On Mount Scopus, adjacent to the Mount of Olives and overlooking the Old City, the Kidron Valley, and the Holy Mount, the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies (known as the Mormon University locally) has become a major landmark in this ancient and historic city.
The Center’s purpose is twofold: (1) to provide students, scholars, and visitors with a unique opportunity to study the Bible in the land of its setting and to study Near Eastern languages, cultures, and history in the area from which they derive; and (2) to establish cultural and service-oriented programs designed to benefit the Holy Land and its people.
The Center is a beautiful 125,000 square foot building comprising eight levels set amid five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. The first five levels (moving up from the lowest level) provide dormitory and apartment space for students, faculty and staff residing at the Center. Rooms for students accommodate four people with ample study space and a private bath. Each has a patio overlooking the Old City. Apartments for faculty and staff have kitchens, private baths as well as living areas and patios. The sixth level houses a cafeteria, classrooms, computer facilities, a gymnasium, exercise facilities and a student commons. Administrative and faculty offices are located on the seventh level, as is a 250-seat auditorium. The main entry is on the eighth level with a vaulted gallery that provides access to a beautiful auditorium with a Danish-made pipe organ that is used for musical performances and special events, lecture rooms, a library, additional faculty and staff offices, a domed theater, and a large, elegant multi-purpose room that is used for receptions, special exhibitions and an art gallery.
The Jerusalem Center's location in the heart of Jerusalem and its facilities provide an ideal setting for learning about scriptural texts and Near Eastern archaeology, history, cultures, and languages. The strength of the Center’s student programs lies in a distinctive and structured curriculum, close faculty-student interaction, and field trips that provides ample opportunities to explore Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Dan to Eilat, as well as Jordan and, depending on the semester, Egypt, Turkey or Greece.
The Jerusalem Center's offers three 3 1/2 month programs for students from Brigham Young University each year. The core curriculum focuses on the Old and New Testaments and Near Eastern Studies. The Center also co-hosts specialized programs in Arabic, archaeology, law and Hebrew.
The Center’s curriculum is built around the field study of sites and artifacts important to the Bible and to the history of the area. Those who study at the Center and at sites throughout the Holy Land and nearby countries enjoy a rich opportunity to develop both mind and spirit. They leave the Holy Land with a deepened appreciation for its history, its people, and its cultures and with perspectives that have been profoundly affected by their stay in Jerusalem.