Monday, February 27, 2012

Summer 2012 Valpo Germany Tour

Thomaskirche Altar
I have been asked to serve as the faculty leader for a tour to Germany this summer that is being organized by Valparaiso University. The tour will intersect with our university choir, which will also be touring at the time.

Apparently there are still a few openings, if you or someone you know would like to join us. Right now, there are 17 registered to go, but we could take as many as 25.

After an overnight flight to Berlin, we will spend two full days in the German capital. Then it is on to Leipzig, where we will spend three nights. There we will hear Valpo's Chorale at the famous Thomaskirche (at both the Sat. motet service and the Sunday main service), tour the Nicolaikirche (where the 1989 freedom demonstrations had their start in the Monday evening prayer services), and visit other interesting sites connected with J. S. Bach and the city's history.

We will then travel to Wittenberg (one night; touring the small town and its places connected with Martin Luther and his associates) and then to Eisenach (one night; visiting the Bachhaus museum and the Wartburg Castle, where Luther translated the NT). The next day we will travel to Weimar, to see the cultural capital of Germany and also the Buchenwald concentration camp, and then on to Dresden. There we will again connect up with Valpo's choir (at Meissen), but also visit the restored Frauenkirche, a museum devoted to the allied bombing of the city in 1945, and other cultural sites (Zwinger museum, Semperoper, etc.).

Participants will have plenty of free time, too, to shop and do sight-seeing on their own in Berlin, Leipzig, and Dresden.

The Zwinger in Dresden
For nearly twenty years I have taught university courses in the history of Christianity, focusing especially on the history of Lutheran theology. I lived and taught in Germany for two years, when I served as the director of Valpo's study-abroad center in Reutlingen. This is also where I developed a course on Martin Luther and J. S. Bach, which I continue to teach regularly.

On this tour I have been asked to provide historical, cultural, and theological insight into the various places we will visit. I hope also to stimulate discussions about the abiding significance of Luther and Bach and how their ideas and actions have shaped the contemporary world and church. Along the way we'll get to hear some great music from Valpo Univ's choir, led by Christopher Cock. Valpo's president, Mark Heckler, will also be with us.

The dates are Tues, May 29, 2012 (depart for Berlin) through Sat, June 9, 2012 (depart for the USA from Dresden). The cost is $2300 (for a twin, double-occupancy) or $2525 (for a single). This price does not include airfare, but it does include 10 nights hotel accommodations in 3-star tourist hotels, continental breakfasts, several lunches and dinners, touring on the coach bus, the Valpo concerts, whatever insights you might glean from yours truly and our professional tour guides, museum entrance fees, and all hotel and service taxes.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact The Global Gurus, at 888-850-6831.

Please feel free to forward this post to friends and family and to share the basic info in your church's bulletin or on a bulletin board.


  1. Congratulations! My husband went to Germany on his mission. Obviously, he loved it. The work is hard there, the culture is very strong and very old, but the people are amazing. LOVED ALL!
    how to plan a trip to germany