Why the VPSA Reformation Tour?
Almost 500 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther hammered his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This was an invitation for debate—little did he know how it would be used of God to awaken the church and transform the Western world. VPSA is marking this historic anniversary with a trip to many of the key continental Reformation sites. Imagine yourself at the Wittenberg Door or touring through Luther’s home. See where he was “imprisoned” in the Wartberg and where he translated the New Testament from Greek to German at a lightning pace. In addition to places related to Luther, we will be visiting sites in Europe made famous by other Reformers such as Jan Hus, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin. Starting in Berlin and ending in Geneva, spend eleven days together with VPSA faculty like Dr. Joost Nixon, Rob Shearer, Rick Davis, and others as we embark on this incredible tour in June 2017.
The value of learning on-site
Augustine quipped that "the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." By exposing us to different sights and smells and people, travel brings breadth. But it also ignites a passion for learning. It’s one thing to read The Bondage of the Will, but quite another to visit the places where those thoughts incubated. Who can fail to be inspired by Jan Hus’ stalwart commitment to the gospel? Or Calvin’s preaching? But to visit where Hus was burned or where Calvin preached lifts the learning experience to an entirely different level. Travel educates through the senses. Join us and see the places where history was made.
Trusted Faculty, World Class Support
Earn class credit by studying with VPSA’s expert faculty at the most important Reformation sites. And to make sure all the details are exactly right, VPSA is partnering with WorldStrides, a proven leader in educational travel. Our group will stay in centrally located, four star hotels in wonderful neighborhoods, which means more time where we want to be and less time traveling. Meals are carefully chosen to reflect local cuisine and our Tour Directors are incredible.
Day 1 FLY TO BERLIN
Day 2 BERLIN
Our private coach will pick us up and transfer us into the city. we will have some free time this afternoon to explore Berlin. Bring your appetite along with you and cook up a traditional German meal.
Day 3 WITTENBERG
Sightseeing with a local guide introduces Germany's capital, the
Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, the Reichstag, and ends with a visit to the Pergamon Museum- Continue to Lutherstadt Wittenberg, the capital of the Reformation- This small town was named after its most famous resident Martin Luther, and enjoys a scenic position on the banks of the Elbe River. Our tour director will take us on a walking tour of the University of Wittenberg, where Martin Luther taught theology. Visit Schlosskirche (Castle Church), where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517. The church contains the tombs of Luther, Melanchthon and Frederick the Wise.
Day 4 WITTENBERG
Take a Walking Tour of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. Highlights include Schloss Wittenberg, built for Frederick the Wise; the Rathaus; Cranachhaus, the residence of the great painters Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger; and Melanchthonhaus, the home of Martin Luther’s greatest ally. Visit Lutherhalle, a museum dedicated to Martin Luther and the history of the German Reformation- It includes a section on Reformation art, with works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger.
Day 5 ERFURT
Transfer to Eisleben, a charming little city it the Saxony-Anhalt area of Germany. Dating in to the tenth century, the city is well known as the birthplace of Protestant reformer, Martin Luther. Visit the birthplace of Martin Luther, born in 1483 in a medieval half-timbered house. Unfortunately, a great fire destroyed the original house in 1689, but upon the site a permanent exhibition in honor of Luther was built. Learn about the origin and early life of Martin Luther through a series of exhibits and displays. Visit St. Andrew's Church, a Gothic hall church where Martin Luther preached his last sermon in 1546. The very pulpit that he preached from is still within the church. Take a walking tour of Erfurt to include St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Severin's Church- Also view the Merchants' Bridge, an arched stone structure that has houses on both sides and is filled with bookstalls, cafes, and antiques shops. Explore the Augustinian Monastery, where Martin Luther lived as a monk and read his first Mass in 1507, having been ordained as a priest- The monastery dates back to the 13th century and houses a rare book library and a Permanent Exhibition about the life of Luther.
Day 6 FRANKFURT
Visit the Lutherhaus, where Martin Luther lived from 1498 to 1501. This
picturesque half-timbered house is now a museum with fascinating multimedia exhibits detailing
Martin Luther’s life and times, as well as his teachings- Explore Wartburg Castle to see the
Lutherstube, the room where Luther lived and worked; the Neue Kemenate, which today houses an
impressive art collection; and the Singing Hall, allegedly the scene of the famous minstrels'
contest in Wagner’s opera Tannhauser. Continue to Frankfurt.
Day 7 STRASBOURG
Spend time at the Gutenberg Museum, a unique memorial to the city's most famous son, Johannes Gutenberg. Housed in the rebuilt Gutenberg workshop, the museum traces the history of printing, beginning with Gutenberg's hand press, on which he printed his 42 Iine-per-page Bible from 1452 to 1455. The museum also features two Gutenberg Bibles- Continue to Worms- Upon arrival, take a Reformation-themed walking tour and see its magnificent cathedral, Dom St. Peter. View the Luther Monument, the world's largest Reformation monument- At its center is a statue of Martin Luther, flanked by Frederick the Wise of Saxony and Philip of Hesse. Transfer to Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace-Lorraine and considered to be the crossroads of Europe.
Day 8 STRASBOURG
Enjoy a Walking Tour of Old Strasbourg, including covered bridges and towers from its former fortifications, plus many 15th- and 17th-century dwellings with painted wooden fronts and carved beams. Visit Strasbourg Cathedral, built on the remains of an early Romanesque church. Visit the Eglise St. Thomas, one of the first converted to Protestantism.
Day 9 ZURICH
Take a Walking tour of Konstanz, a university city located on Lake Konstanz. We will have time to pray at the spot where the Czechoslovakian church reformer, Jan Hus was burnt at the stake as a heretic on the 6th July 1415. Also visit the Cathedral, where Hus' trial took place. Continue taking a walking tour of Zurich around the Grossmunster, the Helferei where Zwingli lived, and visit the Zwingli Street.
Day 10 GENEVA
Visit the park, Promenade des Bastions, where we will view the Monument de la Reformation. Built in 1917 along a 16th century rampart beneath the walls of the old town, the monument represents John Knox, John Calvin, Theodore de Beze, and Guillame Farel on the one end and the Pilgrim Fathers on either end, Luther and Zwingli. Continue to the Temple de l'Auditoire (Calvin's Auditorium), a Gothic church where Calvin preached, which was restored in 1959 just in time for Calvin's 450th anniversary. Visit the Cathedrale de Saint-Pierre, where in 1536 the people of Geneva gathered in the cloister and voted to make the cathedral Protestant. With a philosophy of austerity, all of the altars, statues and ornamentation in the cathedral were destroyed, leaving only the pulpit and stained glass windows. End our day at the International Museum of the Reformation, tracing the history of the Reformation in Geneva and its continued progress.
Day 11 HOME
Fly back to the United States
We have limited space for this great opportunity, and expect seats to fill fast.