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Celebrate the 1700th Anniversary of the Council of Nicaea in 2025

June 12-21, 2025

We encourage you to bring your own groups to Nicaea and Istanbul in the spring of 2025 to celebrate the 1700th Anniversary of the Council of Nicaea in 2025. You can set up your own dates and program or, you can join the below program on June 12-23, 2025.

Key Dates in 325
1. May 20 Council opens
2. June 14 Constantine arrives
3. June 19 Nicene Creed adopted
4. August 25 Council adjourns

Dr. Richard GambleHillsdale College
Dr. Mark Wayne WilsonAsia Minor Research Center
Dr. Mark Robin FairchildHuntington University
Dr. Glen L. ThompsonAsia Lutheran Seminary
Dr. Douglas JacobyProfessor of Theology, Rocky Mountain School of Ministry & Theology
Dr. David McCabeBethel University
Itinerary Details Leaders Policies Contact Useful Information

June 12 Thu   Arrive Istanbul Airport
Meet with “NICAEA 1700 – TUTKU” sign. Transfer to hotel in Istanbul for dinner and overnight. (D)

June 13 Fri     Istanbul Tour of Constantinople (modern İstanbul)
Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Hagia Eirene, archaeology museum, Basilica Cistern, Fener Orthodox Patriarchate (by appointment).
Dinner and overnight at the Moevenpick Golden Horn Hotel. (B,D)

June 14 Sat    Drive to Nicaea (modern İznik)
Visit Hagia Sophia Church; Constantine’s palace, Roman theater, city walls and gates, archaeology museum, original city street, funerary obelisk (Beştaş).
Dinner and overnight at Hilton Garden Inn Yalova. (B,D)

June 15 Sun   Nicaea - Lectures by professors on 1st and 7th councils.
Afternoon visit to the Underwater Basilica area with local archaeologists.
Dinner and overnight at Hilton Garden Inn Yalova. (B,D)

June 16 Mon  Nicomedia - Istanbul
Drive to Nicomedia (modern İzmit): visit the archaeology museum, Diocletian’s palace, Roman theater, city walls PM drive to Chalcedon (modern Kadikoy) to see the excavations at Haydarpaşa, and St. Euphemia Church (by appointment)
Dinner and overnight at the Moevenpick Golden Horn Hotel. (B,D)

June 17 Tue   Istanbul - Lectures by professors on 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th councils.
Afternoon private Bosporus boat tour seeing both Asian and European shores of Istanbul.
Dinner and overnight at the Moevenpick Golden Horn Hotel. (B,D)

June 18 Wed  Istanbul - Morning Lectures by professors on 3rd council
Forum and Column of Constantine, Church of Sergius and Bacchus, Pammakaristos Church (Fatih Mosque), Theodosian walls and Golden Gate.
Dinner and overnight at the Moevenpick Golden Horn Hotel. (B,D)

June 19 Thu   Morning flight to Cappadocia
Meet and transfer to Ihlara valley to see the painted churches, visit Guzelyurt, and Caesarea (Kayeri).
Dinner and overnight at the Hotel in Cappadocia. (B,D)

June 20 Fri    Cappadocia - Closing
Early morning Optional Hot Air Balloon Trip in Cappadocia
Visit Goreme rock painted churches, Underground City of Kaymakli, monastic Zelve Valley.
Shopping opportunity before dinner and overnight at the Hotel in Cappadocia. (B,D)

June 21 Sat    Morning flight to Istanbul - END

Including

• Istanbul-Kayseri-Istanbul roundtrip domestic flights
• 2 Nights at Movenpick Golden Horn Hotel in Istanbul
• 2 Nights at Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Yalova
• 3 Nights at Movenpick Golden Horn Hotel in Istanbul
• 2 Nights at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cappadocia
• Daily breakfast at the hotels (all open buffet)
• 9 Dinners at the hotels
• Sightseeing as per the itinerary
• Transportation by private A/C Deluxe Bus with driver throughout the tour
• Bible Oriented, Government-Licensed English speaking professional tour guide throughout the tour
• All Entry fees to the sites & museums
• Service charges & local taxes

Excluding

• Roundtrip international air between USA – Istanbul –USA
• Lunches and all drinks
• Tips to driver and guide (Suggested tipping; $5 per person per day for the guide and $2 for the driver)
• Turkish Visa Fee to be paid online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr
• Optional Hot Air Balloon Trip in Cappadocia


Including

• Istanbul-Kayseri-Istanbul roundtrip domestic flights
• 2 Nights at Movenpick Golden Horn Hotel in Istanbul
• 2 Nights at Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Yalova
• 3 Nights at Movenpick Golden Horn Hotel in Istanbul
• 2 Nights at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cappadocia
• Daily breakfast at the hotels (all open buffet)
• 9 Dinners at the hotels
• Sightseeing as per the itinerary
• Transportation by private A/C Deluxe Bus with driver throughout the tour
• Bible Oriented, Government-Licensed English speaking professional tour guide throughout the tour
• All Entry fees to the sites & museums
• Service charges & local taxes

