Please contact Dr. David Wick
for more information
Gordon College
July 7 - 29, 2011

History of Ancient & Modern Greek Culture and Christianity in the Aegean World: First-Hand Learning in Greece and the Aegean

   This course has been designed as an intensive twenty-three day exploration involving students in classroom study and travel in Greece and Turkey.
   We will focus on ancient history, culture and landscape; New Testament backgrounds and historical culture; modern orthodox, secular and protestant cultures in Greece.
   Open to Gordon College students, CCCU students, Gordon alumni.  Registraion and Academic Credit is granted through Gordon College.
Course Leaders:

Dr. David Wick
Gordon College
Frost Hall 201, ext. 4812

Dr. David Sparks
Adjunct Faculty, Gordon College
Greek Center for Biblical Studies

Study Program Schedule

PART I   Athens – Classroom Time, Orientation and Introduction to the Culture, History and Christian Traditions of Greece

Day 1     Depart USA

Day 2     Arrive Athens:  Check in –  Athens

Introduction to traveling class/guidelines to make experience more profitable

Day 3    Orientation  

Intro to the Life & Ministry of Paul  
Modern Greek Language Lessons
1. Life in Modern Greek Cities
2. Greek History in 10 Chapters (very quick)

Day 4   Group Worship Service


Day  5  check out Philippos Hotel – board ship

Mykonos:  Intro to the Aegean land & seascape, to Greek/Roman Asia Minor

Day 6   Ephesus/Patmos    

1. Sea travel in the ancient world
2. Paul at Ephesus
3. John at Patmos

Day 7  Rhodes               

1. Brief intro to Turkish & Crusader eras in Aegean
2. Minoan Crete to Athens’ Aegean Empire

Day 8  Crete/Thera: Knossos Museum, Palace of Knossos

1. Minoan Life (at Knosson museum, & at Knossos)
2. Thera / Bronze Age Meditn. World


Day 9     Return to Mainland           
1. Archaic/Pioneering Era
2. Intro. To Classical Greece & Athens
3. History of the early Olympics

Day 10   Athens / Acropolis/Agora  

1. Pericles & the Golden Age (on Acropolis)
2. Paul at Athens (Areopagus)                        
3. Greek Orthodox Christianity

Day 11   Athens -Morning Worship/ Visit Orthodox service

1.  Service at Evangelical Church
2. National Archaeological Museum

Day 12  Corinth                   

1. Modern Greek Politics & Society
2. Paul at Corinth
3. Ancient Greek Medicine Epidaros
4.Warrior traditions in : Mycenae/ Sparta/ etc.

Day 13   Athens      
1. Greek Persian Wars & Defense of West
2. Ancient Greek Religion and Myth


Day 14   Delphi 

1. Battle of Marathon
2.  Delphi -Greek Religion

Day 15  Thermopiles/Meteora/Leptokaria    
1. Battle of Thermopiles
2. Greek Orthodox Monasticism

Day 16   Leptokaria
1. Paul: Man and Message
2. Ancient & modern Greek/Athenian diet/cooking
3. Story of Orpheus, Dion, & Olympus
Cookout, beach

Day 17   Mt. Olympus - Hike

1. Philip, Alexander/Ancient I

Day 18   Worship service, Berea (Veria)    

1. Paul at Veria/Vergina
2. Macedonian Royal Tombs & Museum
3. Ancient II: Hellenistic World D under Rome/
Impact on the NT world

Day 19  Thessaloniki    Walking tour – market, antiquities…

1. Thessaloniki history
2. Paul at Thessaloniki
3. "Culture hunt"         
Day 20   Philippi, Kavala                     

1. Later History of Greece,  Byzantium, & the North
2. Paul at Philippi Baptismal service
3. Role of Women, Slavery

Day 21  Thessaloniki - American College, Thess. 

1. Northern Greece Today
2. Contemporary Greek issues/ events
3. Tutorials on paper topics…
Research time/American College

Day 22  Thessaloniki  
Research time/American College/Final Farwell

Day 23  Departure from Greece to USA

Approach to Course

  After time during the first week to introduce students to the language, landscape and cultures of Greece, we will set out to survey the early and modern civilizations of Greece (Bronze Age in the Aegean, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Medieval and the modern world of 21st century Greece), and also to introduce students to other and less well- known cultures which have surrounded the Greeks in the Mediterranean and Near East.  In varying degrees we will focus on politics, religion, economics, and the shapes of the cultures built by Greek peoples of past and present times, looking also at their Christianity, urban cultures, family life, economies, cuisine, philosophy and art.  We will be especially interested in the unique ways Greeks have answered the challenges of life in their unpredictable and turbulent world, since many of those answers still flavor and shape life in our own world -- more often than we know.
  The tools of this class will be informal lectures in a classroom or at historic sites, visual materials, and a variety of "special interest" readings, as well as discussions, a journal and a research paper based on a focus area (ancient or modern) chosen by the student.  As we travel, we will mix the flow and details of  ancient Greek history with aspects of the New Testament story of Paul and the currents that form modern Greece.  Before leaving a topic or region of Greece, we will spend extra time on the cultural aspects that make it unique, adding both some of the remarkable stories and daily life of the period, as well as occasional chances for review, covering special topics, and discussion of ideas.

