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Cenctre of Biblical Formation

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land | Sessions biblique à Jerusalem 2012-2013

This program enables the participants to explore in a new and deeper way the critical and familiar question: 
“But you... who do you say that I am?” Matt. 16:15

 Emphasis is placed on:

  •  a study of the Bible through the text and excursions to explore the Land;
  •  a deeper understanding of Jesus and his heritage;
  •  Christian roots as found in Jewish traditions which shaped the religious experience of Jesus, and later, the church.

This program is sponsored by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion. Formal courses by highly qualified lecturers, co-ordinated field trips to major Biblical sites throughout the Land, time for reflection, prayer and sharing are all geared to help participants integrate their experience of the Word, the Land and the People.


In 1977, a small group of students met in the Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition for some courses and biblical excursions; the program was in French.

In 1981-82, the Provincial of the Sisters of Sion proposed that these courses should become more independent and better structured. She offered the Ecce Homo premises.

Several professors became the core of what was to be the Centre for Biblical Formation. The following year, the program in English was established.

As the Centre expanded, there was a need to become more structured in terms of budget, buildings and legal requirements. This was accomplished between 1982 and 1986. Since then, the Centre for Biblical Formation has come under the responsibility of the Sisters of Sion, in two sections: English speaking and French speaking. In 2001 the French Biblical Program Centre is co animated by the Sisters of Sion and the Chemin Neuf Community. In 2007, a Spanish section is open within the Centre for Biblical Formation. The offices of administration are also located at Ecce Homo.


The Centre is under the responsibility of the Mediterranean Province of the Sisters of Sion, and is considered to be one of the ministries of the Sisters of Sion. The management is assumed by a Council of Administration with the Provincial of the Sisters of Sion as President. This Council appoints the director of the Centre, the heads of the two departments, English and French, and approves programs and annual budget. The operation of the Centre is assumed by an Executive Council, including the director, the persons in charge of each section, English and French, a representative of the Ecce Homo team, professors and students’ representatives of each section.

Most of the professors are attached to other institutes in Jerusalem, and most have been living in the country for many years.

Need for such a program

There are several different institutes in Jerusalem specializing in the study of the Bible. These institutes offer longer programs of at least one year duration, with recognized diplomas. These programs are intended for students who have previously undertaken theological and biblical studies.

But there was no French or English speaking centres that could offer a program of lectures and excursions for Christians - whether lay people, priests or religious (especially those who were able to take a sabbatical year) or those persons who wish to increase their knowledge of biblical texts, to deepen their understanding of the Jewish roots of Christianity, or to visit the Land with "Bible in hand", following a program. This type of program includes these elements according to different duration of time.


The Centre is not an academic institute, but students will be awarded a non-academic certificate of completion of the program at the Biblical Centre. As the objective is to understand better the Word in the context of yesterday and today, made alive by competent professors, the program places a special emphasis on the study of a certain number of books in the Bible. This leads to a better knowledge of our Jewish roots: after all, the Bible was born in a people, and this people continues to live the Word. The program introduces us to the reading of the Scriptures according to the Jewish tradition, and offers other courses, for example Islam, and promotes a better knowledge of the diversity of the Oriental Churches of yesterday and today.


The period of study, about 12 hours per week, is punctuated by biblical excursions. These excursions help us to discover the historical, archaeological, biblical and spiritual aspects of the peoples and the Land where the Word was born. Each semester, special longer excursions are offered (Sinai, Negev, and Galilee)


Via Dolorosa 41
P.O.Box 19056
Telephone: 972 (0)2 626 31 26
Fax: 972 (0)2 627 67 97
Web Site : www.biblicalformation.com
E-mail English Program: biblprog@netvision.net.il
French Program: progfr@netvision.net.il
Spanish Program: eliop@netvision.net.il


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