experience God through the lands of the bible

WHO WE ARE

 

VISION - All believers will understand the Bible and grow in their faith and love for God.

 

MISSION - To equip believers to understand and apply the Bible through its culture, history, land, and spirit.

STRATEGY - You will discover a deeper understanding of what was said in the Bible and what the authors meant, through our resources, Bible-focused study tours, and partnerships with academic universities and institutions.

 

Our study tours are hosted by a highly qualified tour guide, and a Bible teacher or ministry leader. Together, they bring the Bible to life right before your eyes as you visit authentic historical sites and explore them through the four-part CHLS approach:

Culture - Discover, in original context, how the culture and language of the biblical story are interwoven in ancient society and daily life.

History - Find out what was said and done, and what was meant by it, in the biblical and historical context.

Land - See geographic landscapes come to life, allowing the land to have its own narrative in Scripture and the biblical story, and is as much a character itself as any person in the text.

Spirit - Explore the common beliefs of the biblical time period, and how the spiritual climate impacts our understanding of the story.

Staff

 

Amy Flattery

Director

Amy grew up in Lynden, Washington. She attended Calvin College receiving a BA in Biblical Studies and Theology. After finishing college in 1997, she moved to Jerusalem, Israel, to attend Jerusalem University College. While there she pursued her MA at Jerusalem University College. Her area of study was in New Testament Backgrounds/Jewish History of the Second Temple Period. Amy lived in Israel for a total of five years. After living in Israel, she moved to Belgium where she taught classes at Continental Theological Seminary. Amy works full time for the Center for Holy Lands Studies as the Director. She is married to Dr. Mark Flattery, President of Network211, and is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God.

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Trina Russell

Programs and Project Manager

Trina was born in Fridley, Minnesota, but lived in Arizona and California during her early years. She is an alumnus of Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA and brings over 12 years of event planning and management experience to our team. Traveling and experiencing other countries and cultures is a deep passion of Trina's. Prior to joining our team, she was privileged to be in the Holy Lands twice, which sparked a love for the land and a passion for providing people with the opportunity to experience the places of the Bible for themselves. 

Linda Smith

Administrative Coordinator

Linda was born into a Pastor’s home in Springfield MO. She grew up in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. Linda met and married her husband Jamie in Lubbock TX. Linda and Jamie have two grown children and 20 years of experience in Pastoral ministry. They have pastored in Missouri, Iowa and Kansas. Linda loves spending time with family, shopping, and being with people. Linda was taught from a young age the great importance Israel and the Holy Lands have to the world and the Church.  She has a deep love for the local church and a passion to see people learn the Word of God and watch it come alive as they apply it to their daily lives.

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Jeremy Stein

Educational Content Development and Teaching Strategist

Jeremy Stein was born in Dansville, New York, in 1991 and raised on Long Island, New York. In 2013, he completed his BA in Biblical Theology as well as in Pastoral Ministries at Northpoint Bible College (formerly known as Zion Bible College). In 2016, Jeremy married his wife, Miriam. Currently, he is a graduate student under Dr. R. Steven Notley at Nyack College in New York, NY and studying in their Ancient Judaism and the Origins of Christianity program. Jeremy is the former Associate Pastor of Neighborhood Assembly of God in Bellmore, New York. He has been a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God since 2011 and has been actively traveling to the Holy Lands for the past 5 years. Jeremy and his wife, Miriam, currently live in Springfield, MO.

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Travis Skavhaug

Tour Coordinator &

Web Communications Specialist

Travis was born and raised in Devils Lake, North Dakota. He completed a BA in Intercultural and Biblical Studies with a Minor in Business Management from Trinity Bible College. In 2012, Travis (MA in Christian Ministries) and his wife, Jennifer (MA in Counseling), graduated together from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO. Travis brings to the team four years of fulltime pastoral experience and a passion for leading people into a clearer understanding of the Bible. Travis and Jennifer live in Springfield, Missouri with their daughter and two Siberian Huskies.

 

 

 "Traveling with the Center for Holy Lands Studies has been an amazing experience. When my husband and I decided to put together a trip to Israel that would encourage ourselves and our radio show listeners in our faith, we looked at several options. CHLS was definitely at the top of the list in every way. The depth and knowledge they offer through their US guides, in-country guides, and home support surpassed everything we expected; and the cost for our group was very competitive with other journey options that didn't offer the same level of expertise. Thanks, CHLS! Here's to a long partnership and the building of our faith in Christ!" 

