April 01, 2014



As part of our Art History class, AMBEX is spending a week in beautiful Italy! First stop: Venice

Our Art History prof, Collette Tennant, introducing the class at the cute B&B we're staying in just outside of Venice.

The best views of Venice are from the water. Here's a few of our AMBEXers on a Vaporetta (water taxi) on the way to San Marcos square.


This thousand-year-old city is rich in Architecture

Lectures on the go :)

San Marcos square just before our tour of the Doge's Palace

March 30, 2014

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music

Salzburg, Austria

The Hills are Alive here in Salzburg, Austria where the AMBEXers return from their last independent travel week to have some fun with the Sound of Music tour.

Here students reenact the classic picture from the Sound of Music movie starring Julie Andrews.

At the gates of the Nonnberg Convent. This is the same convent that Maria Von Trapp was a postulant at. She, intending to become a nun, fell in love with Col. Von Trapp and thus ended her service here at the convent. 

Unlike what the Sound of Music film portrays, the students above were able to see the actual home that the Von Trapp family lived in. Both the wedded couple and Col. Von Trapp's 7 children lived in these walls, but not long before settling in did the family have to flee to America to escape the conflict of World War II. While abroad, the family continued to sing as the Von Trapp Family Singers and toured throughout America making a living on their popular performances.

Kylie, Tessa, Hannah, and Sarah having a good laugh as they attempt to mimic the statue behind them.

While half of the class continued with the Sound of Music sights tour, half of the group went on a hike with Director Jerry Orr to the vast beauty of Berchtesgaden! Here students were able to hike in the breath-taking Bavarian Alps and see some of Germany's iconic "calendar-esque" scenery.

And "that's a wrap!" Here's to our adventurous time in Austria! We will see you in Italy next! :)

March 29, 2014

Study-Travel Week 3

Last Independent Travel Week!
22-29 MARCH 2014

The Cornwall Crew

 From left to right, Missy, Olivia and Erica spent their last and final travel week in Cornwall, England where they had a relaxing week at a quiet cabin resort.

Tessa to Finland!
Off to the north, Tessa Carver spent her week catching up with a dear friend in Helsinki, Finland. She spent her week traveling throughout Finland, taking in the beautiful flatland scenery there.

Tyler to Israel!
Here Tyler Beard made a new friend on the Mt. Olives in Israel. Tyler took his independent travel week to go visit friends studying at The Master's College's IBEX Semester Abroad program. He had the opportunity to be a part of some archaeological digs taking place there.

The UK Group
 The Highlands! This beautiful shot taken by David Beeghly shows the vast wonders and beauty of the Scottish Highlands. This group spent the week traveling & hiking the highlands, seeing the sights of both Edinburgh and London and even made it as far as Fort William, in search of a Scottish adventure!

Here from left to right, David, Chase and Taylor, had the chance to hit  balls on the driving range of the famed St. Andrew's Links golf course.

Katy on the Road
This last week for Katy was spent with her parents on an EPIC roadtrip throughout Europe. 6 Countries in 7 days is quite the feat!

Föhr Islanders!

Kylee Mac, Sarah, Hannah and Kylie Hineman spent their last week on the island of Föhr, located in the upper reaches of northern Germany. It was on this island that they often enjoyed bike riding and spending time at the beach.

Kate to the Republic of Ireland!

Kate started out her week with a few other AMBEXers in London, and then met up with a friend to take in the beautiful sights and flavors of Ireland.

A successful end to their final independent travel week, students made their way by plane, train, ferry and bus to the amazing city of Salzburg, Austria where the AMBEX staff were awaiting their arrival. It is from here that the students will make an epic 9 day academic tour through Austria and Italy. Stay tuned!

March 21, 2014

Modern European Literature

Regensburg, Germany

An opening word from Professor Jim Hills,

In 1867 Matthew Arnold published “Dover Beach,” a poem noting the ebbing of “the sea of faith,” and lamenting the consequences of that ebbing, a world in which he found “neither joy, nor love, nor light/ nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain, ”  and asserted that “we are here as on a darkling plain/ swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,/ where ignorant armies clash by night.”
It seems that in Europe, especially, that ebb tide has continued unabated, has perhaps even accelerated, since the publication of Arnold’s famous poem. This course will examine the nature of that ebbing, identify possible reasons for it, and propose Christian responses, healing ones, we believe, to the physical, psychic and spiritual injuries of the past century and a half.
The great question of our times is whether there is transcendent meaning in the universe, some intention operating in cosmic and human affairs, and whether such an intention is at least partially discoverable.
Christians, among others, insist that the universe does have meaning, and human beings have value that is no less than sacred. We also insist that the Maker and Sustainer of all creation has revealed Himself to us in a variety of ways, including conscience, scripture and The Incarnation: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. And we beheld His glory, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
We may see “through a glass darkly,” but we are not blind, and what we see points us in the direction of hope.
What follows is the route we will follow in our brief excursion into contemporary European though as revealed in a necessarily limited selection of representative works of literature.

