Study Abroad Programs

Calvin Theological Seminary offers you the experience to immerse yourself in a new cultural context, learning from the past and present of your host community. Learning in a new place can help you see biblical history, ministry, and church relations from a new perspective.

These study abroad programs are the perfect opportunity for seminary students to go deeper in their learning while walking alongside a supportive community of professors and students.

Study Theology Abroad with Calvin

Calvin’s approach to education always includes contextual learning. The seminary’s travel courses are an extension of this commitment. Each of our study abroad opportunities allows students to better understand biblical history and theology in action. Study abroad experiences can be a formative piece of your education and provide teaching that will shape you, and your ministry, for years to come.

Calvin’s Christian Study Abroad Programs

Study Abroad in Greece and Turkey

Course: Biblical Study Tour to Turkey and Greece
Leader: Professor Jeffrey Weima
Credits: 2-credit OT, NT, or History of Christianity elective for MDiv, MA, MTS, or ThM students; or a 3-credit course for ThM students
Next trip: January 2024

Walk in the footsteps of Paul and John during the day and study their New Testament writings at night! Travel by deluxe motorcoach to sites connected with Paul’s First, Second and Third Missionary Journeys (Attalia, Perge, Aspendos, Colossae, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Miletus, Didyma, Assos, Alexander Troas, Neapolis, Philippi, Amphipolis, Thessalonica, Berea, Vergina, Athens, Corinth, and Cenchrea) and the seven churches (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea) to whom John wrote the Book of Revelation.

Most evenings feature a study session either on “Paul: His Life and His Letters” or “From Patmos to Paradise: The Seven Sermons to the Seven Churches (Revelation 2–3).” Join host Jeff Weima, professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary and leading biblical scholar, for this truly inspirational tour.

Other students, spouses and family members of students, and friends of Calvin Seminary (including alumni, pastors, and donors) may sign up for the study tour, though space will be afforded first to students taking the trip for academic credit. These guest participants will not be required to complete any of the course assignments.

Study Abroad in Israel and Palestine

Course: Biblical Study Tour to Israel and Palestine
Leader: Professor Gary Burge
Credits: 2-credit elective for MDiv, MA, MTS, or ThM students; or a 3-credit course for ThM students
Typically offered: January of even years
Next trip: January 2026

Come experience the world of the Bible through explorations of the culture, geography, and history of Israel and Palestine and surrounding lands. See for yourself the diverse array of landscapes that make up the land from Dan to Beersheva. Taste the spring waters of Mt Hermon. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples. Hear the cacophony of sounds and languages that comprise the cultural mosaic of the Old City of Jerusalem. Meet people who live in the land and gain insight into the region's current religious and political tensions. In this course, you will visit archaeological and sacred sites of Biblical, historical, and religious significance that are sure to illuminate your reading of Scripture.

Study Abroad in Mexico

Course: Seeds of Justice, Harvest of Shalom
Leader: Professors Mariano Avila-Artaega and Cory Willson
Credits: 2-credit elective for MDiv, MA, MTS, or ThM students; or a 3-credit course for ThM students
Typically offered: January of odd years
Next trip: January 2025

This course is an exploration of the intimate connection between justice and peace in biblical theology and exposure to expressions of this biblical vision of justice-shalom in several ministries in the larger Mexico City area.

Justice and peace provide the necessary vision and understanding of God’s plan for creation and humanity, to inspire a lifestyle and ministry that conform to God's good will for the cosmos, society, the Church, and the individual person. In our visit to Mexico City, we will learn how seeds of justice are being planted and shalom is being weaved in every day ministries, in the name of Jesus.

Along with readings & lectures of selected biblical-theological essays, the trip will provide a rich cross-cultural experience and include:

  • Visiting ministries among children in Mexico City
  • Church ministry with immigrants
  • Holistic Ministry with Indigenous Mazahua people
  • Other models of urban ministry

Also, we will visit the Templo Mayor (main Aztec temple), Teotihuacan Pyramids, National Palace, National Cathedral, Anthropology Museum, and an epic Folkloric Ballet. We’ll attend lectures with leading Mexican theologians and pastors and travel to towns around Mexico City to understand Mexican cultures and the context for ministry.

Financing Options for Christian Study Abroad Programs

Travel courses are a powerful way to learn about the Bible and ministry in context. Thanks to the generous support of a donor, these opportunities are made more affordable. Every Calvin Seminary degree seeking student will receive a one-time scholarship to help pay for the costs of one of these trips. It's another example of the tremendous support Calvin Seminary students receive.

Additional Christian Travel Study Options

Calvin has even more opportunities for travel study closer to campus, with opportunities to grow in learning, community, and ministry preparation.

North American Travel Courses

Many Calvin Seminary courses utilize learning off-campus to supplement in-class learning. Examples include:

  • A leadership course that includes the Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek
  • Our Pastoral Theology at the Margins course, which includes a weekend in Washington, D.C., visiting the National Museum of African American History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • A course on church planting that requires visiting examples of church plants in Ontario and Arizona

Bring Learning to Life in Your Ministry Context

Are you eager to get started or continue in ministry? Calvin Seminary puts your learning into action.

The Vocational Formation Office places Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Arts (MA) in Christian Leadership students in a contextual learning placement, and is available to assist all students with their internship goals and vocational pursuits. Your placement is entirely customizable, and takes into account a variety of factors, including your future ministry goals, if you are full or part time, and whether you are in a residential or distance/online program. Typically, MDiv and MA students are placed in a program within their first year of their program.

In addition, the Vocational Formation Office can help you find other internship opportunities, such as the Ministry Residency Program, which places students in a ministry setting while you complete your program.

Start Your Journey with Calvin

Calvin Seminary is known for its study abroad programs, opportunities to put ministry into action, and overall depth of learning in our academic programs. Your seminary journey begins when you apply or request more information today.