From May 29 to June 15, 2021, a group of students and friends of Bethel University experienced the Bible coming to life in Greece and Turkey. Led by Tyler Grant, director of global engagement and career services, and David McCabe, Ph.D., professor of New Testament and Greek, the group toured dozens of ancient Biblical sites from Paul’s missionary journeys, as well as the seven churches of Revelation. They gained a fuller understanding of Biblical context and history through visiting cities such as Athens, Delphi, Laodicea, Ephesus, and Corinth.

“Traveling with Bethel to the biblical lands of Greece and Turkey introduced me to new experiences and cultures that I never imagined I would come across,” says Aimee Smith, a sophomore Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Humanities double major.

With each site, Smith considered how excited the churches in these cities must have been when they received a letter from Paul or John.

“The people of Biblical times were learning what it meant to live a life modeled after Christ, but they did not have the Bible in the form we do … I imagine that their appreciation for Paul and John’s writings ran deep,” she says.

The group not only enjoyed experiencing the historical culture of the cities, but also the people who live there today.

Playing soccer with Greek students

“While in Delphi, we wanted to go watch the sunset on another part of the mountain. So, we went on a walk to find a good place to watch it,” says Sonson Nafziger, a junior International Health major and Biology minor. “We came up to a group of people playing soccer and we decided to stop and watch them play. They then invited us to join, and we ended up spending about two hours playing, having fun and laughing with them.”

For Kory Kern, senior Christian Ministries major, the memories and experiences were life changing.

“Being able to visit the churches of the book of Revelation and follow the journey of Paul was eye-opening for me and grew my understanding of the Bible immensely. Already in my classes, I am seeing and making the connections that I never could have made if I hadn’t been there in person,” he says.

In 2022, Bethel is hosting an all-inclusive Israel Study Tour from May 22-June 3. Alumni and friends of the university are invited to join faculty, staff and students for this exciting opportunity to study scripture in the places it happened! Learn more at