Explore Biblical History with LSTC: You’re Invited on a Pilgrimage to Greece and Turkey!

Three images from left to right: the rooftop of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Deesis Mosaic of Jesus Christ in Istanbul, and the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey

Join us from May 21 to June 6, 2024, as we embark on a pilgrimage to the biblical cities of Greece and Turkey, guided by the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). This extraordinary journey offers you a unique opportunity to delve into the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and the churches of Revelation while experiencing the stunning landscapes of the Mediterranean. 

The pilgrimage will be guided by two experts from LSTC: the Rev.Dr. Barbara R. Rossing and Dr. Esther Menn. Rev. Dr. Barbara R. Rossing is a renowned scholar of the New Testament, known for her extensive research in the context of the Roman Empire. Her excavations at Ephesus have yielded insights into the biblical book of Revelation. Her passion for the rich history of the biblical world is truly unparalleled, and she has previously traveled in Turkey with LSTC’s Muslim students. Dr. Esther Menn specializes in Old Testament studies with expertise in Jewish-Christian and Muslim-Christian relations. Her dedication to education and her profound interest in religious and cultural diversity make her an invaluable guide for our pilgrimage. Dr. Menn’s knowledge of the historical and cultural aspects of the regions we will explore enriches our journey.

Here are just some of the highlights you can expect to experience on this journey!

  • Istanbul: Immerse yourself in the center of Byzantine Christianity, visiting iconic sites like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace.
  • Philippi: Delve into the ancient Roman city, with a visit to the baptistry where Lydia of Thyatira was baptized – the first European Christian convert.
  • Thessaloniki: Walk the Via Egnatia, visit ancient churches, and explore historical landmarks connected to the Apostle Paul and imperial theology.
  • Meteora: Witness the Byzantine monasteries perched atop stunning granite pinnacles, and experience Orthodox liturgies and icons.
  • Delphi: Explore the Oracle of Delphi and its fascinating history, with a visit to the Sanctuary of Apollo.
  • Athens: Discover the Acropolis, Mars Hill, Agora, and more, gaining insights into early Christianity.
  • Corinth: Visit the city where Paul organized a community of Christ-followers and explore the archaeological remains.
  • Ephesus: Explore one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the world, with visits to the Celsus Library and more.
  • Pergamum & Sardis: Dive into the cities of Revelation and explore their ancient ruins and historical significance.
  • Aphrodisias & Pamukkale: Witness the ancient beauty of Aphrodisias and unwind in the thermal spas.
  • Psidian Antioch & Konya: Discover important biblical and early Christian sites in these historically rich cities.
  • Cappadocia: Explore the ‘Fairy Chimneys’ and cave dwellings, with an optional hot air balloon ride.

This pilgrimage is not just a tour; it’s an immersive exploration of history, faith, and culture. Our group comprises students, lay individuals, alumni, and friends, offering a unique blend of seminary life on the road. You’ll forge lasting connections while deepening your understanding of the biblical world.

For LSTC students:

If you’re an LSTC student, you can also join for credit; (RHS/CC 406; 500-level course possible for additional work). should register both with LSTC Registration for the class, and with Tutku Tours for the trip itself. You will receive one-course credit upon completion of readings, site presentation, and course assignments.


Cost: $3490 (double room, including breakfast and dinners, and including ferry to Patmos), plus airfare $1490 from Chicago. $200 deposit due January 15, 2024.

Further information:

For further information regarding this adventure of a lifetime, please see our brochure here. You can also find out more information and register here.

Don’t miss this opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and Revelation’s churches, all while discovering the rich historical tapestry of Greece and Turkey. Join us on this unforgettable journey of learning, faith, and cultural exploration.

We can’t wait to share this incredible pilgrimage with you! Don’t wait—registration is due January 15th, 2024!

Back to top