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Reformation and Arts Travel Study Course
On a unique travel course, participants will follow the footsteps of the Reformers through the historic European cities of Berlin, Leipzig, Erfurt, Augsburg and Geneva.

The Protestant movement made Christianity and music accessible to everyone. In that spirit, McMaster Divinity College (MacDiv) has organized a travel study course “back in time” with MacDiv President, Dr. Stanley Porter, and professors Dr. Gordon Heath and Dr. Wendy Porter, into one of the most critical periods in the development of the Western Church, music and the arts – the Reformation.

The Reformers: Geneva, Switzerland

Martin Luther, the German Protestant Reformer of the 16th century, was a larger-than-life figure who became a German national hero and an icon in the Protestant world. Johann Sebastian Bach, the Cantor of Leipzig, transformed Christian music as one of the greatest musical geniuses of all time – and wrote all of his music to God’s glory. John Calvin, the French Protestant Reformer, was responsible for the development of the Calvinist movement – a movement that quickly became the international type of church revival.

This exciting study tour will visit some of the key places where these and other important figures in Church history, the arts, and music lived and carried out their momentous work. Must-see concerts featuring the music of Bach and other great composers will also be included.

For anyone who is a student, this trip will serve as an accredited course available for all degree programs. It will be of special interest to lovers of classical music, Church history and art, and can also serve as a great vacation opportunity for anyone interested in seeing Germany and Switzerland.

The trip is scheduled for April 23, 2009. Excursions will take visitors to Berlin’s historic center, to Potsdam where Johann Sebastian Bach’s son was employed as harpsi-chordist at the court of Frederick the Great and to Sanssouci Castle and Park – the “Prussian Versailles” with its magnificent castle, orangery and lavish gardens.

Leipzig, Bach’s City, will include a visit to the Opera House, St. Nicolaus Church, and the Völk-erschlachtdenkmal (Monument of the battle of the Nations). At Wittenberg where Martin Luther lived and taught for 36 years, visitors will see the Castle Church door where he posted his 95 Theses, giving birth to the Reformation.

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The tour will take participants to the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald, at Erfurt. Also at Erfurt they will visit an Augustinian Monastery which Luther, student of law, entered as a novice and where he took his vows as a monk.

A walking tour will take in the German city of Worms known for being the city where Martin Luther challenged the entire Roman Catholic establishment with his refusal to recant the doctrines of Protestantism. Also at Worms William Tyndale completed the printing of his English version of the New Testament.

Zurich, Switzerland is the birthplace of the Reformed and the Anabaptist movements. Here visitors will see the romanesque-gothic Fraumünster with its famous windows by Marc Chagall and visit the Grossmunster with romanesque stone works. Participants will also explore Bern, Münster and Geneva – a stronghold of the Reformation Movement influenced predominantly by John Calvin, John Knox and Theodor Beza.

The nine-day tour will return to Toronto on May 2, 2009. Cost for double occupancy is €2,390. For more information, visit the MacDiv website.

Originally published on the MacMaster Divinity College website, November 2008. Condensed for




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