Below is a list of study-travel opportunities on the horizon. These experiences are arranged in conjunction with trip leaders from local churches, schools, or universities. If you would like participate in one of them but are not within their immediate circle of contacts, please send me a note (markziese@gmail.com) and I will help you explore possibilities. If you are a group leader/teacher who would like to customize a program of your own, let me hear from you. Naturally, all announcements here are subject to revision and adjustment.

Preparing for travel and just want to read more? Explore other links here.


june 4-15, 2019

Whitewater crossing, Cleves, Ohio (engagement level: pilgrimage tour)

The Whitewater crowd is making preparations for their third visit to Israel/Palestine. Led by James Hansee, Minister of Spiritual Formation and Missions, a focused experience can be expected. For more information, contact James Hansee at jhansee@whitewatercrossing.org.

James Hansee (right) and Senior Minister David Vaughan (left) offer a healthy balance of seriousness and fun.


June 16-26, 2019

FIRST CHURCH, BURLINGTON, KENTUCKY (ENGAGEMENT LEVEL: PILGRIMAGE TOUR)

This pilgrimage tour to Israel-Palestine has Cincinnati (CVG) as its point of origin. Travelers must able to walk unassisted over uneven terrain, ride a camel (?), and be ready engage the biblical world in a fresh way. Contact the office of First Church for more information at (859) 586-4673 or email Tommy Baker at TBaker@FirstChurch.me.

Camel riding in the Negev!

Camel riding in the Negev!


june 26-july 7, 2019

New hope Christian Church, roanoke, virginia (engagement level: pilgrimage tour)

We welcome travelers from New Hope Christian Church, Roanoke, Virginia, to Israel/Palestine in summer of 2019. Seth Bryant, Lead Minister at New Hope, has big plans for this group! Click on the photo below for pricing and details. Email me at markziese@gmail.com if you have questions.


July 8-26, 2019

Serengeti, Tanzania (engagement level: extreme adventure)

Africa is a place like no other place on earth. With the Big Five (game animals), the Great Rift, early hominid remains, and Kilimanjaro, one cannot exhaust the wonders of East Africa.

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November 12-22, 2019

Fern Creek Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky (engagement level: pilgrimage tour)

Travel veteran Craig Grammer returns to Israel/Palestine for another pilgrimage tour! Departure cities are priced from Dayton (OH) and Louisville (KY). Other departure arrangements are possible. Click the image below for itinerary. This trip is fully booked.


December 28, 2019 -Jan 6, 2020

thrive church, lake nona, florida (engagement level: Pilgrimage-tour)

Travel veteran Greg Marksberry returns to Israel/Palestine for another pilgrimage tour! Departure cities are priced from Orlando (FL) and Atlanta (GA). Other departure arrangements are possible. Seats are available. If interested contact me directly at markziese@gmail.com.

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March 17-28, 2020

Johnson University (Engagement level: study-tour)

This study tour to Israel-Palestine will be conducted in conjunction with a program of ministry developed for students in a residency program developed in Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY. Graduate or undergraduate credit available through Johnson University. Departures from Knoxville, Indianapolis, and Orlando are planned. Alumni and friends of Johnson University are welcome! Contact me directly at markziese@gmail.com.

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MaY 24-June 7, 2020

mt everest (Engagement level: yes, my dear, extreme adventure)

We’re collecting the thin-air gang from previous romps to the top of Ararat, Rainier, and Kilimanjaro to try The Big Kahuna. No, our plan is not to summit Everest. That is beyond our bush league. But we will follow the approach of Mallory and Hillary and many others to the base camp on Everest’s shoulder. It is an epic trek over 5,000 meters through arguably the most spectacular alpine region on the planet. This trip is facilitated by our friends at Kandoo Adventures and is fully booked.

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June 22-July 2, 2020

New Life Christian Church, Chantilly, Virginia (engagement level: Pilgrimage tour)

Plans are now in the works for a return trip to Israel-Palestine with New Life Christian Church. Details are forthcoming. Stay tuned! 

The Mount of Olives offers a spectacular view to the city of Jerusalem.

The Mount of Olives offers a spectacular view to the city of Jerusalem.


July 2 - 13, 2020

Mosaic christian church, elkridge, maryland (ENGAGEMENT LEVEL: PILGRIMAGE TOUR)

This pilgrimage tour with Carl Kuhl and the Mosaic family is fully booked.

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July 12-25, 2020

Trip Pending - Wayne Mayers and Friends, Cincinnati, Ohio (engagement level: pilgrimage tour)

This one is cooking in the pot at the moment. We are contemplating a week in Israel with three additional days in Istanbul, Turkey. Additional details will be posted as they become available.

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December 29, 2020 - January 11, 2021

Trip pending - College Consortium (engagement level: Study-tour)

This high-energy trip is being organized by professors from three different college communities. It will be a high-energy educational experience. More information will be forthcoming.

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March 16 - 27, 2021

Johnson University residents’ trip (Engagement level: study-tour)

This study tour to Israel-Palestine will be conducted in conjunction with a program of ministry developed for students in a residency program developed in Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY. Graduate or undergraduate credit available through Johnson University. Departures from Knoxville, Indianapolis, and Orlando are planned. Alumni and friends of Johnson University are welcome! Contact me directly at markziese@gmail.com.

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May 16 - 29, 2021

First Church, Burlington, Kentucky (Engagement level: Pilgrimage Tour)

This pilgrimage tour with Tommy Baker and friends from Northern Kentucky is in the works Additional details will be posted as they become available.

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may 28 - June 10, 2021

Mountainview Christian Church, Greshem, Oregon (engagement level: pilgrimage tour)

This pilgrimage tour with Craig Ziese and dear friends from the Portland area is in the works Additional details will be posted as they become available.

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June 11 - 22, 2021

Jody Owens (Engagement level: pilgrimage tour)

Professor Jody Owens teaches courses in Congregational Ministry for Johnson University (Knoxville). His work with the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation places him in a unique position to blend intellect and experience in the context of pilgrim travel. We are excited to have Jody aboard and hope you will join us. If you would like to be placed in this group, contact Jody directly at JOwens@JohnsonU.edu for more information. Once opened, this one will fill up fast, so don’t delay.

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June 21 - July 3, 2021

Lincoln/OMaha, NEbraska (Engagement level: Pilgrimage tour)

Details TBA

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July 2 - 13, 2021

Church of Christ, Leesburg, Virginia (Engagement level: Pilgrimage tour)

Keven Stuckey and fine folks of Leesburg are making plans to travel to Israel/Palestine. Details TBA.

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Spring break, 2022

Johnson University Residents’ Trip (Engagement level: Pilgrimage tour)

This study tour to Israel-Palestine will be conducted in conjunction with a program of ministry developed for students in a residency program developed in Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY. Graduate or undergraduate credit available through Johnson University. Departures from Knoxville, Indianapolis, and Orlando are planned. Alumni and friends of Johnson University are welcome! Contact me directly at markziese@gmail.com.

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May 16-28, 2022

Jody Owens (Engagement level: pilgrimage tour)

Professor Jody Owens teaches courses in Congregational Ministry for Johnson University (Knoxville). His work with the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation places him in a unique position to blend intellect and experience in the context of pilgrim travel. We are excited to have Jody aboard and hope you will join us. If you would like to be placed in this group, contact Jody directly at JOwens@JohnsonU.edu for more information. Once opened, this one will fill up fast, so don’t delay.

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June 1-10, 2022

First Presbyterian, South Charleston, OH (engagement level: pilgrimage tour)

This one is in the planning stage. Details TBA. Point of origin, Dayton/Columbus, Ohio.

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