Jill Tracey
Mornings with the Tracey’s on WCIC in Peoria, Springfield, Bloomington, Galesburg, and Sterling, Illinois

TEACHERS

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Dr. George O. Wood, PH.D. 

Chairman of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship; Founder, Center for Holy Lands Studies

Dr. George O. Wood is Chairman of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, and is currently serving as Interim President of Evangel University, Springfield Missouri. He served in executive leadership of the Assemblies of God USA for 24 years, including 10 years as general superintendent. During his time as general superintendent, he founded the Center for Holy Lands Studies. Prior to serving as general superintendent, Wood served the church as its general secretary for 14 years. He was assistant superintendent of the Southern California District from 1988 -1993. Wood also pastored Newport-Mesa Christian Center in Costa Mesa, California for 17 years. He has also led over 40 tours to Israel! The son of missionary parents to China and Tibet, Wood holds a doctoral degree in pastoral theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and a juris doctorate from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California. He did his undergraduate work at Evangel University (College) and served the college in several capacities, including being director of spiritual life and student life from 1965-1971. He was ordained by the Southern Missouri District AG in 1967. Dr. Wood is author of a number of books including: Fearless: How Jesus Changes Everything, Living in the Spirit, A Psalm In Your Heart, Living Fully, The Successful Life, and a college text on the Book of Acts. Sermons by Dr. Wood may be heard at www.georgeowood.com.  

Wood and his wife Jewel have a daughter, son, and 4 grandchildren.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Garcia, ph.d.

Associate Professor of New Testament and Second Temple Literature, Nyack College, New York City, NY

Jeffrey García is Associate Professor of New Testament and Second Temple Literature at Nyack College. He holds a PhD in Hebrew and Judaic Studies from New York University where he studied under the direction of world-renowned scholar Dr. Lawrence Schiffman. His specializations are the Gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as Second Temple and Tannaitic (earliest generation of rabbis) texts. Jeffrey is currently invested with the manner in which the Gospels and Acts function as a source of early Jewish thought and practice, and how they trade in traditions and styles of Biblical interpretation that are later documented by the rabbis. He is the author of On Human Nature in Ancient Judaism: Creation, Composition, and Condition (JAJSup 34; Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh; Leiden: Brill, 2020); Understanding the Gospels as Ancient Jewish Literature (Jerusalem: Carta, 2018), and co-editor (w/ R. Steven Notley) of The Gospels in First-Century Judaea (Leiden: Brill, 2016). Jeffrey has also contributed to the Biblical Archaeology Review, Lexham Bible Dictionary (Lexham Press, 2016), and The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions (Routledge, 2015). Currently, he is working on Understanding Acts as Ancient Jewish Literature for Carta Publishing, Jerusalem, and preparing a manuscript on charity in the Gospels and ancient Judaism (under contract with Augsburg-Fortress Press). Since 2012, Jeffrey has worked with the Center for Holy Lands Studies as a teaching guide in Israel, Jordan, and Turkey for students, church groups, and lay people. Originally from Spanish (East) Harlem, NYC, he now lives in Baldwin, NY with his wife, Maureen and their family.

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Dr. R. Steven Notley, ph.d.

Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins; Director, Graduate Programs in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins, Nyack College (New York, NY)

R. Steven Notley is Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins on the New York City campus of Nyack College (2001-present) and director of the graduate programs in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins. He received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University, where he studied with David Flusser. Dr. Notley lived sixteen years in Jerusalem with his wife and four children, during which time he was the founding chair of the New Testament Studies program at the Jerusalem University College. He has been directing groups of students and laypeople to Israel and the eastern Mediterranean region for 30 years. He is the author of many books and articles. He continues collaborative research and publication with Israeli scholars in the fields of historical geography, ancient Judaism and Christian origins. Among his list of publications, he co-authored with Flusser the historical biography, The Sage from Galilee: Rediscovering Jesus' Genius (Eerdmans 2007); with Anson Rainey (Tel Aviv University) the monumental biblical atlas, The Sacred Bridge: Carta's Atlas of the Biblical World (Carta Publishing 2005); with Ze'ev Safrai (Bar Ilan University) an annotated translation of Eusebius' important description of Roman Palestine, Eusebius, Onomasticon: A Triglott Edition with Notes and Commentary (Brill 2005). He rejoined Safrai for their second work, a pioneering collection and translation of the earliest rabbinic parables that provide the literary and religious context for the parables of Jesus, The Parables of the Sages (Carta 2011). 

