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  • Locations: Athens, Greece
  • Program Terms: January Term
  • Program Cost: January Term
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 2.0
Subject Areas: Theology Housing Options: Hotel
Language Prerequisite: None Non-UST Students: Yes
Program Sponsor: UMAIE
Program Description:
chiseling god

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.

1st and 2nd Theology core requirement under current curriculum 

Course Equivalency
Fulfills THEO 227 under the current curriculum, and THEO 490 under the old curriculum 

About the Professors
kiel 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
nelson 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%

Location and Tentative Dates 
Athens, Greece
Program dates to be announced 

Program Cost
A program cost estimate is available on the budget worksheet, linked above. Final program costs will be announced by October 1st. There will be a $500 deposit, due at the time of application.  

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 up front; 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.

Application Procedures & Deadline 
  • Select the Apply Now button at the top to start your online application.
  • Log in using your St. Thomas username and password.
  • Complete all application materials by the application deadline. Students are encouraged to apply during the priority enrollment period, April 1-10. Applications will be accepted after April 10 for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1.
  • Download and read Short-Term Off-Campus Policies and Procedures. You are responsible for reading, understanding and abiding by its content.
Priority Application Deadline: April 10, 2021
Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2021
Students studying abroad during J-Term are generally only eligible for additional loans to help finance their study abroad costs. Please review Financial Aid for Study Abroad. Scholarships may also be available from St. Thomas and some Other Approved Programs. Please refer to our Scholarships webpage for details and review Short-Term Off-Campus Policies and Procedures for additional financial aid information.

For more information:                                                                          
On course content, contact the Program Director: 
Dr. Kiel, St. Ambrose University, 

On application procedures or logistical information, contact:

Office of Study Abroad | University of St. Thomas
Murray-Herrick 212 | 651.962.6450 | |

This program is currently not accepting applications.