Jerusalem University College

Jerusalem University College

Walk the streets where Jesus walked as you study the Bible and Middle Eastern cultures at JUC, located on Mt. Zion, within short walking distance of the Room of the Last Supper and the Old City of David. Course offerings help students explore the Bible in terms of archaeology, geography, history, and languages.  Ministry opportunities abound in JUC, and local congregations welcome students to their worship services.

Note: Messiah students should not enroll in HIST 5/335 Ancient Egypt and the Biblical World at this time due to instability in Egypt.

Additional information is available at Jerusalem University College.

Messiah is NOT currently allowing students to study at JUC. 

Students wishing to study at JUC over the summer may apply directly to JUC, independent of Messiah University.


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All Messiah approved semester-long, off-campus programs are approved and designed to meet the requirements for the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI). To learn more about the process, please explore the ELI Off-Campus Study Information Page.

Special Notice

Due to changes in Jerusalem University College eligibility, Title IV financial aid will not be available for students who study at Jerusalem University College. Title IV federal aid programs include:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  • UnSubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan
  • Federal Director PLUS Loan (including Grad version)
  • TEACH Grant

JUC has offered to privately provide loans to cover the amount of Title IV financial aid that students would be unable to access while participating in this program. Note: this is a deferred loan, not a grant or scholarship, and as such would need to be paid back after graduation or if students drop below full-time status. Please contact JUC  at for more details about this loan option.

  • Sophomore, junior, senior
  • 2.75 or higher
  • Since studying off-campus for a semester is a privilege, please note the following implications of being place on probation at Messiah University:
  • Chapel Probation: A student currently on chapel probation for the first time (or with an impending chapel probation for the upcoming semester) will be required to communicate or meet with the Director of the Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement to determine the potential impact on the student’s upcoming semester off-campus.  If a student has been placed on chapel probation more than once during their time at Messiah, they will not be eligible to study off-campus for a semester.

    Academic Probation or Low GPA: A student on academic probation or whose GPA drops below 2.75 will be not be eligible to study off-campus.

    Disciplinary Probation: A student who has been placed on disciplinary probation at any time during the off-campus study application / acceptance process will be required to meet with the Director of the Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement to determine the potential impact on the student’s upcoming semester off-campus.

Off-Campus study is a time of challenge and change. The following are some things you should understand about this program before you participate:

  • Cost for mental health counseling is available but expensive
  • Students will need to be prepared to walk most places within 20-30 minutes of the campus.
  • Israel is a physically intense country as well. Students will have the opportunity to “learn with their feet” and hike in and out of very steep wadis (canyons), up and down scarp faces, into and out of caves, etc.
  • Students will need to be prepared to take part in intensive hikes as part of some of the courses offered at JUC.
  • Students will need to be prepared to be outside in all types of weather.
  • Jerusalem experiences cold and wet weather in the winter months and hot and dry weather in the fall, spring and summer months.
  • Because of the conservative nature of the Middle East, students will need to be prepared to be comfortable in hot weather while wearing modest clothing (i.e., shirts with sleeves, trousers below knee level and sometimes long, below knee-length skirts for women).
  • Students are normally placed in dormitory rooms with 2 or 3 roommates
  • Students will need to be prepared to walk up and down many stairs in their living accommodations on the campus of the university.
  • JUC campus is not handicap accessible, nor can it be made so due to the nature of the buildings.

Courses may meet major or general education requirements.

Courses will appear on Messiah transcripts with letter grades.


Students will meet their third language/cross-cultural requirement by participating in this program.  Students will not earn 3 credits, rather the requirement will be waived.

Pass/Fail Option

During their university careers, students may take a maximum of four courses on a pass/fail (P/F) basis with these conditions: 

  • Such a course must be from a discipline other than those required for the student's major or minor.
  • Courses fulfilling requirements for a major, minor, or general education may not be used.
  • Students may declare their intention to take a course under the Pass/Fail option when they register or through the first calendar week of classes at the beginning of the new term. Students may also select to return to the letter grade system during this same time period. The selection cannot be changed after the first calendar week of classes.
  • The cut-off point to obtain a P is C–.
  • The instructor will submit only conventional letter grades to the Registrar's Office. This office will then convert the grade to P or F. (An instructor does not know which students are taking a course on a pass/fail basis.

The first FIVE DAYS of your classes are critical:

Recognizing that courses change while abroad, a student is required to communicate to the Registrar’s Office within the first FIVE DAYS of classes if their Off-Campus Course Approval Form in Terra Dotta has changed since the original submission/approval. Specifically, if a student desires to change a course to a pass/fail instead of a letter grade, this must be approved by Messiah University Registrar’s Office within the first FIVE DAYS of classes at the host partner program.


Students are required to take no fewer than 12 credits towards their overall degree requirements and no more than 18 credits. These 12-18 credits include courses taken as pass/fail and letter grades. However, in addition to those 12-18 degree credits, students who would like to audit an academic course for no credit are permitted to do so for up to one 4 credit hour course for the sake of learning, cultural immersion or personal interest at no additional charge. This audited course will not appear on the Messiah University student’s transcript.

What do you pay?

TOTAL COSTS = Messiah tuition + Messiah room + Messiah board + Student services fee + $1,350 off-campus study fee

Explore possible scholarships for this program. 

These Costs Include:

  • tuition, room, board
  • physical settings field trip, library fee, laundry fee, map materials fee
  • pre-departure, and re-entry orientation
  • international travel insurance
  • student services fee
    • Student Services fee includes access to various services available to all students through, including internet access to, the Learning & Writing Centers, Career Services, Academic Accessibility Office, Library, Department of Safety, Agapé Center for Local and Global Engagement, and other campus offices that provide services to students both on and off campus.

Note: additional fees students may encounter include (but are not limited to) transportation, visas, passports, immunizations, course fees, and field trips.

Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from this program.


  • Many courses at JUC have course fees associated. Messiah will add these fees to your Messiah bill after the semester begins and JUC notifies us of the cost.
  • A full semester at JUC is 16 credits; costs for additional courses - whether taken for credit or audit - are the responsibility of the student.


Credit Limit Policy for Semester-Long, Off-Campus Program

Typically when students study off-campus in Messiah-approved, semester-long programs, students earn between 13 and 18 credits. All students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits.

The tuition/fees charged for Messiah’s approved study abroad programs permits a student to complete 12-18 credits.  Messiah University will process up to 18 credits.  If a student completes more than 18 credits and would like the additional credits applied to their transcript, additional tuition will be charged for credits over 18 and would be assessed after the official transcript is received/processed by Messiah.

Updated 03 March 2023


Messiah Pre-Approval Deadlines

  • Fall - December 1
  • Spring - April 1

Jerusalem University College Deadlines

  • Fall - June 1
  • Spring - December 1 

Three months prior to the beginning of the program
Strongly encourage students to complete the application process before the end of the semester.

David Broberg

"I was thrilled to find that the land of the Bible is real and tangible. My faith will never be the same, since I also came to find Jesus is real and tangible."