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  • Locations: Athens, Greece; Nafplion, Greece
  • Program Terms: Winter
  • Program Sponsor: UMAIE 
  • Restrictions: SAU applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short-Term Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English
Housing Options: Hotel/Hostel Well Suited For: General Education, Theology
Click here for a definition of this term Number of Credits: 4 credits Cost: $5,000-$10,000
Program Description:
T5354 Greece Photo

An unforgettable course that explores the various ways ancient Greeks understood God by close examination of their cultural, archeological, architectural, and literary heritage and how that heritage can help us reflect on ourselves and our world today.

Travel Dates 
December 2021 - January 2022
Exact Dates TBD

All in Greece: Athens, Aegina, Corinth, Delphi, Epidaurus, Mycenae, and Nauplio 

Required Online Orientation
There will be a required online orientation for this course between late October and early to mid-November.  The date/time of the orientation will be communicated by October 15.  Every effort should be made to participate in the live orientation session, as it will be interactive, provide a chance to virtually meet the course professors and other participants, and should be considered the first class meeting. Students who do not participate will be required to view the recorded session once it is available.

Minimum Enrollment: 16
If the course does not meet the minimum enrollment, students will be given the option of switching to another course (as space is available) or withdrawing their application and receiving a refund of the program deposit.

Maximum Enrollment: 26

Accessibility Information and Requirements:

UMAIE Logo UMAIE (pronounced “U-may”) is the Upper Midwest Association for Intercultural Education, a consortium of six colleges and universities offering intercultural courses during the January Interim. UMAIE was founded in the fall of 1963 when several colleges adopted the 4-1-4 academic calendar. The UMAIE pioneers recognized that they could expand the international curricula, control costs, and increase participation in study abroad if several campuses cooperated in offering courses overseas. This vision has enabled hundreds of students to study abroad every January since 1964.  Current UMAIE member schools are Augustana University (Sioux Falls, SD), Elmhurst College (Chicago, IL), Hamline University (St. Paul, MN), St. Ambrose University (Davenport, IA), St. Catherine University (St. Paul, MN), and St. Thomas University (St. Paul, MN)


Academic Overview
Why do people believe what they do about God?  How does culture and context influence how God is understood?  Close contact with and examination of ancient sites and artifacts bring such questions into profile and press individuals for self-reflection on his or her own beliefs.  This course seeks to explore the diverse ways that God has been understood in a variety of ancient Greek contexts.  Understandings of God can be examined concretely in the archeological, artistic, and architectural legacy of the ancient Greeks.  For example, the Acropolis in Athens contained buildings devoted to different Gods, yet it was thoroughly a civic endeavor, which raises questions about how and why humans understand God the way they do.  Food sacrificed to Gods provides part of the backdrop for Paul’s correspondence with the Corinthians, but one cannot fully understand the polytheistic culture until one walks the ancient streets, sees the city layout, and how Paul approached Christianity in such a cultural milieu.  Close examination of early Cycladic figurines reveals a close connection between God and fertility.  All of this will be wrapped in an experience of modern Greece, with its spectacular scenery, great food, warm hospitality, and healthy chaos.

One 100-level theology or religion course is preferred.

Course Equivalency
Theology 360 (4 credit hours) - Chiseling God: History, Culture, and Divinity in Ancient Greece

About the Professors
T5354 Keil Michah

Dr. Kiel is a Professor of Theology at St. Ambrose University. He teaches both lower- and upper-level classes; and his research and specialties include ecological hermeneutics, The Bible and modern culture, intertestamental Judaism, New Testament Theology, and the Gospel of Mark.  He has published two books, most recently, “Apocalyptic Ecology” published by Liturgical Press and “Reading the bible in the Age of Francis”. Dr. Kiel has extensive knowledge with the ancient Greek language and has previous experience leading study-abroad courses to Greece (2012, 2016, 2018) as well as experience as a student in Athens, Istanbul and Rome
T5354 Nelson, Nathaniel Dr. Nelson is an Associate Professor at the University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Professional Psychology. He has practiced as a Clinical Neuropsychologist in the Twin Cities since 2006 and has been a full-time member of the UST faculty since 2011. Dr. Nelson studied in Greece in 1996 and assisted Dr. Kiel in an initial UMAIE J-term course in Greece in 2012, 2016 and 2018. He has varied research interests, including the psychology of religion, and neuropsychological aspects of spirituality and mental health.


Required Readings
“Ancient Greece: A New History”, by Jeremy McInerney (Thames and Hudson)
In addition, a number of articles and primary sources are distributed by .pdf and as handouts at the start of the course, including: “Artemis: Goddess of Conservation” by D. Hughes; “The Bacchae by Euripides”; “Why Olympia Matters by H. Reid; Selections from Herodotus, Hesiod, Pericles, Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, and others.

