The Holy Land

UNC Charlotte Pilgrimage


Pre Registration Form

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

The Rev. Steve Cheyney


This pilgrimage for UNC Charlotte students, staff, faculty, and friends will be led by the Rev. Stephen Cheyney, chaplain at UNC Charlotte and Executive Director of Cooperative Christian Ministry (the campus ministry of the Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA), Presbyterian (PCUSA), and United Methodist churches). He also directs the Faith and Leadership Experience, funded by the Lilly Endowment. Steve is an ordained United Methodist pastor. He graduated from Western Carolina University majoring in criminal justice. While a graduate student at Duke University and a doctoral student at Emory University, Steve became interested in biblical studies, crisis and disaster management, the relationship between faith and science, the nature of vocation and call, and the conflict between Palestine and Israel. The bulk of his research and expertise, however, is helping collegiate ministry find its place in ecclesiological discourse. Around these and other theological topics, Steve has preached and lectured widely locally and internationally. Steve has led over fifty pilgrimages and mission trips to various parts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. Steve is married to Bridgett, a counselor by training, and together they have three kids. 



  • UNC Charlotte Class of 2022 and Class of 2021 members: Total price with scholarship = $1,000 to the first 23 plus you pay required travel insurance. Pre-Register by February 1. The $1,000 is due also by February 1. 
  • UNC Charlotte Class of 2020 members: Total price with scholarship = $2,000 to the first 23 plus you pay required travel insurance. Pre-Register by February 1. The $1,000 is due also by February 1. 
  • UNC Charlotte Class of 2019 and Graduate Students: Total price with student discount = $2,946 plus you pay required travel insurance. An $1,800 deposit is due by February 1. 
  • Non-Students (Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Friends): $3,296 plus you pay required travel insurance, for non-students. An $1,800 deposit is due by February 1. 
  • We are using Educational Opportunities (EO) tour company. All registrations after February 1 (if space remains) are subject to late fees. 
  • EO sells travel insurance but you may also shop for your own travel insurance with similar benefits. 
  • Prices above reflects a 4% discount for full payment via check (the tour company add 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 lunches (typically quick stops), food at airports on travel days, the cost of a passport (you will need one), access baggage, or personal items you want to purchase.

Scholarship recipients, please use the timeline above. Class of 2019, Graduate students, and non-students, please refer to the timetable below for deposit specifics. 

Payment Amount

Payment Due Dates & Notes


Registrations received between 11/27/18 – 02/1/19.


2nd Deposit Amount. All guests must have $1,800 on their account by 02/1/19 to be ticketed


Registrations received between 02/2/19 – 03/12/19 must pay the full deposit

amount and may be subject to late registration fees.

Full Payment

Final Payment is due on 03/13/19. If paid after the due date, a late payment fee of $100 will be assessed.




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.
Application: All potential participants must first apply for the trip. The trip is open to students, faculty, staff, and friends of the university and campus ministry. Priority booking is for UNC Charlotte students.

Step One: This is your first step in registering for our Holy Land 2019 trip. Completing this form does not obligate you to participating. If you are a UNC Charlotte student, please complete the scholarship section.  Also, if you do not have a passport, no worries – but you will need to get one.

Pre Register Now

Step Two: If you are a UNC Charlotte, when step one is reviewed, we will send you a scholarship declaration to help you make your final decision on the trip. If you are a non-student, we will also review your application and notify you if you are able to register. Remember, priority booking is for UNC Charlotte students. When this process is complete, you will have 14 days to register through the travel company in order to lock down your scholarships.

Click here for more trip details (however, you must pre-register here prior to registering with the tour company).



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