Case Study: Faith Communities

Pilgrimages have helped form the faith of generations throughout the centuries. For those of us who have had the privilege to walk the lands of the Bible with gifted teachers, we know how transformational these trips can be. Yet this opportunity is available only to a small group of people due to financial, physical, and scheduling barriers.

Due to the increasing cost of flights, hotels, and transportation, study trips can cost anywhere between $3000 to $8000 per person. This high cost makes study trips unavailable to many socioeconomic groups. On top of the trip costs, participants often find that they need to purchase additional footwear and clothing to improve their experience.

The physical toll on participants can add up as well. Over the course of a seven to fifteen day trip, fatigue can wear you down — not to mention the potential for a stomach bug. Often terrain is uneven and hard to navigate, especially for those in wheelchairs or who are unable to stand for long periods of time.

On top of the financial and physical toll, securing a full week or two of vacation in our busy schedules can be hard to find. All of these factors can contribute to an apprehension or inability to experience the Bible in its full context.

Virtual reality can help break down the financial, physical, and scheduling barriers so that more people can have the same kind of experience as those who can travel abroad. With virtual reality, study trips can be experienced on the participant's own time at a fraction of the cost. Participants hear the same lessons in view of the same places and have similar deeply transformational experiences.

In addition to the convenience, virtual reality can add another layer of rich context on top of an already immersive experience. In reality, you can travel to Greece, stand in the Corinthian agora, and try to imagine what the apostle Paul may have seen in his day. But with virtual reality, you can virtually stand in the same place and then have a historian's rendering of ancient Corinth fade into view so that you are surrounded in the full color and dimension of Paul's world.

We believe that virtual reality will make these experiences more accessible for more people and it will add additional layers of rich dimensionality that can only be experienced in virtual reality. While virtual reality will not replace the full physical experience, it can help everyone in a faith community, no matter their status or wealth, grow deeper in their faith.

The people behind VR Study Trips™ have extensive experience traveling the world and filming teachers and guides in amazing locations. With a VR Study Trips, you can experience the far reaches of the world and gain a greater depth of understanding.