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Students Spending Christmas Break in Israel

by Lauren McGuire, Student Public Relations Writer

Dr. Michael McKayDr. Michael McKay, assistant professor of biblical theology at Cedarville University, will lead a group of 20 students to Israel from December 26, 2019, to January 5, 2020.

The trip is partially funded by Passages, an organization that offers Christian college students the opportunity to experience the Holy Land. This is the second trip to Israel students from the school of biblical and theological studies have taken with Passages. The first trip was in 2018 and was led by Dr. Matthew Bennett, assistant professor of missions and theology. Passages is an offshoot of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) which began in 2015.

McKay and the Cedarville students will be matched with tour guides who will provide insight into the geography, history and political environment of Israel. 

— Michael McKay

Students will learn the impact of Israel’s relationship with its Middle Eastern neighbors, specifically with the Palestinian people, as well as visit biblical sites focusing on the life of Jesus.

“I get asked about the Bible’s relationship to those subjects, and so I’m hoping this will give me more insight,” McKay said. “I really hope this helps the Bible come to life for the students.”

McKay is excited to see the places reported to be the sites of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.

“I think all the students that I’ve talked to are excited to have some sort of reference point for the geography and climate and the place even though it’s the modern day,” McKay said. “They want to have some kind of framework so that when they read their Bible, they will have some kind of picture that goes beyond a Sunday school outline.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies + M.Div and Master of Divinity programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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