By Carly Wheeler | Contributor
Junior Brecken Mumford is one of 13 students who traveled to the U.K. last January for the Literary London program. She recalls how being immersed in the culture created an atmosphere of excitement for studying various authors and their literature. Though she is a professional writing major, Mumford encourages students of all majors to look into Literary London: "Even if you aren't interested in British Literature, it's a trip for everyone." The group traveled all around London on various day trips, spent time in Edinburgh, Scotland and also had time to explore on their own. Brecken was ecstatic to visit Wales during a free day.
Upon reflecting on her experiences, Mumford remains amazed. "I grew a lot in how I perceive myself and those around me," she said. "London is so diverse, and it helped me see myself in a new way amidst it all . . . (and) it gave me friends that I will keep for a very long time."
Footsteps of Paul:
The Footsteps of Paul trip takes students to Greece and Italy. There are many destinations, as the group only stays in each place for about four days, but according to junior Kevin Boyers, this factor enhanced his experience. Kevin was a part of the Footsteps of Paul excursion last January and is still being changed by the experience.
"It was incredible to go through the different cities and realize that Paul walked on those same streets," Boyers commented. "It emphasized the fact that the people in (the) Bible were real and actually walked on this earth."
In addition to daily teachings, the group was able to explore on their own in the evenings and visit incredible places. Boyers recalled how the Bible became tangible upon seeing Paul's jail cell and the waters of Philippi in which Paul baptized Lydia. For Boyers, these moments gave a more realistic mindset of the Scriptures. As students prepare to take this journey this J-term, Boyers said, "It was a life-changing experience, and I would go back in a heartbeat."
Holy Land Studies:
From Europe to the other side of the Mediterranean, trips varied greatly in geographical location. Some students arrived in Israel last January to participate in the Holy Land Studies trip. Part of the trip includes an in-depth study of historical geography of the Bible, immersing students in the Middle Eastern culture by living in Jerusalem and traveling throughout the country. Sophomore Catie Dayton found herself at a loss for words when thinking of how this trip influenced her life. "The Scripture has been ignited in my heart," she said, "and, as a whole, the trip grew me so much in my different friendships and understanding of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament."
The times of stillness and reflection were especially meaningful for Dayton. "Once, after a very busy day, our professor took us to the Sea of Galilee as the sun was setting," Dayton said. "We read a passage of Scripture and then sat in silence amongst each other, thinking about our time in Israel and how God had grown us together, just as the disciples grew together in Christ two thousand years ago."
Confirmed Academic J-term 2017 trips
Bahamas (Honors Guild) - Michael Guebert & Jennifer Moeschberger
Bahamas - Cathy Harner & Maggie Beckford/Deborah Stiles
Belize - Carol & Rob Sisson
Costa Rica - Scott & Patricia Stan
Ecuador - Bob Aronson & Mackenzie Miller
Greece/Italy (Footsteps of Paul) - May Young & Mike Severe
Literary London - Colleen Warren & Beulah Baker
Israel - Bill & Susan Heth
Philippines - Cindy & Stan Tyner
Still waiting on applications
Chile - Chin Chang & Michael Jessup
China - David Lambert (with an additional trip leader)
Thailand - Tom & Darci Nurkkala
Information received via email from Trudy Owen.