Overview

Welcome to the Biblical Education Tour homepage. This page provides information about the annual Biblical Education Tour offered by The Salvation Army Central Territory to active officers, retired officers, soldiers and employees. Officers are notified of their eligibility status in May of the year prior to the tour. Soldiers, retired officers and employees of the Central Territory are also invited to participate in this exciting experience as room becomes available. For more information about the tour, navigate through this site using the menu at the bottom of the page. The Salvation Army began offering a Biblical Education Tour in 1989. A group of Pilgrims has travelled each year since to either Israel or  Greece and Turkey. Each group has returned home recounting the many blessings they experienced on this tour. In 2017 the Biblical Education Tour will return to Israel with an optional extended tour to Rome. This tour brings to life the richness of scripture as you visit sites where Jesus ministered and the Christian church launched to the rest of the world.  As we travel through this amazing country each day offers countless opportunities to deepen your spiritual walk.  You will walk the paths and enter the cities and towns recorded in the Bible affording you the opportunity to gain a deeper biblical and historical knowledge as well as a better understanding of current events.

Officer Eligibility

Officers

  • The Biblical Educational tour may be taken the year following the successful completion of the five-year review.
  • Five years following the first tour a second tour may be taken.
  • Beginning with the 25th year of service, a third tour may be taken.
  • In addition to the years of service requirements, there is to be a minimum time span of five years between the first and second tours.  the third tour may be taken anytime after the completion of 25 years of service.
  • Husbands and wives may take the tour together or separately; however, both must qualify in years of service.
  • The tour counts as one conference for the year.
  • The tour counts as one week of vacation for the year.

Others

  • Retired Officers, Soldiers and Employees may participate in the tours if there is room. The cost of the tour is 100% personal expense.
  • Officers who have already gone on three Biblical Education Tours may participate in the tour if room is available. Of course, the tour would count as furlough and would be entirely at personal expense.

 

Financial Plan for Officers

Qualifying

1st Time

Biblical Tour

Qualifying

2nd Time

Biblical Tour

Qualifying

3rd Time

Biblical Tour

THQ Portion 50% 40% 35%
DHQ Portion 40% 40% 30%
Appointment Portion 5% 10% 10%
Personal Portion 5% 10%

Itinerary

The Holy Land Experience
Central Territory Biblical Education Tour
March 6 – 16, 2017

The following is a tentative itinerary for the upcoming tour

Fit to Travel:  passengers registering for the tour accept the responsibility for being in good health and able to walk and travel on the tour.  Because many sites are not accessible to the physically challenged, those needing assistance will find the tour extremely limiting in their experience.

Monday, March 6 ~ Chicago to Tel Aviv
Depart Chicago for Tel Aviv, Israel on your transatlantic flight with meals served on board.

Tuesday, March 7 ~ Tel Aviv & Jaffa
Arrive at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv and visit the Biblical Joppa, now the port city of Jaffa. Transfer to Netanya for overnight at the hotel after a long flight.

Wednesday, March 8 ~ Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Nazareth & Cana
Visit Mount Carmel, the traditional site where the prophet Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal. Travel the caravan route to Megiddo,where 20 different cities lie superimposed upon each other, and where Solomon built his stables. Visit Nazareth Village, a museum in the open air, to see the way of life at the time of Jesus. Continue to the land of Cana, to the place where Christ performed his first miracle of turning the water into wine. You will also, visit a church that commemorates this miraculous event. Overnight in Tiberias hotel.

Thursday, March 9 ~ Capernaum, Chorazin, Tel Dan, Caesarea Philippi & Bethsaida
Visit Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ ministry in the area. See the synagogue, which stands on the site where Jesus taught. Recall his teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom (Matt.4: 13, 23). Next, visit Chorazin, one of the towns cursed by Jesus for failing to heed his message. Travel to Northern Galilee to visit Tel Dan and see the mud brick arch constructed in Canaanite times. Visit Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus traveled with His disciples and where nearby Peter made his great profession of faith “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16: 16). See the Banyas Spring, one of the sources of Jordan River. Stop at Bethsaida, where Jesus chose five of His disciples. Return to your hotel in Tiberias for dinner and overnight after a long touring day.

Friday, March 10 ~ Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes & Magdala
At Kibbutz Nor Ginnosar, learn about the “Ancient Boat”, a rare example of the kind of boat in which Jesus would have sailed. Take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Stand atop the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus preached to the people and have a church worship service. Overnight in Tiberias hotel.

Saturday, March 11 ~ Gideon’s Spring, Beit She’an & Bethlehem
Visit Gideon’s Spring, (Ein Harod), where Gideon gathered the army of Israel against the Midianites. Travel to the ruins of Belt Shean, where the bodies of Saul and his sons were displayed on the walls after they were killed in battle. Beit Shean is also noted for having the best preserved ancient Roman theatre in Israel. Travel to Bethlehem to see the cave, revered as the place where Jesus was born and visit the Church of the Nativity, the world’s oldest functioning church. Arrive in Jerusalem hotel for dinner and overnight.

