Those who have always wanted to take a trip to the Holy Land have the chance of a lifetime this spring.

The Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College is hosting a 10-day trip to the Holy Lands May 14-23, 2018. Anyone is invited to join the tour, even those not residing in Winfield, Kansas, where the Institute is headquartered.

Via Dolorosa

The Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem (photo courtesy of Kent Melcher)

The trip is being coordinated by Rev. Kent Melcher through Educational Opportunities (EO), a recognized leader in international group travel. Registration for the trip will close on March 1st, 2018.

Any journey to the Holy Land is invigorating and powerful, but this Holy Land journey has been specifically designed to tour sites where Jesus was known to have been and other sites that enhance understanding of the gospels.

The trip includes visits to Nazareth, Galilee, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho, the road of Emmaus, the mountain where Elijah challenged the priest of Ba’al, as well as many more notable locations that were influential to the formation of Christianity.

Melcher, who has been to the Holy Land several times, says the landscape has changed little since the time of Jesus.

“It is amazing to be in all the places you read about in the Bible. You get to take the same paths that Jesus and the disciples took.”

Melcher Sea of Galilee

Kent Melcher and his wife, Julie, cross the Sea of Galilee on a trip to the Holy Land in March, 2016.

He says that after the journey, participants will read and understand the Bible in a new way, being able to remember the sights, emotions, and smells of the area being described.

“The pilgrimage is not just about the knowledge gained from this journey, but the deeply moving spiritual element will transform the way you read the Bible,” Melcher says.

Participants will also learn more about the Jewish rituals and traditions in which Jesus likely took part.

Melcher emphasizes that security is very high throughout the trip, from the flight to Israel forward. Every measure for safety and security has been made.

“With tourism being Palestine’s number one source of economy; the safety of tourists is given top priority,” states Melcher.

Trip base cost is $3,898, and includes both domestic and international airfare from Wichita, as well as all hotels, fees, and most meals.

An informational brochure about the trip can be found at, and includes detailed information for the journey as well as a registration form.