About the Center

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 itself 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 students and faculty residing at the Center. Dormitory rooms accommodate four people with ample study space and a private bath. Each of these rooms has a patio overlooking the Old City. The sixth level houses a cafeteria, classrooms, computer facilities, and a gymnasium. Administrative and faculty offices are located on the seventh level, as is a 250-seat auditorium. The main entry is on the eighth level, which also contains a spectacular recital and special events auditorium with organ, lecture rooms, general and reserve libraries, offices, a domed theater, and a learning resource area.

Student Experience

The Jerusalem Center is an ideal setting for learning about scriptural texts and Near Eastern archaeology, history, cultures, and languages. The Center’s classrooms, practicum and computer facilities, library, theater, auditoriums, learning resource center, and administrative, housing, and food service facilities provide a wonderful environment within which students, scholars and visitors can study. The strength of the Center’s programs lies in a distinctive and structured curriculum, close faculty-student interaction, and on-site study.

The Jerusalem Center offers study programs for students coming from Brigham Young University. The core curriculum focuses on the Old and New Testaments and Near Eastern Studies. Specialized programs in Arabic and Hebrew are also offered.

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 enjoy a rich opportunity to develop both mind and spirit. They inevitably leave the Holy Land with a deepened appreciation for its history, its people, and its cultures. They return to their homes with perspectives that have been profoundly affected by their stay in Jerusalem.

Visiting the Center

The facilities at the Jerusalem Center are available only to full-time students formally enrolled in a BYU Jerusalem Center program. For those interested in visiting the building, tours are available. The tour includes a hosting video, a ten-minute organ recital, and a tour of the eighth floor and the Jerusalem Center gardens. To schedule a tour or to obtain information on tour availability, please review the standard schedule and contact the hosting staff at the Jerusalem Center.