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CCCU Announces Transition for Middle East Studies Program

CCCU Announces Transition for Middle East Studies Program

July 8, 2024

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) today announced that the Middle East Studies Program (MESP) has found a new home with Jerusalem University College (JUC) in Jerusalem, Israel.  

The Middle East Studies Program is a study-abroad program that facilitates Christian understanding and engagement in the Middle East. After operating MESP for more than 30 years, the CCCU will transition the program to Jerusalem University College, which plans to recommence student programming through MESP for the spring 2025 semester.  

“I can think of no better partner for the Middle East Studies Program than Jerusalem University College,” said Shirley Hoogstra, president of the CCCU. “They are deeply rooted in the region and have earned a reputation as an organization that blesses the students who study with them and the institutions from which those students come. I know that God will continue to do great things through MESP under the auspices of JUC.” 

The CCCU created the Middle East Studies Program in 1993 and oversaw its operations in Egypt, Jerusalem and then Jordan until spring 2024. Over the last three decades, MESP faithfully educated more than 1,250 students, representing hundreds of different institutions. Today, many MESP alumni work in the Middle East and other high-risk areas around the world, serving as a testimonial of how the program instills in students a lifelong commitment to intercultural engagement, understanding and service.  

To ensure continuity for the program, JUC plans to meet with MESP Program Director Doug Magnuson, who has served MESP alongside his wife Patti since July 2013.  

“The team at Jerusalem University College is eager to build upon the rich legacy of MESP at Jerusalem University College in the season ahead,” said Oliver Hersey, Ph.D., president of JUC. “With great expectation, we invite you to share with your students about the opportunity to live and study in Jerusalem just steps away from the Old City. From our campus on Mount Zion, students will engage the culture, languages, traditions and peoples in the Middle East.”  


About the CCCU 

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of more than 185 Christian institutions around the world. Since 1976, the CCCU has served as the leading voice of Christian higher education. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in the U.S. and Canada and more than 30 from an additional 19 countries, CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.  


About Jerusalem University College 

Jerusalem University College is an independent, Christian academic institution with its campus in Jerusalem and serves as an extension campus for over 70 accredited Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries around the world. JUC creates opportunities for students to deepen their knowledge of God and His Word through immersive study of the contexts of the biblical world and the Middle East, equipping them for academia, ministry, and global service. For more information about JUC, visit