In conjunction with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, George Fox students can participate in the Middle East Studies Program (MESP), based at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. seeks to prepare students to live the Christian life in a world that is religiously and culturally pluralistic. The program allows CCCU students to explore the complex and strategic world of the modern Middle East. The interdisciplinary seminars give students the opportunity to explore the diverse religious, social, cultural and political traditions of Middle Eastern peoples. Students also study the Arabic language and work as volunteers with various organizations. Students experience intense encounters that manifest different worldviews while living in a supportive MESP community. Through travel, MESP students are exposed to the diversity and dynamism of the region. At a time of tension and change in the Middle East, MESP encourages and equips students to relate to the Muslim world in an informed, constructive and Christ centered manner.
Three interdisciplinary seminars are offered: "Islamic Thought and Practice," "Conflict and Change in the Middle East," and "Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East," "Introduction to Arabic Language".
Interaction with Israelis and Palestinians
An integral aspect of any cross-cultural educational experience is time to interact with citizens of the host country. The MESP includes opportunities for interaction with Israeli and Palestinian students, guest speakers and service project personnel. Because of these and other events like home stays, students are able to experience the life, language, and hospitality of the local culture-Jewish, Muslim, and Christian.
The student will fill out two applications:
• George Fox off-campus application form (obtained from the Center for Study Abroad; or downloaded here).
• Middle East Studies Program application (to be completed online here). An application fee must accompany your application.
*The MESP application should only be completed after being informed from the Director of Study Abroad that you are accepted for an off-campus study semester.
Students must be full-time undergraduates with junior or senior status, holding a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to apply. There is NO language requirement.
Because students remain enrolled at George Fox while participating in the MESP, academic credit is awarded by George Fox. Recommended credits: Arabic language 4; Seminars 12. Students will be required to attend two pre-departure meetings, complete an online course evaluation, and attend a re-entry meeting upon their return. Students must see the transfer credit specialist in the Registrars office BEFORE they begin their semester off-campus.
During their time in Israel students reside at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, a University of Notre Dame managed facility located in a Jerusalem suburb near Palestinian Bethlehem and Israeli Gilo. It has wi-fi, laundry, and dining facilities, an 88,000 volume theological library, and multiple spaces for study, reflection, quiet, and relationship building. It is also very secure and monitored by the local Palestinian staff. Many Israeli and Palestinian dialogue groups also use Tantur. With laundry facilities, Wi-fi, spaces for private study, a theological library with 88,000 volumes, and a professionally staffed cafeteria, Tantur provides MESP students with the academic and spiritual space necessary for serious personal growth and cohort learning with colleagues. And yes, it is also a fun place for occasional campfires, hoopfests, and the cultivation of friendships. For more information about MESP housing and student life, visit http://www.bestsemester.com/mesp/student_life/.
The student pays George Fox's standard tuition, room and board, and student fees and an additional fee for the MIddle East Studies Program. Participants continue to receive financial aid, including scholarships, since they are officially George Fox students. Round trip airfare is additional