Israel is in the midst of welcoming a resurgence of tour groups now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, including hundreds of young evangelical students visiting Israel with Passages. The popular tour brings Christian college and graduate students from across the United States to Israel to connect with their ancient biblical roots and get to know the modern state. Since 2016, thousands of students have participated in the highly subsidized trip, which has been called the “Christian Birthright.”
Between the months of May and August, Passages will bring 17 buses with a total of 620 participants from 23 diverse universities, student groups and fraternities. Among them are the University of Alabama, Samford University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard Business School, Rice University and Duke University, as well as a group from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and Moody Theological Seminary. The multi-denominational, ethnically diverse groups include Asian American, African American, Caucasian, and Latino students, with many tending towards favorable opinions about Israel.
This will be the first trip to Israel for many students and leaders, particularly in the African American Leadership group, who represent the diverse denominations of the Black Church and are traveling with Passages in partnership with the Philos Project.
“We are thrilled to be able to resume our trips to the Holy Land,” said Scott Phillips, CEO of Passages. “Our young people – the next generation of Christian leaders – come to be inspired, to connect with the biblical roots of their faith, and to get to know the people, places, and the land of Israel. In addition, I hope the relationships that are formed in each group will lead to great programming and meaningful opportunities for our young Christian leaders when they return home. The trip is truly a life-changing experience.“
Passages offers Christian college students with leadership potential a fresh and innovative approach to experiencing the Holy Land. Participants encounter the roots of their Biblical faith first-hand and come face to face with the modern-day miracle that is Israel and have opportunities to build upon their trip experiences with additional leadership training, with the goal of becoming an informed voice for Israel and for their Christian faith.