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Jerusalem Campus
3 Aravnah HaYevusi
Hebron Road, 9411602
P.O. Box 1276, Mt. Zion
9101202 Jerusalem, Israel
voice: 972-2-671-8628
fax: 972-2-673-2717

North American Office
1185 Wesley Avenue
Xenia, OH 45385
toll free: 1-800-891-9408
voice: 937-933-9099
fax: 937-933-9099


| Dr. Paul Wright

Although the word unique is terribly overused by those who want to stand out from the sameness of everyone else, I’m hard pressed to find another that better fits the mission and role of Jerusalem University College. Extraordinary? Select? Exceptional? Focused? Authentic? It would be easy to make a case for all of these, and more.  

Ours is an institution that, for almost fifty years, has been located precisely at the point where the biblical text intersects with the world of the Bible. The events recorded in the Bible, of course, took place somewhere, and the biblical authors—those who preserved and commented on those events in writing—also lived somewhere. That somewhere, in most every instance, was the land of Israel and its neighbors, where we are! 

In a day and age when the relevance of the Bible is too often ridiculed, and all too many people discount the reality that underlies its claims as either unknowable, uninteresting or irrelevant, Jerusalem University College stands in the gap. In fact, I would assert that it is precisely because of the objective nature of the world of the Bible, its language, landscape, cultural milieu and geographical and historical settings that we who read the Bible can have confidence that these ancient writings can continue to speak to real needs yet today. 

This is where Jerusalem University College comes in. The JUC experience—our location, our faculty, our curriculum and our method of learning—are designed not only to expose our students to the land and cultural world of the Bible, but to integrate a wide body of data with first-hand experiences, and to give meaningful shape to thoughts and ideas. How can a student of chemistry, or biology, or medicine become a competent chemist, biologist or doctor without devoting significant time for discovery and application in the laboratory? And so it must be for students of the Bible. Our pedagogy, in which our students learn the geography, history, archaeology, language and culture of the world of the Bible on site, with a host of field study and encounter sessions, is a laboratory in which real learning takes place. The same can be said for the part of our curriculum that focuses on the modern Middle East. Should not a look at the peoples, cultures, religions and history of the modern Middle East be done here, by and with and among the very people studied? 

But we’re more than just this. Jerusalem University College is also an institution that is decidedly Christian. We support a consortium of associated schools (Christian liberal arts colleges, Bible colleges, seminaries and graduate schools) that represent the spectrum of evangelicalism. Moreover, we are the premier school in Israel that specifically serves the evangelical world, and our alumni serve the cause of Christ worldwide.  

And so the words extraordinary, select, exceptional, focused, authentic, and yes, even unique, are not, for us, attempts at self-praise or jockeying for position, but accurate descriptions of what is truly a worthwhile educational experience.  

Those of you who already are or have been a part of the Jerusalem University College experience know of our struggles and triumphs over the past 50 years. It’s a difficult enough task to foster a proper learning environment at home; to do so amid the ongoing upheavals and uncertainties of the Middle East is, well, challenging and often bewildering, but always rewarding. At the moment we are coming out of a period of struggle that has been particularly acute, but we look to the future with confidence. Your help, encouragement and prayers have been most appreciated! Although those of us in Jerusalem may be on the “front lines,” JUC continues to exist only through a joint effort of many people like you, who continue to sacrifice on our behalf. Thank you! 

I am sure you have noticed that our web site has a completely new look and feel. Consider it a symbol of our resolve and commitment to our consortium of associated schools and our students, friends and supporters. We intend to remain faithful to the call of God and the vision of our founder, Dr. G. Douglas Young, as together we seek to meet our shared goals.  

We look forward to seeing you in Jerusalem sometime soon!

| About Dr. Paul Wright

Paul was appointed President of Jerusalem University College in 2010 after serving as Executive Director of Jerusalem University College since 2002. He first joined JUC in full-time appointment as Academic Vice President and Dean in 1997. His first experience at JUC was for short-term studies in 1977, then as an M.A. student from 1983-1985. Paul is also on the adjunct faculty at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies and has participated in archaeological excavations in Israel at Ramat Rachel, Giloh and Tel Rehov. He is an ordained minister in the Baptist General Conference. His published works include Greatness, Grace & Glory (Carta), Atlas of Bible Lands (Holman QuickSource Guide), Understanding the New Testament: An Introductory Atlas (Carta) and The Illustrated Guide to Biblical Geography (Broadman - Holman, forthcoming). He believes that teaching, writing and fieldwork are crafts much like woodworking, which he also enjoys—all require a measure of patience, an eye for detail, and a willingness to get one’s hands dirty in the process of creating something that’s useful for others. 

Dr. Wright received the Ph.D. in Bible and Ancient Near East from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH, the M.A. in Old Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, the M.A. in History of Ancient Israel from Jerusalem University College and the B.A. from Bethel College (MN). 

The Wright family:  Paul, Diane, Jessica (24) and Ben (22).

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