Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage

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The Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain

Two thousand years ago, Roman legions built a road from gold mines in western Spain to Gaul. This road was used by medieval pilgrims from all over the world to journey to Santiago de Compostela to visit the burial site of St. James, the Apostle. Today the Camino de Santiago is one of the most important historical, cultural, and spiritual experiences in the world. Students spend a week in Madrid experiencing the history and culture of Spain and then walk the pilgrim road to Santiago from the French border.

Program Dates

June 15 - August 1, 2016

The dates listed above are departure dates from LAX and from the program location back to LAX.


$3,528 Room & Board + 4 unit minimum ($1,510).

Course Offerings

Students will take a minimum of 4 units. The classes being offered include:

  • SPAN 292 - Culture & History of the Camino de Santiago (4 units)
    • If taken as an elective, this course has no prerequisite.
    • If taken as a substitute for SPAN 252, the prerequisite is SPAN 251.
    • This course will consider the pilgrimage to Santiago from a historical, cultural, spiritual, and physical perspective, in the context of the broader history, culture and economy of Euro-zone Spain and the world. Additionally, students will integrate first-hand experiences of the pilgrimage with their own mental, emotional, and spiritual reflections and development, as well as enhance their ability to interact and communicate with native and non-native Spanish speakers.
  • SPAN 492 - Culture and History of the Camino de Santiago (4 units)
    • This course is an upper division Spanish course, and has a prerequisite of SPAN 252.
    • The course content with be similar to SPAN 292, and will have additional requirements and a stronger focus on enhancing a student's ability to interact and communicate with native Spanish speakers

The Camino de Santiago Family

The visiting faculty member for the Camino de Santiago program is Brian Thomason. To contact Brian Thomason, please click here

Brian Thomason, Associate Vice President and University Controller, earned a B.B.A. in Finance, Summa Cum Laude, from Abilene Christian University in 1999 and his M.B.A in Finance from Auburn University in 2005. Mr. Thomason began his career at Pepperdine University in the Office of Financial Planning. In 2000, he returned to Abilene to serve his alma mater as Manager of Financial Planning and Reporting. In 2004, he began his second tour of duty at Pepperdine University and in 2007 was named University Controller. He became an Associate Vice President in 2011. Mr. Thomason is a Certified Public Accountant and has over 10 years experience in higher education finance and accounting. In addition, he teaches as an Adjunct Professor of Accounting and Finance at Pepperdine's Seaver College and its Graziadio School of Business and Management. He is a member of the NACUBO Tax Council, serves as Treasurer of the BMW Car Club of America - Los Angeles Chapter, and is a member of the Board of Global Samaritan Resources, an Abilene, TX-based non-profit that sends medical relief supplies and equipment around the world. He is also member of the Finance Committee at the Conejo Valley Church of Christ, and has served on the Board of several other Ventura County, CA non-profit corporations. Brian has made over 30 trips to Spain, and lived there during his childhood. He first walked the Camino de Santiago in 2011.

Location and Pilgrimage

In Madrid, the students will visit the the Prado museum and Royal Palace. Students will also have the opportunity to see a flamenco show and bullfight. The program will take a day trip to Toledo, known as the  melting pot of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures in Spain since the pre-Roman days. On the Camino de Santiago, the program will cross the Pyrenees from France on foot and visit the historical town of Roncesvalles where Roland and Charlemagne battled the Moors; Pamplona, where the Running of the Bulls takes place; Logrono, capital of Spanish wine country; Leon, medieval capital of the Spanish kingdom of Castilla-Leon; and finally Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of St. James the Apostle were found in the 9th century.

Housing and Residence Life and Meals

In Madrid, students will stay in hotels, and meals will be in various local restaurants. While on the Camino,  accommodations will be in either hotel, bed and breakfast, or hostel type arrangements and meals will generally also be provided.

Cultural Outreach Opportunities

Most of the locations and events above will provide students with cultural outreach opportunities in Madrid as well as along the Camino. An important component of the coursework will be the opportunity to interact with locals as well as people from all over the world who are also walking the pilgrimage.

Internet Resources

Last Updated 01-08-14