meet the requirement for “Global and Cultural Awareness”.
● BYU-Provo students who successfully complete the Ancient Near Eastern Studies course (NES 336R) will automatically receive three hours of “Letters” credit.
● BYU-I students who successfully complete NES 336R, NES 347R, and NES 349R will receive five credit hours to satisfy the Foundations of Humanities and International Foundations requirements at BYU-I.
All students are welcome to apply for Jerusalem Center Financial Aid, which is separate from what they may receive from the University or from the government as a Pell grant or student loan. Please note that students who decide to participate in extended travel immediately following a Jerusalem Center program are not eligible to receive a Jerusalsem Center award. Students who travel home to a destination other than Salt Lake City are still eligible. While Jerusalem Center financial aid is not a loan that must be repaid, recipients of financial aid are encouraged, if they are able in future years, to replenish the financial aid fund so that future students will also have financial aid available when they need it. (See APPLICATIONS page on this website.)
Other Financial Aid
BYU scholarships and faculty dependent benefits can be applied to the total program cost. Other financial aid (Pell grants, student loans, outside scholarships, etc.) can also be used, and it is the student’s responsibility to communicate the amount of these awards to the Jerusalem Center office prior to the final payment deadline. These funds may then be deducted from the final payment.
It may be possible for BYU-I and BYU-H students who received university scholarships and/or government funding to use these funds to finance a Jerusalem Center Program through a Consortium Agreement between their own institution and BYU. Students should contact their individual financial aid advisors for more information.
A student cannot transfer an application from one program to another. Consideration for a future program means cancellation of the current application, forfeiture of deposit, and submission of a new application and deposit for the future program.
Specific Jerusalem Center Dress & Grooming Standards
Although clothing standards vary from region to region in the Middle East, some contemporary clothing styles, particularly for young women in the US and Europe, are inconsistent with standards of modesty for many residents of the region and, in particular, of Jerusalem who generally belong to orthodox—and hence conservative—Christian, Muslim or Jewish faiths. Even commonly accepted clothing styles worn by students at BYU would be considered by many in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Middle East to be immodest. Jerusalem Center students need to adopt a modest look that will both set them apart and show respect. You will be expected to dress consistent with at least minimal standards of modesty in Jerusalem, as outlined below:
FOOTWEAR AND SWIMWEAR:
We understand that dressing this way won’t make you stylish by US standards and that you may need to acquire a few new things that fit within these Jerusalem Center standards.
Behavior & Dating
Activities and behavior must be consistent with high standards of taste and decency. Be aware that any public displays of affection (arms around person of the opposite sex, etc.) is considered inappropriate among certain peoples in the Near East. Dating or pairing off between members of the program is strongly discouraged, and dating or pairing off with anyone outside of the program is not allowed. Friendships develop and intensify on this study program because of the amount of time spent living, studying and traveling together; but time, the setting, and the environment make dating unwise.
The Center has made a firm commitment that no one associated with the Center, University or Church will engage in Christian proselytizing activities while in Israel. Students may not proselytize, directly or indirectly. Proselytizing is defined as any activity that could be construed as aimed at including, encouraging or leading people in Israel to investigate any religion for possible conversion are strictly contrary to the desires of the government and people of Israel and to the commitments made by BYU, The Jerusalem Center, and The Church. Students must agree to not distribute, either directly, by mail or by Internet, any materials pertaining to the Church or its doctrines within Israel or Palestine. It is not permitted to discuss the Church or its doctrines or answer any questions regarding the Church or its doctrines with individuals who reside in the Holy Land or who may be visiting there. Guests who are not LDS are not permitted to attend Church services held in the Holy Land. If asked questions about the Church, students must state that they are in the Holy Land as a student and are not permitted to discuss the Church or its doctrines.
A single violation of Jerusalem Center policies will result in consequences related to missed privileges, and could also result in dismissal from the program. Students must understand that if they are dismissed from the program, they will be responsible for additional costs incurred to return them to their homes and that there will be no refunds for services not rendered. Furthermore, in the event a student is dismissed from the program, academic credit may be withheld, and his/her standing at their university may likewise be affected.