This trip will enrich your understanding of the Scriptures by introducing you to the vivid context in which the New Testament was written.
Done right, a study tour can be relaxing and fun! Together with Dr. Craig Hill, we'll explore the past and present of Turkey & Greece. Each day we'll unpack what we've learned in the context of biblical history as well as our daily faith.
In addition to visiting the ancients cities where the Apostle Paul lived and taught, we'll have the opportunity for a hot air balloon ride over Turkey, wine tasting in Greece, and shopping at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
After graduating with his Masters in Theology from Talbot Seminary, Rich and his wife Becky began working full-time for Hume Ministries in 2001. Rich’s passions are discipleship and teaching God’s word in a way that brings it alive in today’s world. In his spare time, Rich enjoys leading Israel Study Tours (32 trips and counting), motorcycle riding, off-roading and spending time with his wife, daughters Ellie and Carmel as well as his two sons Jaron and Ronen. In 2016 Rich and his family moved to Michigan to join the GTI staff where he serves as General Manager.
Craig Hill is an affiliate Assistant Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty at Biola University in New Testament. Hill has taught in university and seminary settings for 18 years and has served for over two decades in youth, and pastoral ministries. He also works with Standing Stone Ministry, a ministry that provides pastoral care for pastors. Hill also serves on the Board of Directors of Hume Lake Christian Camps, one of the largest youth camps in the nation. He has been to Israel on a number of occasions and enjoys teaching the Bible in the context of where it was written. He lives in Irvine, California with his wife Kelly and four kids.
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“GTI Tours has been serving, listening to, and learning from their network of leaders and ministries for years—which is why their study tours are exceptional!“
Dr. Mark Strauss
Bethel Seminary Professor
Welcome to the Republic of Turkey. After we arrive at the Adana airport and our luggage is collected we will be met by our Turkish hosts who will take us directly to our hotel for a good night's sleep.
Today we begin our journey in Tarsus, the hometown of the Apostle Paul. This ancient city will provide the backdrop for beginning to unpack the life of Paul and his missionary journeys. Our travels will bring us north to the region of Cappadocia to experience some of the old underground cities and churches used by Christians.
The day starts with an optional early morning hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. Enjoy the sunrise and amazing views of the beautiful countryside with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. After breakfast we will experience Monks Valley and learn about the old churches and people that used to live here. We will begin to talk through Paul’s first missionary journey as we pass through the regions of Iconium, Lystra and Debre. Once we arrive in Konya we will enjoy an evening of cultural learning with the Whirling Dervish ceremony.
Today we leave Konya and continue to follow Paul’s first missionary journey as we head to the ancient city of Pisidia Antoch. Acts 13 sets the scene as Paul and Barnabas preach the gospel to both a Jewish and Gentile crowd. After lunch we will drive to the area of Pamukkale and its therapeutic hot springs while experiencing some of the local Turkish culture as we make our way to our hotel for the next two nights.
Today holds many Biblical teachings and historic locations. Our day unfolds with discussion about the book of Colossians and the ancient city with its cold river running through it as well as Hierapolis and the hot healing sulfur pools within its walls. We will walk the streets of Laodicea and discus the passage from Revelation 3:16 to the church in Laodicea that states because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Our day will end with a chance for people to relax and enjoy time at our hotel and spa.
After breakfast we bid farewell to the warm springs of the Pamukkale region and head west as we continue to learn about the seven churches of Revelation. Today we will visit the sites of Sardis, Pergamum and Thyratira as we unpack the Biblical significance of the letters to the churches in these cities.
Today will be our second part to the city of Pergamum which is referred to as Satan’s throne in Revelation 2:13. In the morning we will spend time exploring the acropolis and vast city built on top of a mountain before making our way to the coastal city of Kusadasi. Not far from the port city of Ephesus we will board a boat and sail the Aegean Sea just like travelers form centuries gone by.
After breakfast we will visit the magnificent city of Ephesus and explore its ancient streets as well as the famous library and theater. This city is full of Biblical significance as both Paul and John spent time here and we have an entire book of the Bible devoted to the people of this city. From here we will say goodbye to our Turkish friends and fly from Izmir Turkey to Athens Greece.
As you wake up you will realize you are in the ancient Greek world. We will start our day exploring and studying the important trade city of Corinth for which Paul writes two books of the Bible. Our afternoon will highlight Greek cuisine with a stop at a famous winery in the region. We will visit the Parthenon with its ancient temples to the goddess Athena while reading the account from Acts 17 where Paul preaches Christ from nearby Mars Hill. Our time in Greece will finish with a cultural dining experience filled with great food and a Greek Folklore show with dancing.
Today we fly from Athens back to Istanbul Turkey to finish off our trip. Istanbul known as Constantinople was the Roman Byzantine capital for over 1000 years. We will visit amazing sites such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia and discus how Christianity spread and became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The trip will conclude with a chance to shop in the Grand Bazaar and then a nice farewell dinner on the Bosphorus. After taking a moment to reflect on our trip and what we have learned we will head back to our hotel for a good night’s sleep before returning home the next day.
More than simply a statement about pricing, “All Inclusive” describes GTI’s holistic approach to facilitating purposeful travel and experiential learning in cooperation with our Ministry Partners.
Your tour leader, study materials, and even itinerary are biblically focused, creating a journey that will draw you more deeply into God’s Word with each step you take.
Each stop on your itinerary is selected because it provides an experience than brings meaning and emotional significance to the information you will be learning.
There’s no need to worry about wasting time and money haggling or being surprised by hidden costs. Except for souvenirs and optional upgrades, every part of your trip is covered.
Our secure online payment and registration system allows for payment plans and reminders, easy passport and document uploads, and confidence that your money and information is safe.
Friends and family can receive daily updates of text, photos, audio, and video from you and other participants to keep up with where you are and what you’re learning via the GTI Online Tour Journal.
We take care of everything so you can stay focused during your Study Tour, including providing you with a hydration backpack, study guide, passport/ticket carrier, and even a flashlight (when the trip calls for it).
We have spent years developing relationships with experienced guides and drivers because they are an integral part of a study tour. And if you already have a trusted guide/driver you prefer that’s ok too!