Part of the teaching style of Professor Jim Hills is for the involvement of the students in the learning process. Here Olivia Andvik is lecturing to the class about the strategies used by the Nazi Regime to eradicate the Jewish race.

This student group chose to using performing arts to help sink in the information they deemed the most essential to understanding the happenings of the Wannsee Conference. 

Here Jim Hills lectures on human nature and the human condition as defined in scripture.

After two hard weeks of "jam-packed" learning, Professor Hills treated the class to late night pizza. Here at the local pizza shop in Regensburg there was a very cheerful celebration for the strong finish of the class.

March 17, 2014

A day in Nürnberg

Today we made our way an hour north of our home in Regensburg to the Nazi Document Center in the city of Nürnberg. In WWII this city used to be used as the Nazi Party rally grounds. Hundreds of thousands of Germans would make their way to Nürnberg once a year to these massive gatherings as a celebration/symbol of the party's strength in Germany. Massive structures and stadiums were built to hold and house these masses. Today, many of them are destroyed, but some survived and serve as an eerie reminder of the dark past of the Third Reich.

Throughout the Nazi Document Center there was a rich amount of information about the Third Reich and Nazi Regime, but nothing as unique and interesting as this exhibit about the Nazi propaganda film "Triumph of the Will." This film, now illegal to possess and/or watch in Germany is shown here in this exhibit in mere analytical segments for educational purposes. Here students Kylee, Kate, Kylie and Olivia listen in on the documentary film.

Olivia, Chase, and Sarah walk along the steps of the old Zeppelin Field which used to serve as one of the main fields for the Nazi Party rallies. 

After the Nazi Documentation Center we made our way to old town Nürnberg. Here students were able to take a photo with the beautiful old town providing a great backdrop from this castle top view. 

With the day winding down, the class stopped into Nürnberg's oldest Bratwurst House, dating back to its establishment in the 14th century. Here we were able to grab some delicious brats and kraut/taters before heading back home to Regensburg.

March 06, 2014

Travel Week Zwei!

01-09 MARCH 2014

This week marks the half-way point for these AMBEXers and it is a rewarding week to be able to travel and relax (with some preparatory studies). Students during this week traveled extensively throughout central Europe and one group to Eastern Europe/Asia.

The PARIS and Boarding Four

From left to right: Tessa, Lexie, Missy and Erica enjoy the must see sights of the beautiful city of Paris. Their group stayed in Paris for 5 days enjoying all that the city had to offer them, from the Eiffel Tower, to Notre Dame, to the Louvre and much more.

From Paris the girls made their way to Switzerland and to the world famous Swiss Alps. Here the girls enjoyed a full day of Snowboarding in Arosa, Switzerland. For two of these girls it was the first time snowboarding, and I couldn't think of a better way to spend your first day on the slopes than in SWISS ALPS!

The PORTO Peops

This group spent the week in Porto, Portugal. From spending time at the beach surfing to taking walking tours throughout the city, Olivia, Ty, Kylie and Katy had a blast getting to adapt and live in the Portugese culture. One night they decided to make tacos with the local produce/meat and they turned out to be the "best tacos ever" as they have said.

A beautiful view overlooking Porto with these TMC pals. 

Super SWITZ Sarah

For Sarah's second travel week she had the privilege of staying with a missionary family in Payerne, Switzerland. She got to be fully immersed into the French speaking culture and enjoyed getting to know the family and the people at their church. She was able to take day trips to Bern, the capital of Switzerland, as well as Geneva. 

Here Sarah stands in front of the statues of Genevan Reformation leaders William Farel, John Calvin, Theodore Beza, and John Knox in Geneva, Switzerland.

This week's Rambunctious ROADIES

David, Hannah, Kate and Kylie "road-tripped" through Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands!! All in one week! They experienced Carnival celebrations, in both Germany and Switzerland, visited the Swiss Alps, Hiked the Black Forest, visited French towns, went to the beach in Bruges, Belgium, and ate breakfast in a park in Nijmegen. They met a lot of great people through couch surfing and received a brief overview of many European towns.

