Great Awakening Study Tour 2020

CH202-612 / CH202-712 / CH202-812

Join us as we travel to the US to learn about the origins of Christianity in America, and the ways that the eighteenth century Great Awakening shapes ministry today. Next year is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims in the New World, so we begin our tour at Plymouth in Boston and end at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia to experience how revolutionary America interacted with Christian faith. With a day off in New York City, this tour will help us to understand how modern American evangelicalism impacts our world.

This unit is available to students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degrees, in the Master of Theological Studies, and those completing the Master of Arts (Ministry/Theology); it is not available to those enrolled in the coursework phase of the Doctor of Ministry program.

The workload for this unit depends on which level of enrolment is undertaken:
students enrolled in CH202-612 complete 5000 words of assessment;
CH202-712 students complete 6000 words of assessment, and CH202-812 students complete 7000 words of assessment.
There is some compulsory pre-reading to complete in preparation for the tour, 80 contact hours on tour, and the major assessment is due on 31 July 2020.
Undergraduate students need to have completed four foundational units before enrolling in a study tour; this unit is also available to students enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies or completing the Master of Arts (Ministry/Theology) under the outgoing regulations.
The unit commences 24 Feb 2020 while the travelling component is 21-29 June, 2020. Please enrol by 15 January 2020.
Rhys Bezzant, with input from Ken Minkema at the Yale Divinity School.

Unit description
American Christianity increasingly impacts the church in Australia. The Great Awakening in the American colonies is a touchstone event which has shaped our expectations of revival, preaching, lay ministry, parachurch agencies, prayer, and conversion. On this tour we meet some of the great leaders of this movement after the Puritans, namely Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Sarah Osborn, and the Moravians, and discover their contribution to the American Revolution and the vector of modernity, in which our own ministries are set. We learn that evangelicalism is not at heart a political movement, but one in which conservative Protestants have adapted to the conditions of the modern world for the sake of the Gospel.


Date Description Accommodation
Sunday June 21 We gather on Sunday in Boston, Massachusetts, to meet out local coach at 2pm for the ride to the Holiday Inn Express in Woburn. The remainder of the afternoon is free for relaxing or exploring the area before we enjoy our three-course Welcome Dinner at Joe’s Bar and Grill. Holiday Inn Express in Woburn
Monday June 22 After a full breakfast in our hotel, we begin our tour with a visit to Plymouth, where the Pilgrims first came ashore to begin their errand in the wilderness exactly 400 years ago in 1620. The Plimouth Plantation is a magnificent recreation of, and orientation to, life in the first years of the settlement, where we can learn about native Americans, Puritan worship, their commitment to a Bible Commonwealth, and ask questions of the staff who will answer in old English as if they themselves were seventeenth-century Americans! Tonight we eat our evening meal in Boston before returning to the hotel. Holiday Inn Express in Woburn
Tuesday June 23 Boston in the eighteenth century was at the centre of debates about God’s work in the world to bring revivals. Today we visit Newburyport north of Boston, where the Grand Itinerant, George Whitefield, one of the greatest ever preachers, died just before he was about to mount the pulpit and is buried. Here we will learn about his involvement in American revolutionary politics. We then drive to Boston where we follow the Freedom Trail on foot. During our city walk, we discover the history of the Puritans and the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776. On the Boston Common we can try to imagine Whitefield preaching to 30,000 listeners without amplification! After a three-course meal, we return to our hotel. Overnight: Holiday Inn Express in Woburn
Wednesday June 24 Today we leave our hotel in Boston and head inland to visit the Whitefield Rock in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. Then we proceed to Northampton where Jonathan Edwards ministered for twenty-three years before his dismissal. In Northampton, we visit Edwards’s church, the Bridge Street Cemetery where David Brainerd, the extraordinary missionary to native Americans is buried next to his sweetheart, and enjoy lunch. Continuing the story of Edwards, in the afternoon we experience what was frontier life at the Stockbridge Mission House, the library with Edwards’s artefacts, and enjoy our evening meal at the Red Lion Inn, and then to our hotel. Hampton Inn Hadley Amherst
Thursday June 25 After breakfast, we travel to Connecticut to spend the day at Yale University in New Haven. Edwards studied here and was for a time the librarian and rector of the original College. During our walking tour, we learn about the Puritan approach to urban planning, the ways that the Great Awakening split churches, and visit the Beinecke Library to view Edwards’s manuscript of perhaps the most famous sermon in American history, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” We continue our travels to New Jersey for our hotel tonight. Ramada Plaza Hotel Newark Liberty International Airport
Friday June 26 After a full breakfast at the hotel, we begin our day off in New York City! Our coach will take us downtown for free time in the Big Apple, where you can choose whether you sail past the Statue of Liberty, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, meander through Central Park, or head to Ground Zero. Our coach will bring us back to our hotel in Newark late afternoon. Overnight: Ramada Plaza Hotel Newark Liberty International Airport
Saturday June 27 Leaving behind New York our day begins in Nazareth, Pennsylvania for our walking tour. Here German migrants in the eighteenth century created utopian communities. These Pietists enjoyed the multiculturalism of the mid-Atlantic colonies and contributed important spiritual priorities to the Great Awakening. We then head to Ephrata to see the extraordinary Cloister and learn about the Moravians’ commitment to worship and work in their close-knit fellowship. We head to our hotel in Virginia for our evening three-course meal. Double Tree by Hilton McLean Tysons
Sunday June 28 We head out early today to visit Colonial Williamsburg, once the capital of Virginia and now an educational precinct which recreates the life of the city during the American Revolution. Here we will learn about social conditions under British rule, the Declaration of Independence, the status of African Americans in the Early Republic, and the contribution of the Great Awakening to revolutionary politics. Arriving back at our hotel at 8 pm, we can celebrate the end of the tour with a three-course Farewell Dinner, before retiring. Double Tree by Hilton McLean Tysons
Monday June 29 After breakfast, our coach will take those who are returning home to the airport in Washington, DC. Others might choose to spend an extra couple of days in Washington and visit the Museum of the Bible, the Smithsonian Museums, or the National Cathedral, which is known as the only building in the world with a gargoyle of Darth Vader!



  • Student Cost: $990 + airfare + travel insurance + in-context unit tuition fee (eligible students can defer the tuition fee to Fee-help)
  • Audit Cost: $4990 + airfare
  • Participants in the tour are expected to purchase their own travel insurance and airfare, though Rhys Bezzant will suggest flights after the enrolment date.

Enrol by 15 January 2020 to secure your spot!


We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built. Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E. © 2020 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.