Learn more about the STS Israel Initiative

Learn more about the STS Israel Initiative

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"As a seminary committed to training students in the Word of God, we believe it is crucial to not only educate each student about Israel...but to educate them in Israel!"

Dr. Doug BookmanProfessor and Israel Trip Leader

Shepherds Theological Seminary Israel Trip - Overview

This short video explains why STS believes it is imperative to send our students on a two-week study trip to Israel, and to fully fund the trip so that students bear only minimal costs while visiting the Holy Land. If you are interested in becoming a student and participating in the Israel Initiative, please visit us at www.shepherds.edu

Watch more videos at the STS Vimeo chanel

What is the Israel Initiative?

The Israel Initiative is Shepherds Theological Seminary’s commitment to get students to the Holy Land for a 2-week study course at minimal cost. You can read more below about why STS thinks this trip is so important for students.

Is the Trip Really Free?

Our generous donors have made it possible for STS to underwrite the travel, lodging, and most meals for the Israel Initiative, leaving students with only minimal costs for lunches, snacks, and souvenirs.

What’s the Trip Like?

The Israel Study Trip is intense! Spanning 2-weeks, the trip is an intensive course covering the history and geography of the Holy Land–Old Testament to New Testament. Days usually begin at 8am and end about 7-8pm. It is a trip of a lifetime.

About the STS Israel Iniative

Shepherds Theological Seminary is committed to the idea that all degree seeking students visit the Holy Land and our Israel Initiative is a commitment born of two realities. First, we believe that this trip is of crucial value to students who are preparing to faithfully and accurately handle the Word of God. Visiting Israel gives our students much-needed context and allows them to explore the stage on which so much of the drama of God’s “mighty acts” unfolded. A good teacher seeks to incorporate visual aids for the students, and there is no better visual aid then seeing in person the land where the bulk of biblical history took place. For STS students, Israel becomes their giant blackboard, their real-life power-point, and the pages of Scripture come alive in front of them.

Second, it is worth mention that we live in that remarkable and very narrow window of history during which the land of Israel – a land which was functionally closed from AD 70-1967 – is actually accessible. The Apostle Paul testified to a special love for the people of Israel , and his desire was that all believers would have an affection for Israel as well (Rom 9:1-5; 11:28-36). The modern state of Israel is the most dramatic and important concentration of Jewish people and culture since AD 70, and that nation is much cherished at STS because of our grammatical-historical hermeneutic and exegesis.

Given all of that, the seminary has raised (and continues to raise) the funds necessary to provide a full two-week study trip for its students every year.

Learn More About Shepherds Theological Seminary

You get to walk through the places where the stories in the Bible actually took place! How awesome is that?

STS Student Testimonial

You read about the stories in the Bible and you try and picture them the best you can, but when you come here to the land and see it for yourself it makes a world of difference in how you understand the text.

Mike Egerdahl – STS Alumni Testimonial

One of the things that sets Shepherds apart from other seminaries is our commitment to taking every student to Israel as part of their degree…and paying for it! I don’t know of any other seminary that puts this amount of effort into immersing its students in the Word of God while in the Land of God.

Edward J. Herrelko III, Ph.D. – Chief Academic Officer and VP

To not just be talking about something you read about, but to be talking about something you have seen and touched really enhances my ability to teach God’s Word.

Karl Pickard – STS Student Testimionial

Our Degrees

  • MDIV

    • Master of Divinity
    • 92 Credits / 3-4 Years
    • The Premier Pastoral Degree
    • Multiple Areas of Concentration
    • Pastoral and Academic Focus
  • MA(BLL)

    • M.A. Biblical Literature & Languages
    • 68 Units / 2-3 years
    • Ph.D. preparatory degree
    • Focus on biblical languages
    • Focus on textual criticism
  • MACM

    • MA Church Ministry
    • 35 Credit hours / 1-2 years
    • A Professional Ministry Degree
    • Concentration in Christian Ministry
    • Concentration in Biblical Counseling
  • MTS

    • Master of Theological Studies
    • 41 Units/ 1 year
    • Intensive Format Academic Degree
    • Practical Theology Focus
    • Only Available at STS Teaching Sites
  • Diploma Program

    • Diploma of Church Ministry
    • Diploma of Biblical Counseling
    • Diploma of Theological Studies
    • 35-41 Credits / 1-2 years
    • For Students without a BA or BS Degree

Become a student at STS today!

Applying is easy and free...just click here to start our online application.

Holy Land Sites Visited

Student Blogs from Past STS trips

Jesus’ Humanity and God’s Grace – Israel Initiative 2015

Hey there! My name is Matthew Karlstrum and I am a student from the West Institute in Laramie, Wyoming. I am studing in the 1-year master’s of theological studies program. My wife Kristin and I moved to Laramie specifically so that I could attend the West Institute. I chose this particular program in large part […]

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Who Has Believed What we Have Heard? – Israel Initiative 2014

Written by David McManus, MDiv student at Shepherds Theological Seminary. Today is a special day. I was born on February 22, but I was born again on December 16. Thirteen years ago today the Lord violently and abruptly arrested my hell-bound path, and changed my life eternally. I didn’t grow up in the church. In […]

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Was Blind but Now I See – Israel Initiative 2014

Written by Joshua Komis, MDiv student at STS, Cary Campus. Thursday, December 18, 2014. “Teacher, for what sins is this man blind?” In John 9, Jesus and His disciples come across a blind man in Jerusalem. The disciples are quick to assume the worst about this man they’ve never met, but Jesus said that this […]

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Finding Treasure in Israel – Israel Initiative 2015

I have been looking forward to attending one of the Israel trips since I began at Shepherds Theological Seminary in 2013. And now that I am on the tail end of my studies for the Master of Arts in Church Ministry, this is the perfect culmination of my education. My name is Jared Laskey and […]

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Embracing the Lessons of Israel – Israel Initiative 2015

Greetings from Israel. My name is Kristie Jones and I am a third year seminary student at Shepherds Theological Seminary. I live in Raleigh, NC and I am pursing a Master of Arts Degree in Church Ministry with a focus in Christian Ministry. I work in women’s ministry in my local church and assist in […]

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It’s not about me: Lessons from Israel – Israel Initiative 2015

Yesterday we hiked up a 900 foot mountain cliff that overlooks the Dead Sea called Masada. King Herod designed and contrived the building of this fortress city. King Herod is known for two things: His building projects (building the unthinkable) and making enemies (he made them daily). Masada is a perfectly exhibits both of these […]

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