Students Kate, Kylie, and David crammed inside their compact rental car they named Rupert. Quite a fitting name for a car that is relative in size to that of a gerbil :) .

Here the group take a stroll through the Black Forest!


This Trio, Chase, Taylor and myself spent the week exploring the wonders of Istanbul, Turkey. We had the opportunity to experience fine Turkish cuisine at the Babylonia restaurant with our new Turkish friends Emin and Oktay (Top left photo). The three of us enjoyed the Turkish nightlife with some night bowling and had a very unique experience in receiving the cultural Turkish Bath.This remarkable and one of a kind city is located on both sides of the Bosphorous Strait making this city located in Europe while the other half of the city is located in the western most part of Asia.
All of these experiences made for an amazing trip while surrounded by the ancient history of the former Roman city of Constantinople.

March 01, 2014


Worms, and Heidleberg, Germany

On our way to Heidelberg, Germany, our class took a slight detour and purposefully landed ourselves in Worms. Worms is one of the three oldest towns in Germany, and also played a significant role in the Protestant Reformation. In this city, Martin Luther faced the imperial diet of the Holy Roman Empire commonly known as the Diet of Worms. Here Luther was asked to recant and to this he replied,

"Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."

The St. Peter's Cathedral in Worms. Here it is Taylor's turn to student lecture about the happenings in Worms during the Protestant Reformation.

Ambexers are having fun imitating their favorite Protestant Reformers.

The next and final stop of our Reformation Tour brings us to the beautiful and romantic city of Heidelberg.

This photo is taken inside the plaza of the Heidelberg Castle which now lies mostly in ruins due to war and natural disaster. However, this plaza remains almost entirely intact and provides a great backdrop for this well choreographed group photo!

This picturesque town of Heidelberg is host to over a million people stopping in to take in its beauty each year. In the background lies the ruins of the Heidelberg castle. Restoration projects were going to be made to restore this castle to its former glory but residents argued that the castle in ruins was much more unique and retained an imaginative and mysterious beauty that the decision was made to leave the castle as it lies. 

This beautiful view ends the jam packed week of the Reformation Tour. The students are off to their travel weeks tomorrow so stay tuned to their adventures in Portugal, France, Switzerland and Turkey!

February 27, 2014


Just due west of our last location in Erfurt, lies the quaint town of Eisenach. This town beholds one of the most historic and well preserved castles in Germany, the Wartburg. It has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1999, and a destination for thousands of tourists each year. This was the same castle where the publication of the New Testament was translated by Martin Luther from Greek into the German vernacular. This German Bible then became the basis for the first standardized Germanic language.

KyleeMac and Chase in front of Wartburg Castle after finishing an AMBEX promotional video.

Here in Martin Luther's former room in Wartburg Castle, lies the barren portion of the wall behind the green oven. This is the location of the Martin Luther ink spot legend. Legend has it that Luther fought off the devil by throwing his ink pot at him when the Devil tried to tempt Luther from not translating the Bible. Travelers throughout the centuries wanted to take a piece of this ink-spot as relics and keepsakes. Over time as travelers did the latter it left this wall "scraped to the bone" so to speak.

Another must-see destination within the city of Eisenach is the home of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Within these walls are much of Bach's lifetime musical works. Interestingly enough, only a small percentage of his works survived him. However, this exhibit does contain many of the instruments that Bach himself played or replicas of those in which he himself invented.

Taylor had the opportunity to help this musician play Bach's organ by pumping the air into this organ manually with the foot peddle.

The masterpieces of Bach are displayed throughout this house-museum for the enjoyment of music-lovers from around the world.

February 26, 2014


Capital city of the German state of Thüringen, Erfurt is home to over 200,000 people. Erfurt is most notable for its Augustinian Monastery that rests within the city limits. Here, this Order brought forth the monk who would change the direction of the Church. Here, Martin Luther would soon change the course of history.

Katy Olewiler lays face down in front of the altar piece at the cathedral of the Augustinian Monastery. It was on this very stone that all Augustinian monks from were originally sworn in, including Martin Luther.

 Inside the monastery, the tour took us to a courtyard centrically located within the compound. In some areas of the monastery, such as this courtyard, there still remains a vow of silence that must be adhered to upon entering.

The beautiful ancient bridge in Erfurt, known as the Krämerbrücke, was constructed in the 12th century and is home to many shops and vendors. 

Not to far from this place, the vans made their way to downtown Erfurt where Chase gave a lecture on Erfurt's cathedral - Dom St. Marien as it pertains to the reformation time period. 

This brought us to our final stop of the day, in front of the Erfurt Cathedral.


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