The Holy Land

UNC Charlotte Pilgrimage Register Today

Our Holy Land Trip Begins May 27








In the Footsteps of Jesus


The Holy Land is rich in 3,000 years of multicultural history. See Galilee where Jesus walked on water, healed many, and fed five-thousand. Visit Nazareth and Bethlehem. Discover Jerusalem’s Old City, the Western Wall, and the Mount of Olives. The Holy Land is also a land of conflict with rifts that cause oppression and hurt between people. We follow the Prince of Peace and will strive to understand how healing, justice, and peace may come to be. 

Day 1 – Mon May 27 – USA to the Holy Land: Our pilgrimage begins as we depart the USA on an overnight flight.

Day 2 – Tue May 28 – Arrive in the Holy Land: After arriving in Tel Aviv we will transfer to our hotel to enjoy dinner before retiring for the night.

Day 3 – Wed May 29 – The Galilee: Worship as we sail across the Sea of Galilee. See a 2,000-year-old boat that was found during a drought in the seabed. It is similar to one the disciples would have used to fish the sea with. On the Mount of Beatitudes, contemplate the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matt. 5-7). Walk down through the fields to the Eremos Cave, where it is thought Jesus and the Disciples rested. Visit Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee, and visit the synagogue built on the site where Jesus taught (Matt .4:13, 23). In Magdala, once home to Mary Magdalene, visit a recently discovered first-century synagogue. Recall Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist at the Jordan River. Walk a portion of the Jesus Trail in the Valley of the Wind and Doves.

Day 4 – Thu May 30 – Tel Dan, Nazareth, and Megiddo: Walk the forests of Tel Dan, where Jeroboam set up an altar and a mud Brick gate dates back to the time of Abraham. We’ll drive through Nazareth, the boyhood home of Jesus (Matthew 2: 23) and then walk up to the Mount of Precipice, where an angry crowd from the synagogue attempted to throw Jesus off a cliff (Luke 5:28 -30). Walk through the ruins at Tel Megiddo (Armageddon) to view one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel.

Day 5 – Fri May 31 – Jericho, Masada, Qumran, and Dead Sea: Pass through the Jordan Valley to Jericho to view the ruins of the city conquered by Joshua (Josh. 6: 1, 2, 20), in the distance, we can also see the traditional site of the Temptation of Jesus (Matt. 4:1-11). We’ll visit Masada, Herod’s legendary mountaintop fortress which became the last desperate stronghold of the Jewish Zealots against the Romans. We can still look down on the remains of the Roman camps and the siege ramp below. Continue to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Enjoy a dip in the salt and mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea. We will finish our day checking into our Bethlehem hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 – Sat Jun 1 – Herodion and Bethlehem: Visit the Herodion, the fortified palace and final resting place of Herod the Great. In Bethlehem, visit the cave revered as Jesus’ birthplace and see the Church of the Nativity constructed over the site (Matt. 1: 18 -25). Gaze out over Shepherds Field before we returning to Jerusalem. This evening we will interact with a Palestinian Christian Family with dinner in their home.

Day 7 – Sun Jun 2 – Jerusalem & Bethlehem: Stand on 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 (Acts 1:9 -12). Walk the Palm Sunday Road down the Mount of Olives, stopping at Dominus Flevit Church. Pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and envision the scenes of the night before Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt. 26: 36 – 44). Walk the Cardo, the ancient main street of the Old City. Explore ancient Jerusalem at the Teaching Steps and the Western Wall.

Day 8 – Mon Jun 3 – Jerusalem: Depending on conditions, we should be able to walk the Temple Mount. Wander through the excavations of the City of David. Walk the steps to the Pool of Siloam, recently uncovered at the foot of the City. Explore Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an incredible engineering feat that was dug from either end and met in the middle! Visit Yad Hashmonah Biblical Garden where we will receive hands-on exposure to ancient mannerisms and customs of the Israelites.

Day 9 – Tue Jun 4 – Jerusalem & the Old City: View the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus performed the Sabbath miracle (John 5: 1-31). Sing a hymn in the Church of St. Anne and experience its rich acoustics. Visit Herod’s Antonia Fortress, where Jesus appeared before Pontius Pilate (Luke 23:1), and following Christ’s steps on the Via Dolorosa (“the Way of the Cross”). At the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, take time to reflect on His sacrificial love. Celebrate the Resurrection with Communion at the Garden Tomb. Prepare for our return flights.

Day 10 – Wed Jun 5 – Return to the USA


Costs for Students is: $2946 + any late fees

  • All registrations after February 11 are subject to a late fee, determined by the airlines – not by Niner United. The late fee is determined according to the date you register, and therefore it varies – the sooner you register the less the fee.


  1. Register with the Educational Opportunities Tour Company.
    2. If you are a UNC Charlotte student, select the $2,946 USD Student Discount.
    3. On their registration form make sure it says in red: “Holy Land 2019 (HL19/N) Niner United – Student Pricing, Departure Date: 05/27/2019”
    4. Host or Group Leader = Rev Stephen Cheyney
    5. Host or Group Leader ID = 58690
    6. How did you learn about this trip = My Host
    7. “Complete this Section of your spouse…” = Leave Blank
    8. Travel Protection Plan = EO sells travel insurance, but it is not required that you use theirs. We do require that you do purchase travel insurance, but recommend that you shop. For instance see,
    9. Register Me = “Basic Tour with International Airfare”
    10. Domestic Departure City = Charlotte

 Additional Details 

  • Educational Opportunities, the tour company Niner United is using, sells travel insurance but you may also shop for your own travel insurance with similar benefits, and perhaps lower prices.
  • Prices above reflects a 4% discount for full payment via check (the tour company adds a credit card 4% credit card fee).
  • Includes round-trip air, expert guide, ground transportation, entrance fees to sites, first class hotels and gratuities, and daily buffet breakfast and dinner.
  • It does not include the costs of travel insurance (required), lunches (typically quick stops), food at airports on travel days, the cost of a passport (you will need one), excess baggage, or personal items you want to purchase.



Read, Listen, or Watch the following:

  • Read the Gospel of Mark. A free PDF version is available in the CEB translation here. The campus ministry is covering the entire gospel of Mark during the 2018-2019 year. Exegetical notes and sermons will be available to all trip participants in May prior to the trip.
  • Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore is an incredible book, but it is 704 pages. Read this book, only if you want to. However, either listen to this NPR interview of Montefoire by Tom Gjelten’s WBUR, available here. Or watch this speech by Montefiore courtesy of the University of California Television, available here.
  • Read: VOX’s Everything You Need to Know About Israel-Palestine.
  • Listen to Fresh Air: Israel, the ‘Accidental Empire’ with Gershom Gorenberg.
  • Listen to Fresh Air: Gershom Gorenberg on Christian Zionism.
  • Listen to Fresh Air: Max Blumenthal on Christian Zionism.


Holy Land Guide

  • All participants would be well served to buy The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide by Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, or another similar guide.