Theology and Philosophy

Study Tour Reflections

Bible Lands Study Tour: Reading Romans in Rome

Thursday 4 to Thursday 18 January 2016

As a postgraduate student studying part time, I knew the opportunity to study overseas was an opportunity not to be missed! So in January my study journey took flight to Rome where I joined several other students in discovering the book of Romans in Rome.

While reading Romans in Rome, our group was welcomed by  friendly staff who assisted us in settling into our home away from home. Each day, we were treated to traditional gourmet Italian meals and even learnt an Italian phrase or two. We had lectures on site in the morning followed by excursions to relevant historical sites creating an authentic learning experience for all.

Memorable moments included receiving our “golden tickets” to the Papal Mass, attending mass in English at St Paul’s Basilica which houses his relics and being immersed in the Italian culture while exploring the layers of ancient history pertaining to St Paul. January also proved to be a great time to see the many Nativity scenes scattered throughout Rome.

This study tour is a must for anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of the book of Romans while discovering the holy significance of this eternal city.

My initial reaction, as a part time student, was the attraction of 20 credit points in a two week intensive. However, I must admit, the opportunity to be a part of the first Australian Theology group to travel to the ACU Rome Campus appealed to me as well.

The opportunity to spend an extended period of time in the classroom and in the city with my lecturer was invaluable. We studied in the classroom in the Room Campus in the mornings and then ventured into the “Eternal City” to visit the relevant historical sites. A surprise was that the Academic Director of the Rome Campus is not only a Doctor of Theology, but an expert on Art History. To travel into the city with David was amazing as he was able to add a level of expertise and commentary to our “tourist” visits that is invaluable.

My lasting memory of visiting the ACU Rome Campus (apart from the privilege to visit a Papal Mass at St Peters Basilica) is a visit to the Church of St Clements. St Clements is a 16th Century church built on the excavated ruins of a 4th century church. But, under this are the remains of a first century Roman home.

As an Australian, the opportunity to discover things that are genuinely “ancient” is very compelling.

The ACU Rome Campus is an excellent educational opportunity. You will live and eat like the Romans. The accommodation is world class and the food is genuinely Roman.

The ability to easily access the city and to wander and imbibe the culture of both ancient and modern Rome is invaluable.

If you have the opportunity to study one of your ACU subjects at the Rome Campus I would highly recommend it. You will value these experiences for the rest of your life.