Trust Offers Clergy Funds for Holy Land Trip



Olmsted Manor has activated The Perry Trust for Educational Travel to offer scholarships for clergy and their spouses to travel to Palestine and Israel from February 29-March 10, 2016 with students from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and laity from Westminster Presbyterian Church.
The trip is offered in cooperation with the seminary and the World Mission Initiative.
The trip will be led by Dr. Steven Tuell, the James A. Kelso Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at PTS and an elder in the Western PA Conference, and the Rev. Jim Gilchrist, minister at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh.
“For any believer, a trip to the Holy Land is a pilgrimage: the wonderful opportunity to walk where Jesus walked, to see and hear and smell and taste the land of the Bible,” but many Christians making this journey never have the opportunity to meet, worship, work with and support the Christians of Palestine.
“On this pilgrimage, we will not only visit the ancient sacred and historical sights of the region, but we will also meet those living stones, members of the struggling Christian communities determined to maintain their witness to our faith in the land of its birth.  We will spend time living with, worshiping with, learning from and working alongside these Palestinian Christians,” he said.  
There are 10 openings for travelers with scholarships through the Perry Trust. Successful applicants and/or their spouses would be eligible for funding in the amount of half the $3000 cost of the trip.
The Perry Trust was established: 

  • To provide periodically an educational travel experience designed by Olmsted Manor for a group of ministers and spouses/fiancés with priorities which may include, but are not limited to The Holy Land, Wesley Heritage in England, The Journeys of St. Paul, and mission stations served by the Board of Global Ministries.
  • To provide a preparatory retreat at Olmsted Manor to be attended by all recipients.
  • To provide a reflection after the travel experience for sharing ideas, developing methods to integrate the experience into ministry and to enhance knowledge and facts.
  • To provide a required reading list to increase the value of their travel experience.
  • To build fellowship among the recipients so that friendships in ministry might continue to grow. 
Preference may be given to ministers whose service in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference does not exceed 10 years.
So that a pastor and spouse can “have this common experience” as a foundation for their ministry, all licensed and ordained ministers of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and spouses/fiancés are eligible to apply. The selection committee will have final authority for determining recipients.

Download the Perry Trust scholarship application.
Questions about scholarship applications may be directed to Jody Larson at 814-945-6512 or   Questions about the itinerary or particular aspects of the travel experience may be directed to Dr. Steven Tuell  at