Welcome to the 2015 Biblical Education Tour homepage. This page provides information about the annual Biblical Education Tour offered by The Salvation Army Central Territory to active officers, retired officers, soldiers and employees. Officers are notified of their eligibility status in May of the year prior to the tour. Soldiers, retired officers and employees of the Central Territory are also invited to participate in this exciting experience as room becomes available. For more information about the tour, navigate through this site using the menu at the bottom of the page.

The Salvation Army began offering a Biblical Education Tour in 1989. A group of Pilgrims has travelled each year since to either Israel or  Greece and Turkey. Each group has returned home recounting the many blessings they experienced on this tour.

In 2015 the Biblical Education Tour will return to Israel with an optional extended tour to Jordan. This tour brings to life the richness of scripture as you visit sites where Jesus ministered and the New Covenant was revealed.  As we travel through this amazing country each day offers countless opportunities to deepen your spiritual walk.  You will walk the paths and enter the cities and towns recorded in the Bible affording you the opportunity to gain a deeper biblical and historical knowledge as well as a better understanding of current events. 

Registration for this year's Biblical Education Tour is open here: https://secure1.salvationarmy.org/usc/bet.nsf/fm_newreg?openform.

Registration DatesOfficers- June 1 through September 11;   Retired officers, employees & soldiers- August 1 through September 11

Registration for the Biblical Education Tour is available at: https://apps.uscthq.org/ord/bet.nsf/fm_newreg?openform.

View the passport form here: https://apps.uscthq.org/ord/bet.nsf/fm_passport?openform

If you have any questions, please contact ORDUSC@usc.salvationarmy.org

Standard tour package
Tip money
Flight deviation (for furlough at end of tour)
Optional single room charge
Extended tour to Jordan        $993
Land-Only Cost $1950 + $95 Tip


The tour package includes:

  • All air travel from Chicago to destination and return to Chicago O'Hare
  • Meals include Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner while in Israel and Jordan
  • Fees are based on double occupancy accommodations
  • Airport tax and entrance fees

Examples of additional expenses include:

  • Batteries
  • Phone calls
  • Internet connections
  • Gifts
  • Free-time expenses
  • Snacks
  • Drinks with meals (i.e.; soft drinks, bottled water, etc)

For officers, incidental expenses paid by appointment include:

  • Passport, including pictures
  • Travel to and from Chicago
  • Fees for CEUs
  • Child care

Financial Plan for Officers

1st Time
Biblical Tour
2nd Time
Biblical Tour
3rd Time
Biblical Tour
THQ Portion 50% 40% 35%
DHQ Portion 40% 40% 30%
Appointment Portion 5% 10% 10%
Personal Portion 5% 10% 25%

For more information on Biblical Education Tours, please send e-mail to ORDUSC@usc.salvationarmy.org.

The Holy Land Experience

Central Territory Biblical Education Tour

March 2 – 12, 2015


Monday, March 2 ~ Chicago to Tel Aviv

Depart from Chicago O’Hare airport for Tel Aviv, Israel

Tuesday, March 3 ~ Tel Aviv & Jaffa

Arrive in Tel Aviv and visit the port city of ancient Joppa.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel along the Mediterranean Sea in Netanya

Wednesday, March 4 ~ Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Megiddo & Nazareth

After breakfast at the hotel travel to Caesarea Maritime and visit the Roman Aqueduct and Theater.  Our next stop will be at Mount Carmel, the traditional site where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal.  We will continue our journey into the Land with a visit to Megiddo with layers of 20 different cities and an amazing below ground water system.  A visit Nazareth Village is next.  This is an open-air museum depicting life in the time of Jesus.  Our final stop, time permitting, is in Sepphoris which was once a cosmopolitan Roman capital and thought to be the birthplace of Mary.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Tiberias

Thursday, March 5 ~ Chorazin, Tel Dan, Caesarea Philippi & Golan Heights

Today will begin with a visit to Chorazin, a city cursed by Jesus.  We will journey along the northern Galilee to Tel Dan and see the Dan River, a source of the Jordan, and the remains of the Canaanite mud brick arch.  Our next site will be Caesarea Philippi where Jesus took his disciples and where Peter, nearby, confessed “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Our day will end with a ride along the Golan Heights to the Jordan River.  Dinner and overnight at hotel in Tiberias

Friday, March 6 ~ Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum & Bethsaida

At the Kibbutz Nof Ginnosar we will see an ancient boat from the time of Jesus and then take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.  We will have a hillside worship service at the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached to the multitudes.  Nearby we will visit Tabgha, the traditional site for the calling of the disciples and the feeding of the 5,000.  We will stop at Peter’s Primacy along the shores of the Galilee before visiting Capernaum.  Capernaum was the center of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee region and another city that was cursed by Jesus.  Our last stop will be at Bethsaida, once a fishing village, where Jesus chose five of His disciples.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Tiberias

