Middle East Studies Summer Program
Learn about our Program in Jordan
Spend the summer in Amman, the capital city of Jordan, in cooperation with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, or the CCCU. Please note that currently, the country of Jordan is listed on the US Department of State's Travel Warning List. As a result, this trip will continue to be reviewed from a safety standpoint.
May 3rd, 2018 - June 1st, 2018
The dates listed above are departure dates from LAX and from the program location back to LAX.
Please note: U.S. Citizens will have a $56.00 visa cost as well.
4-5 units required. Students must take HUM 295. Students must choose from REL 301 or GSGS 492. Students cannot take both REL 301 and GSGS 492.
HUM 295 - Enriching the International Experience (1 unit)
- This course is designed to enrich the student's international experience by providing opportunities to engage more fully with the culture and to reflect more deeply on the experience. It is the goal of this course to help students know how to look at and listen to their new culture and how to give meaning to their international experience (Taught only in International Programs. May be repeated in a different location. Cr/NC grading only).
REL 301 - Islamic Thought and Practice (3 units)
Christianity and Culture GE; Prerequisite: REL 101
- This course offers a survey and summary of the major beliefs and practices of Islam, highlights from Islamic history, and a look at current issues such as gender issues and modern Islamic movements (including ISIS), touching on both the scholarly and popular levels. A strong emphasis is placed on understanding Islam in context and learning to relate to Muslims, developing the skills and understanding to "enter their world." We will take advantage of living in a Muslim-majority context, to learn through site visits, hearing local speakers, meeting with Muslims, etc. Throughout the course, we will focus on developing a Christ-centered response to Islam and Muslims.
GSGS 492 - Selected Topics: People and Cultures of the Middle East (4 units)
Fulfills World Civilizations GE
- This course seeks to acquaint students with some of the diversity of peoples and cultures in Jordan and in the Middle East region as a whole. A significant emphasis is placed on understanding some of the key elements of the Arab-Muslim culture which creates the sociocultural context both for Jordan and the broader region. We will take advantage of the experiential learning which is possible through being "in context," with a significant emphasis placed on encounters with local people, site visits, local speakers, and cultural activities.
Dr. David Simonowitz
Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, International Studies and Languages Division, Seaver College
MESP Director Dr. Doug Magnuson is in charge of the program in Jordan. He has lived in the Middle East for more than 30 years and has a wealth of experience and stories. Many of your class sessions will be taught by local guest lecturers, and nearly every week, you'll get to meet and hear from at least one world-class expert who may also be a religious leader, embassy official, member of the Israel-Palestine negotiations team, or author.
Dr. Magnuson has a heart for teaching students to grow in how they relate to and live effectively among people from different cultures. His passion is to see students truly understand what it means to engage in another culture, not just live there as tourists. This is a huge part of the cultural immersion you will engage in while on the Jordan: MESP program.
In addition to the interactions you'll naturally have while living immersed in this culture, the Jordan program provides opportunities for you to make progress in these areas by facilitating service projects, homestays, and multiple cultural exchanges.
"On MESP you won't be a tourist; you'll be a pilgrim. Students immerse themselves in Arab culture until they're on a first-name basis with members of the community. Of course, you'll get to see all the tourist sites too, with plenty of free time to explore—but you'll likely spend most of that free time discussing in coffee shops, playing soccer with the neighborhood children, or bargaining with the shopkeepers as you get to know them.
The weather is clear and dry, and from your neighborhood, you'll have easy access to all of the restaurants, gatherings, and attractions that Amman has to offer." - CCCU Webs
Students will visit incredibly significant historical and religious sites such as the Dead Sea, Petra, Jesus' baptism site, Aqaba, Jerash, Madaba, Wadi Rum, and Mt. Nebo.
Students may want to consider extending their travel on their own and travel to Israel which is short bus ride away. Flight change fees are paid for by the student. Pepperdine University does not sponsor travel to Israel.