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Biblical Field Studies in Turkey

Biblical Field Studies are funded study trips to biblical sites in Turkey for Bible scholars and teachers in the Majority World. The program is designed to equip Christian teachers and professors who work in the Majority World by introducing them to the geographical and social contexts of early Christianity. Biblical Field Studies are organized and funded by the Asia Minor Research Center, a US-based 501(c)3.


Content: The program involves traveling to and learning at key biblical sites in western Turkey. Each training lasts about one week. The first day (or two) involves classroom teaching to introduce the concepts and prepare participants. The other days are spent exploring various biblical sites. Content is provided en route and on-site. The schedule is rather intensive, as a typical day includes multiple site visits and several hours of bus driving. The teaching emphasizes the geographic, historical, archaeological, political, and cultural context of first-century Asia Minor. This provides background to understand the history, literature, and mission of the early Church. Due to the geographic focus in Asia Minor, the content focuses on Acts 13–19, Pauline letters, Johannine letters, and Revelation. Participants are provided learning workbooks and are expected to complete learning assignments throughout the study trip.


Instructors: The Biblical Field Studies are conducted by Mark Wilson (D.Litt. et Phil., University of South Africa) and/or Jason Borges (Ph.D.(c), Durham University). They are American-born New Testament scholars who live in Antalya, Turkey, and direct the Asia Minor Research Center. The trip is coordinated through Tutku Tours, a leading tour agency for biblical and history tours throughout the Mediterranean.


Costs: Biblical Field Studies are fully funded and free for participants. The Asia Minor Research Center covers all expenses that occur in Turkey. This includes hotels (double or triple occupancy), three meals daily, transportation, entrance fees, a certified guide, and tips. The following costs are not included and must be covered by participants: travel to/from Turkey, visa fees, and personal expenses.


Requirements: All applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  1. You must reside in the Majority World (generally defined as Africa, Asia and Latin America).

  2. You must affirm the Lausanne Covenant.

  3. You must pay for your own travel to/from Turkey.

  4. You must be able to get a tourist visa to enter Turkey (info for e-visa or visa from consulate).

  5. You must be capable of hiking 3 kilometers (2 miles) per day without difficulty since the tour can be physically demanding.

  6. You must have completed a graduate degree (masters or doctorate) related to the NT.

  7. You must be fluent in English.


Applicants: Prospective participants must complete the online application form. Both men and women are encouraged to apply. Anyone teaching in the Majority World, regardless of their passport country, is encouraged to apply. Preference is granted applicants raised in the Majority World and teaching there. People from Western countries teaching in the Majority World will also be considered based on availability. Applicants will be evaluated primarily on teaching and academic prospects. The program aims to benefit scholars, professors, and teachers in positions of influence.


Future Programs: The next Biblical Field Studies in Turkey will be Dec 29, 2023 through Jan 5, 2024. This trip focuses on the Seven Churches of Revelation and other important Pauline sites (e.g., Attalia, Perga, Colossae, Miletus). Up to ten participants will be invited to join. The tentative itinerary is as follows. The application deadline is July 15, 2023. Applicants will be notified by Aug 1, 2023. 

  1. Arrive to Antalya (Dec 29). Free time in downtown ancient Attalia. Sleep in Antalya.

  2. Introduction and Orientation. Morning lectures about the history, geography, and culture of first-century Asia Minor. Afternoon walking tour of historical Attalia. Sleep in Antalya.

  3. Visit Perga, then drive to Lycus Valley and visit Colossae and Laodicea. Sleep in Pamukkale.

  4. Visit Hierapolis in the morning, then drive to visit Philadelphia, Sardis, and Thyatira. Sleep in Soma (Ramada).

  5. Morning Pergamum, then Smyrna agora. Sleep in Kuşadası.

  6. Visit Priene, Miletus, and Didyma. Sleep in Kuşadası.

  7. Visit Ephesus all day: ancient city, museum, and St. John’s church. Sleep in Izmir.

  8. Depart from Izmir (Jan 5).


Contact: Please direct any questions to Jason Borges ( To get announcements about future Biblical Field Studies, subscribe to’s blog

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