Saturday, March 7 ~ Beit She'an, Jerusalem & Bethlehem

Our first stop today will be at Beit She’an, a large site which has the best preserved Roman theater in Israel.  En Harod, better know as Gideon’s Spring, is the next stop. This is where Gideon tested his army before battle with the Midianites. From here we will begin our journey up to Jerusalem stopping at Mount Scopus to look over the ancient city of Jerusalem.  Our last visit will be to Bethlehem to visit the Church of the Nativity and the cave which tradition believes is the place Jesus was born.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem

Sunday, March 8 ~ Jerusalem

Our Sunday will begin at the top of the Mount of Olives with a breathtaking view of ancient Jerusalem.  We will walk down the Mount to the Garden of Gethsemane for our worship service.  We will also visit Dominus Flevit (the Tear Drop Church) were Jesus mourned for Jerusalem and a meditative visit to the Church of All Nations.  We will visit the Temple Mount, have a time of prayer at the Western Wall, and walk through the Western Wall Tunnel in the Old City of Jerusalem.  Next we will visit Herod’s Antonia Fortress where Jesus was brought before Pilot.  We will walk the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  We will see excavations at the City of David and peer down Warren’s Shaft.  We have the opportunity to explore Hezekiah’s Tunnel and walk the steps to the Pool of Siloam that has just recently been uncovered.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem

Monday, March 9 ~ Jericho, Qumran, Ein Gedi, Masada & the Dead Sea

We leave Jerusalem for the day and travel through the Judean mountains and stop at Jericho, the city conquered by Joshua.  Jesus travelled the nearby Roman road which was the setting for His parable about the good Samaritan.  Next we will go to Qumran near the Dead Sea where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.  We will visit Genesis Land to have a view of Bedouin life in the desert before moving on to Ein Gedi.  The oasis at Ein Gedi is believed to be a place David and his men hid from Saul.  Then it is on to Masada, the Dead Sea mountain fortress built by Herod that became the last stronghold against the Romans.  The last stop of the day will be at the Dead Sea for a quick float in the salty and mineral laden waters.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem

Tuesday, March 10 ~ Jerusalem

We will spend the day in Jerusalem.  Our first visit will be to the Israel Museum to see the Shrine of the Book display of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the First Century Model of the City of Jerusalem.  We will move on to the House of the High Priest Caiaphas where Jesus was imprisoned.  We will visit an upper room similar to the room Jesus met with His disciples for the Last Supper.  Next we will walk on the steps of the Southern Wall where Jesus taught and visit the Southern Wall excavations.  The Church of Saint Anne and Pool of Bethesda where Jesus performed the Sabbath miracle are next and then we will walk the Ramparts of the Old City Wall.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem

Wednesday, March 11 ~ Jerusalem & Beit Guvrin-Maresha

Today will begin with a worship service at the Garden Tomb.  The skull-like hill and the empty tomb remind us that we serve a risen Lord!  After our worship service and a time of reflection we will travel on to Beit Guvrin-Maresha where we will have the opportunity to participate in an archaeological dig and visit the beautiful Bell Caves.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem

Thursday, March 12 ~ Tel Aviv to Chicago

Our journey into the Holy Land has come to an end and we will depart Tel Aviv and return to Chicago filled with memories of an amazing experience!

Fit to Travel:  passengers registering for the tour accept the responsibility for being in good health and able to walk and travel on the tour.  Because many sites are not accessible to the physically challenged, those needing assistance will find the tour extremely limiting in their experience.


Optional Jordan Extension

March 12 – 15, 2015

Thursday, March 12 ~ Mount Nebo & Madaba

We will depart Jerusalem to cross the Allenby Bridge into Jordan.  Our first visit will be at Mount Nebo and, just as Moses did, we will view the “promised land” from the summit of the Mount.  We will then visit Madaba to see the 6th century mosaic map of Jerusalem as well as other holy sites.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Amman

Friday, March 13 ~ Petra

Today we will journey south to Petra and tour this famous rock city that is literally carved into the cliffs.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Amman

Saturday, March 14 ~ Jerash, Jerusalem

We will visit Jerash, a Decapolis city, and considered one of the best preserved Roman provincial towns in the world.  We will also stop at the Jabbok River where Jacob and Esau encountered one another and where Jacob struggled with the angel before returning to Jerusalem for the night.  Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Jerusalem

Sunday, March 15 ~ Tel Aviv to Chicago

At our journeys end we depart from the airport in Tel Aviv and return to Chicago


  • The Biblical Educational tour may be taken the year following the successful completion of the five-year review.
  • Five years following the first tour a second tour may be taken.
  • Beginning with the 25th year of service, a third tour may be taken.
  • In addition to the years of service requirements, there is to be a minimum time span of five years between the first and second tours.  the third tour may be taken anytime after the completion of 25 years of service.
  • Husbands and wives may take the tour together or separately; however, both must qualify in years of service.
  • The tour counts as one conference for the year.
  • The tour counts as one week of vacation for the year.


Retired Officers, Soldiers and Employees may participate in the tours if there is room. The cost of the tour is 100% personal expense.

Officers who have already gone on three Biblical Education Tours may participate in the tour if room is available. Of course, the tour would count as furlough and would be entirely at personal expense.