Dr. R. Michael Jaffe, D.Min

Professor of Preaching and Church Leadership; Director of Accelerated Masters Programs, Evangel University & Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (Springfield, MO)

Dr. Jaffe serves as Professor of Preaching and Church Leadership at Evangel University and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He is also the Director of Accelerated Masters Programs for the Seminary. Since 2001, he has taught at Central Bible College, Evangel University and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and has previously served as Practical Theology Department Chair for ten years during that span. Dr. Jaffe regularly teaches courses in Preaching, Biblical Interpretation, Church Leadership as well as select classes in Old and New Testament and has led student and church trips for the Center for Holy Lands Studies since 2016. He has published an Independent Study for Global University entitled Great Commission Strategies as well as multiple commentaries for Radiant Life Curriculum since 1992. He is also the author of his personal life story Found: A Story of One Life Transformation. Dr. Jaffe received a B.A. from Central Bible College, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Prior to teaching, he pastored for 22 years in New York State and is married to his wife, Barbara. Together they have three sons and five grandchildren. 

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Dr. David Emanuel, PH.D.

Associate Professor in Old Testament and Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins, Nyack College (New York, NY)

Dr. David Emanuel is a British citizen who graduated from the University of London with a Master’s degree in Computer Science in 1997, and soon after relinquished a successful career in computing and telecommunications to pursue his interest in Hebrew Bible. His studies lead him to Israel, where he lived for 11 years and completed a Master’s Degree in Bible and Ancient Near East, and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible, both at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem under Professor Yair Zakovitch. Currently, Dr. Emanuel teaches at Nyack College for the Bible Department (Old Testament), and the AJCO (Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins) graduate program. Four chapters of his Ph.D. were published as a book in 2012 under the title From Bards to Biblical Exegetes: A Close Reading and Intertextual Analysis of Selected Exodus Psalms, and his other publications primarily surround his interests in Biblical Hebrew Language and Poetry, Inner-biblical Interpretation, and Visual Interpretation. He has contributed articles to the journal Hebrew Studies, the Lexham Bible Dictionary, and The Visual Commentary on Scripture (thevcs.org). Additionally, he has written numerous articles on Hebrew grammar for BibleMesh and provided Hebrew audio recordings for the learning platform. Dr. Emanuel is married to Emma and has five children, all of whom were born in Israel. Currently, he lives with his family in Suffern New York. Previously, he has led tours to Israel with Emmaus Educational Services

Dr. scott stripling, D.Min

Provost and Director of the Archeology Institute at The Bible Seminary (Katy, TX)

Dr. Scott Stripling serves as Provost and Director of the Archaeology Institute at The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas. Stripling is the Director of Excavations for the Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) at Ancient Shiloh (2017 to present). Previously, Stripling directed the ABR excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir, served as Field Supervisor at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan, and as a supervisor of the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem. Stripling did his graduate studies at the University of Texas, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and Veritas International University. Stripling serves on the Board of Directors of the Near East Archaeological Society and has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, popular magazines, and books. A popular speaker at churches and conferences around the world and a guest on numerous television programs and documentaries such as Fox News, The 700 Club, and The New York Times, his greatest passion is connecting the material culture of the Holy Land with the biblical text.

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Dr. Mark Jenkins, PH.D.

Professor of Theology, Evangel University (Springfield, MO)

Dr. Jenkins is a graduate of Evangel University and is currently a tenured Professor in the Department of Theology and Church Ministries. He finished his graduate work at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Ph.D. in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology. Before going to Evangel University he taught at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and Central Bible College in Springfield, MO. Courses he has taught at Evangel include Old Testament Literature, New Testament Literature, Old Testament Historical Books, The Book of Exodus, Sophomore Seminar, Biblical Hebrew, Anthropology, Archaeology, Archaeology of the Old Testament, and Archaeology of the Graeco-Roman World. Dr. Jenkins had his first experience with excavation in the late 1990's at Tel Malhata in the Negev of Israel. He began taking students from Central Bible College to Tel es-Safi, biblical Gath, in 2010. In 2011 he was brought on staff as a field archaeologist and square director and has taken students from Evangel University since joining the faculty in 2013. In addition to archaeological fieldwork, Mark has also presented scholarly papers at both regional and national conferences including the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Schools of Oriental Research.

 

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday

8am - 4:30pm (CST)