Attendance, Attitude and Participation                                                    30%
Reading and discussion                                                                        15%
Presentation/Report from Independent Museum Exploration                    30%
Final Reflection paper                                                                            25%


Program Estimated Cost
TBD -  Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the travel industry, the program cost is subject to change and will be updated as expenses begin to be finalized.

Cost estimates will be available on or shortly after April 1, 2021.  Final costs will be available in late October.
There will be a $500 deposit, due at the time of application. Pay your $500 deposit using TouchNet. Please see the Cancellation Policy tab for information on when this deposit is refundable. 

Included in the Program Cost
International airfare
Hotel accommodations in twin/triple rooms
Ground transportation
All entrances and activities required for class
Breakfast daily

Application Procedures & Deadline

Applications will open on April 1, 2021·

To Apply: 
  1. Select the Apply Now button at the top to start your online application.
  2. Login using your username and password 
  3. Complete all the application requirements.  Your application will not be considered complete until ALL requirements have been completed.

There will be a $500 deposit, due at the time of application. Pay your $500 deposit using TouchNet. Please see the Cancellation Policy tab for information on when this deposit is refundable. 

All applications received by the Priority Application Deadline will be sent to the faculty in a batch at the end of the priority application period. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis after the priority deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2021.

Priority Application Deadline
April 15, 2021

Final Application Deadline 
October 1, 2021

Passport Requirements: All course participants must have a current, valid Passport that expires no less than 6 months from the date the program returns.  A legible scan of your passport must be submitted to your home school Study Abroad Office by October 20, 2021.  STUDENTS WHO APPLY AND ARE ACCEPTED IN SEPTEMBER OR OCTOBER AND DO NOT HAVE A CURRENT PASSPORT MUST EXPEDITE THEIR PASSPORT APPLICATION. Students who do NOT submit their passport by the deadline will be subject to a $100 Late Passport fee.

Visa Requirements: Please note that a visa IS NOT required for U.S. Citizens to travel to the country(ies) included in this course.  Citizens of countries other than the United States or people who have Travel Documents (Issued by the United States or any other country) should contact their school's Study Abroad Office as soon as possible.

U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories: The U.S. Department of State uses levels to indicate risk in travel to particular locations.  Please see the U.S.Department of State website for more information on the particular locations of this course.

U.S. Department of State STEP Enrollment: The U.S. Department of State has a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  The UMAIE Consortium encourages all travelers to ensure that they are enrolled before travel.  Some students' home campus Study Abroad Office may enroll student travelers automatically.  Please check with your home campus Study Abroad Office for more information on your school's process, and see the STEP website for more information and to enroll.

Health and Travel: The Center for Disease Control issues travel vaccine recommendations by country.  Please see the CDC Traveler's Health website for more information on the particular locations of this course.  

CISI Insurance: All UMAIE participants will be enrolled in an international emergency and medical insurance policy with CISI through their home institution.  Please see your home campus Study Abroad Office for more information.  

Flight Deviations: Airline tickets are booked as Group Tickets.  If a student wishes to deviate from the group (go early, stay after, etc.), the student will need to submit that request as part of the application.  The final date to request a flight deviation is Oct. 1, 2021.  Please note that there are additional costs to flight deviations.  It will be the responsibility of the student to pay the additional costs at the time the booking is made.

UMAIE Withdrawals and Refunds

Once students have completed a UMAIE application and been notified of their acceptance, the following Withdrawal and Refund policy applies:

Refund Available                                                                                          Withdrawal Date
No cancellation fee and full refund of deposit                                              September 15, 2021 (must be received by 4:00pm)
No refund of $500 deposit                                                                            September 16 – October 1, 2021
No refund of $500 deposit & refund of RECOVERABLE COSTS ONLY*    After October 1, 2021
No refund                                                                                                     30 days or less prior to departure

*NOTE: Students who cancel after October 1 will be charged the full amount for the course upfront; recoverable costs will not be calculated until after the group returns in February, at which point students will receive a credit for any portion of the course that was able to be recovered. The ENTIRE COURSE COST, INCLUDING AIRLINE TICKET, may be forfeited.

NOTICE OF CANCELLATION MUST BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING TO YOUR SCHOOL'S STUDY ABROAD OFFICE. The date this is received is the official date of cancellation

Travel cancellation insurance is recommended for students with preexisting medical conditions. This insurance must be purchased at the time of application. Please discuss this with your Study Abroad Office.

If a course price increases by more than 6% over the highest price in the range (due to general inflation or lower enrollment) a student may cancel without penalty.

No refund is given to students who wish to omit portions of the course.

This program is currently not accepting applications.