  The most unique thing about this course will be your chance, whatever your concentration area, to see, smell, taste – to experience first hand much of the flavor of the history you are studying and to rub shoulders with the culture and people.  Whether you are studying the mission of Paul (and walk through Philippi), or ancient Greek history (and climb the oracle’s hill at Delphi), or the modern urban cultures of southern Europe and the Middle East (and find yourself interviewing someone in a café in Athens or Thessaloniki), you have a chance to make your learning first-hand.  The more, and earlier, you communicate with your instructor about your developing project idea, the more possibilities you will have to personalize your experience.

Student Program Focuses

Students will choses one focus for the course out of the three below.  Student research projects and course journals can be focused in any one of three areas:

   * The Cultures of Ancient Greece
   * Paul, the New Testament Greek World, and early Christianity
   * A Cross-Cultural Study of some aspect of Modern Greek Life

  A daily journal to be turned in for evaluation and grading at the course’s end will be kept by each student, integrating their reflections on experiences and general learning, specifically related to the concentration they have chosen.  Journals will be turned in once per week to an instructor.

  Students will be asked to indicate a preferred concentration when applying for the course and to notify the instructors if this preferred concentration changes.  (Choice may affect which supplementary text is added to the required book mix for that particular student.)  Once the course begins, students may petition to change concentration only during the first week (classroom week in Thessaloniki area).

Course Grading

Course grades will be based on:

   * Performance on short assignments in the first classroom week (10%),
   * Participation in, and short assignments based on visits to sites with associated lectures (15%),
   * A student journal aimed at personal learning and experience in one of the focus areas listed above (25% each),
   * A research paper begun during the course and finished within four weeks of course’s end exploring a topic chosen by the student and one of the course leaders from the list above (25%).
   * Grades will be affected by responsible attendance of all class meetings and behavior while on the course.


  The research papers assigned during the course to each student – and due within three weeks following the end of the course – will not be reports, but chances for you to try learning and building short arguments from original evidence or local evidence, then enhancing it with a little secondary research.  They should contain your own arguments, not just become summaries of the ideas of others, and should be an example of your best work.  Think of the paper you will be building in this course as "detective work" that begins as you travel with the class and then gets refined after you return home or to your college: you are not expected to match the conclusions of your instructor, but you are expected to "make a good case," showing you have learned something new have found strong evidence that you have understood it intelligently, both from experience while traveling with the class and then by research afterward.  Late papers do not receive a full score.

  To pass this course students must make an attempt to fulfill each of the assigned requirements.  Complete failure to turn in one of these -- unless you make special arrangements with the professors -- means failing the course.  All students must attend the site visits and finish assignments as scheduled in the course.  Any student wishing an exemption from this schedule (wanting to turn in a late paper, miss a course visit or lecture) must petition formally Dr. Wick or Dr. Sparks well before the event occurs.  Any student wishing an "incomplete" in the weeks after the course ends and papers are due must also fill out a petition form at Gordon College or their own school.

  As a standard rule, computer problems are never considered valid excuses for turning in late papers!

Research Tools

Library Access, Research Materials and Assistance, Web Research:

  During the first and last weeks of the course (which are sited in northern Greece near or in Thessaloniki) collegiate library research and web research access will be available from the American College in Thessaloniki with guidance provided by the course instructor appropriate to the student’s chosen concentration area, and by library staff working for the American College.  In addition, special research assistance or assignments, such as local library searches, an interview with a local, etc., may occur during the traveling weeks as deemed useful by the instructors.


Original Sources (use for evidence): 

   * Ferguson, Backgrounds of New Testament Christianity
   * Pausanias, Guide to Greece, a first hand walker’s guide to ancient Greece written during the Roman Empire.
   * Ancient Greece: Documentary Perspectives, (collected first-hand evidence from Greek writings of many kinds), edited by Spyridakis & Nystrom.

Modern (secondary) sources:

   * The Athens News, or the English edition of Kathimerini (contemporary English-language local Greek newspaper – integrated into course and required reading during 4 weeks, plus an issue or two sent prior to taking course)
   * Gage, Nicholas, Hellas: a Portrait of Greece  (modern culture)

Not required, but  available in the bookstore and highly recommended for those who new to the basics of Greek history, or who need extra help organizing history notes:

   * The Usborne World History: The Greeks (maybe the best simple visual intro to Ancient Greece for beginners).