Sunday, March 12 ~ Mount of Olives, Garden of Gathsemane, Bethsada & Via Dolorosa
Stand atop the Mount of Olives as Jesus did and enjoy a remarkable view of the “Golden City” of Jerusalem. Forty days after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives. Visit Dominus Flevit, the church built on the place where Jesus mourned for Jerusalem. Have a worship service at the Garden of Gethsemane. Visit the church of All Nations.View the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus cured the paralytic who had been ill for thirty eight years and visitthe Church of St. Anne. Visit Herod’s Antonia Fortress, where Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate. Walk the Via Dolorosa and stand in reverence at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Return to your hotel after full day for dinner and overnight.

Monday, March 13 ~ Western Wall, House of Caiaphas, Upper Room, Southern Steps & City of David
Visit the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. Walk through the Western Wall Tunnel to see the ancient pavement of the Old City of Jerusalem Continue to Mount Zion to visit the House of the High Priest Caiaphas, where Jesus was imprisoned for a night. Stand in the Upper Room, revered as the place of the Last Supper. Visit the Southern Wall Excavations and the Teaching Steps, where Jesus once taught. Walk the Ramparts of the Old City Wall to have a stunning view of the Old City. Wander the excavations of the City of David. Peer down Warren’s Shaft, thought to have served as a fresh water drawing point for the city and could have been how Joab entered the city and opened it to David’s forces. Explore  Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an amazing engineering feat that was dug from either end and met in the middle.  After dinner, visit the Friends of Zion Heritage Center. Overnight in Jerusalem hotel.

Tuesday, March 14 ~ Qumran, Ein Gedi, & Masada
Travel to Qumran, site of the Dead Sea Scroll discovery, to discuss the mysterious community of Essenes who once lived on the shores of the Dead Sea. Journey to the oasis of Ein Gedi, where David and his men sought refuge from Saul (1 Samuel 23). Visit Masada, Herod’s mountaintop fortress that became the last stronghold of the Jewish Rebellion against the Romans. Ride the cable car to the top to explore. Peer down upon the remains of the Roman camps and siege ramp below. Return to your hotel in Jerusalem for overnight.

Wednesday, March 15 ~ Garden Tomb & Dig in Maresha
Have a worship service at the Garden Tomb, the possible site of the Garden of Joseph of Arimathea, and experience the reality of the Resurrection. Visit Maresha, and the caves of Beit Guvrin, which housed homes, baths, and water cisterns during the Maccabean times. Participate in one – day Archaeological Dig. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Thursday, March 16 ~ Tel Aviv to Chicago
Our journey into the Holy Land has come to an end and we will depart Tel Aviv and return to Chicago filled with memories of an amazing experience!

Fit to Travel:  passengers registering for the tour accept the responsibility for being in good health and able to walk and travel on the tour.  Because many sites are not accessible to the physically challenged, those needing assistance will find the tour extremely limiting in their experience.

Optional Rome Extension

March 16 – 20, 2015

Thursday, March 16 ~ Journey to Rome: Catacombs, Appian Way, St Paul Outside the Wall & Pantheon

Friday, March 17 ~ Ancient Rome: Colosseum, Campidoglio, The Forum, Circus Maximus, Arch of Titus, Baths of Camalla, Monti Region & Victor Emmanuel Monumen

Saturday, March 18 ~ Christian Rome: The Vatican, St. Peter’s Bascilica, Sistine Chapel, & Michelangelo’s frescoes

Sunday, March 19 ~ Rome to Chicago: At our journeys end we depart from the airport in Rome and return to Chicago

Registration Information

ATTENTION:
The 2017 BET trip to Greece and Turkey has been rerouted to ISRAEL

Registration Dates
Officers- June 1 through September 30
Retired officers, employees & soldiers-
August 1 through September 30
Registration for the Biblical Education Tour is CLOSED to Officers (Active), Retired Officers, Employees & Soldiers
If you were not able to enter your passport information at registration, please enter it here.
Biblical Education Tour Color Flyer
Fees for BET Tour 2017

Standard Tour Package
$3000

Land Only Costs
$1950

Flight deviation (for furlough or extension at end of tour)
$250

Extended tour to Rome
$898

Optional single room charge (additional $198 for Rome extension)
$700

Tip money- (additional $50 for Rome extension)
$98

all fees are per person

The tour package includes:

All air travel from Chicago to destination and return to Chicago O’Hare
Meals include Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner while in Israel and Jordan
Fees are based on double occupancy accommodations
Airport tax and entrance fees
Examples of additional expenses include:

Batteries
Phone calls
Internet connections
Gifts
Free-time expenses
Snacks
Drinks with meals (i.e.; soft drinks, bottled water, etc)

For officers, incidental expenses paid by appointment include:

Passport, including pictures
Travel to and from Chicago
No VISA is necessary for those holding a U.S. Passport.
Child care
If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]