Excluding

• Roundtrip international air between USA – Istanbul –USA
• Lunches and all drinks
• Tips to driver and guide (Suggested tipping; $5 per person per day for the guide and $2 for the driver)
• Turkish Visa Fee to be paid online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr
• Optional Hot Air Balloon Trip in Cappadocia


Leaders
Dr. Richard Gamble
Professor of History, Anna Margaret Ross Alexander Chair in History and Politics
Hillsdale College
Dr. Mark Wayne Wilson
Asia Minor Research Center

Dr. Mark Wilson is the founder and director of the Asia Minor Research Center in Antalya, Turkey, a country in which he and his wife Dindy have lived since 2004. He received a D.Litt. et Phil. from the University of South Africa (Pretoria) where he serves as a Research Fellow in Biblical Archaeology. He is a Visiting Professor of Early Christianity at Regent University and also Professor Extraordinary Discipline Group Old & New Testament at Stellenbosch University. Mark regularly leads study trips for the Biblical Archaeology Society to Turkey, Cyprus, and Greece. He also blogs periodically for Bible History Daily. He is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and reviews including Biblical Turkey: A Guide to the Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor. His particular research interest is the ancient Jewish communities, Roman roads, and Biblical routes in Turkey. Mark has been married to Dindy for thirty-nine years; they have four adult children, four grandsons and four granddaughters.

Dr. Mark Robin Fairchild
Huntington University

Dr. Fairchild received his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Drew University. He also completed Ph.D. coursework at Union Theological Seminary (NY) and Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Fairchild has twice received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1992, he collaborated with 11 other scholars at Yeshiva University exploring the Greek encounter with Judaism during the Hellenistic Period. In 2002, he joined 20 other scholars at the University of Chicago to investigate societal transformations and the legitimization of power in the early Islamic states.

Fairchild’s recent discovery of two previously unknown ancient synagogues in Turkey (including the world’s oldest known synagogue) was published in the Biblical Archaeology Review in 2012. Research at this ancient synagogue was also published in the Journal of Ancient Judaism in 2014. The Biblical Archaeology Review also published Fairchild’s research on St. Paul’s first mission from Perga to Antioch (2013) and another article on the biblical city of Laodicea (2017). Fairchild’s book on Christian Origins in Ephesus and Asia Minor (originally published in 2015) has been expanded and a second edition is currently available with Hendrickson Publishers (2017).

Dr. Fairchild is currently the Program Director for the Ephesus Meeting, an academic conference at the ancient site of Ephesus in Turkey. He annually travels to Turkey, Greece, Israel, Egypt and Jordan for research and to conduct study tours.

Dr. Glen L. Thompson
Asia Lutheran Seminary

Dr. Thompson served as Professor of History at Wisconsin Lutheran College from 2002 to 2011 when he moved to Hong Kong to join the faculty of Asia Lutheran Seminary. He served as the Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament and Historical Theology there until his retirement in 2019. After graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary with an M.Div. degree in 1977, he spent six years in Lusaka, Zambia where he served as a pastoral advisor for numerous churches and a teacher at the Bible Institute and Seminary of the Lutheran Church of Central Africa. He moved with his family to New York City in 1983 when he enrolled at Columbia University. There he earned his M.A., M.Phil, and Ph.D. (1990) degrees in ancient history while starting and pastoring a Lutheran congregation in Manhattan. From 1992 to 1997 he served on the faculty of Michigan Lutheran Seminary (Saginaw, MI). He served as director of the Multi-Ethnic Pre-Seminary Program based at Martin Luther College (New Ulm, MN) from 1997-2002. 

Dr. Douglas Jacoby
Professor of Theology, Rocky Mountain School of Ministry & Theology

Douglas Jacoby is a Bible teacher who has served as a minister on church staff for 20 years, in London, Birmingham, Sydney, Stockholm, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Washington DC, Douglas. Since 2003 he has worked as a freelance teacher and consultant.

Douglas has engaged in a number of public debates (Islam, atheism, theology, Judaism). He also serves an adjunct professor of theology at Lincoln Christian University and professor of theology in the Rocky Mountain School of Theology and Ministry. With degrees from Drew, Harvard, and Duke, Douglas has written 35 books, recorded nearly 900 podcasts, and spoken in over 100 universities, and in over 500 cities, in 126 nations around the world. Douglas has led 25 tours to the biblical world. The Jacobys have three adult children. Douglas and his wife, Vicki, reside in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Dr. David McCabe
Professor of New Testament and Greek
Bethel University

David McCabe is Professor of New Testament and Greek at Bethel University, IN. He received a M.A. in Biblical Studies and a M.A. in Theological Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary, and went on to earn his Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from New College, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. McCabe has taught graduate and undergraduate studies for sixteen years focusing on biblical interpretation, literature, and biblical languages. He has led student and adult study trips to Israel, Greece, and Turkey. His research interests span across a wide range of topics such as biblical literature, material cultures, historical theology, and philosophy of language. Dr. McCabe delights in sharing the experience of reading the Bible in "high-definition" while situated in the lands that gave rise to these sacred texts.

Cancellation Penalty:
– 90–60 days prior to departure : No Penalty
– 59–45 days prior to departure : 25%
– 44–30 days prior to departure : 50%
– 29–15 days prior to departure : 75%
– 14 days & After : No refund

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