Gregg Finley Archives - St. Stephen's University

A Celtic Pilgrimage

By 2012 - Scotland, All Things Travel, Alumni Abroad No Comments

We’re on our way to Scotland (April 29th, 2012)! The countdown is on and if you’re interested then you can find the full itinerary and more information online here.  This is a really great opportunity to experience study abroad SSU style, whether you’re a student or not!

Now to answer some of your frequently asked questions…

What is the exact cost and what does that include?
The total price is $3699.00 and includes round trip airfare from Saint John, NB, accommodations (double occupancy), transportation around Scotland (luxury motor coach), breakfasts and dinners (lunches not included), guides and admission to all sites mentioned on itinerary.

Can I make payments or is it all due at once?
Yes you can! While the final amount is due by Feb. 17th, 2012, you can set up a payment schedule with Freedom Tours. Bi-weekly payments can make it easier.

Is this an SSU trip or Freedom Tours?
SSU has contracted Freedom Tours to take care of most of the logistics, but SSU’s Dean of Arts (Gregg Finley, PhD) is the trip leader. Payments are made to Freedom Tours who are working closely with SSU to be sure the execution of this trip is just how we want it.  We use a similar process for our Greece & Turkey trip as well as our Israel trip.

How does this “for credit” thing work?
If you are interested in doing this as a 3-credit hour course, then you will receive a syllabus with preliminary readings and assignments. This will all be under Gregg Finley’s instruction and there is no extra charge.  To take the trip for academic credit, please send an email to [email protected], or visit our facebook page and share your interest.

What about travel insurance?
This is not included in the price but HIGHLY recommended. It can be arranged by Freedom Tours for anyone interested at the time of booking.

When and how can I reserve a spot?
Call 1-800-61-2324 to pay your $300 deposit to reserve your place as soon as possible. Space is limited!



We’re Going to Scotland! Wanna Come?

By 2012 - Scotland, All Things Travel, Alumni Abroad, Europe No Comments

Springtime in Scotland: A Celtic Pilgrimage

SSU is proud to announce our upcoming study trip to Scotland! Students, alumni, and friends are invited to participate in this 9-day trip throughout the lowlands and highlands of the Scotland.

Mark your calendars and book your time off and embark on this journey with our fearless leader and Celtic saint, Gregg Finley!  Here are some preliminary details, but stay tuned for a detailed itinerary and instructions on saving your spot!

WHEN–April 29th-May6th, 2012
WHERE–All over Scotland, from Glasgow to Iona, Skye, Inverness, Edinburgh and more!
WHAT--Historical sites like Culloden, and Holy Isles  like Iona & Skye and yes even a few Scotch Whiskey distilleries.
HOW–Travel by luxury motor coach and sleep in tourist class hotels (no camping on this trip!)
COST–The price will vary slightly depending on the final number of people, but expect it to be around $3500 per person. This will include everything except your lunches.
CAN I GET UNIVERSITY CREDIT?– Yes, this trip is a 3-credit hour course with readings and assignments for anyone who would like to take it for undergraduate credit.

“The tourist goes to see and collect (memories and mementos); the pilgrim goes to be changed.”    Daniel Taylor, In Search of Sacred Places: Looking for Wisdom on Celtic Holy Islands


Snooze at Versailles?

By All Things Travel No Comments

For anyone who’s been to Versailles on one of our trips, it makes an impression to say the least. Whether you’re appalled at the opulence, or overwhelmed by the extravagance, you definitely won’t forget being there.

Well, now you can more firmly implant that memory with a sleep as a private company has taken over one of the mansions badly in need of repair and is turning it into a hotel (click here for more details). Opinions go back and forth on whether or not government  and taxpayers should continue to pour millions into historic sites like this, or whether they should be turned over to private enterprise so that they can remain cost effective, if less historically representative.

Whaddya think Gregg Finley? Is there room for private enterprise in the preservation of UNESCO Heritage sites like this and other architectural gems?

He Restores My Soul

By 2010, Europe No Comments

While in Dresden we visited the Frauenkirche, a church which was destroyed during World War II in the Dresden firebombing. The story of this church became intensely personal to me and has been colouring the trip for me.

The Frauenkirche was originally thought to have survived the bombing, however, two days afterward, the dome collapsed thereby reducing the church to stones and dust. It stayed this way until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The church was then reconstructed using the blueprints from the original church as well as sandstone from the same quarry the original sandstone was from. All the rubble was gone through to see what could be reused. Some of the stones were placed back where they had been originally, other stones were used to make up entire sections. The church was consecrated in 2005.

At the beginning of the trip Gregg Finley read to us Psalm 23. He emphasized verse three which reads, “He restores my soul”. In Jeremy Wiebe’s philosophy 300 class last semester we read an article on sexual violence, I don’t remember the author or the title of the article, but there was a particular sentence which stood out to me, I will paraphrase: “When our lives are shattered and lying in pieces we are given the opportunity to pick them up and choose what we want to keep and what we want to throw away”. Is it possible that the restoration of a church such as the Frauenkirche could speak not only of the restoration of  a building but also of individual human souls?

Last semester was very difficult for me, not academically, but personally. I spent most of the semester bitter and angry, broken hearted and lost; my life felt, and to some extent still feels like a pile of rubble. Just as the rubble of the Frauenkirche was gone through, some reused, some thrown away, so am I going through the pieces of my life, choosing what I want to keep and what I want to throw away. And just as the Frauenkirche was restored to its original beauty and brilliance in the Dresden skyline, so is God restoring my soul.

tribute to the Finster

By 2010, Europe No Comments

Just 3 days before Dr. Gregg Finley departs the Europe group, today he spoke 3 words that help me understand why he is a valued member of this community, on and off the road. “Here he comes!” he said, as I jogged toward the dinner line for the evening meal of schnitzel.

Those words point to Gregg’s consistent practice of drawing attention to those around him. I doubt that he was aware of the significance of those 3 words today because this practice is so deeply entrenched into his character. His life having been soaked in selflessness and serving others, comments like this are but tiny indicators of how he lives his life.

Both in Europe and back at SSU, most of Gregg’s time outside of class and dean responsibilities is spent listening to us, asking how we are doing, what’s going on in our lives, what the condition of our soul is. As a result, the quality of all of our lives improves. It’s been a great trip so far, partially because Gregg continues to care for those around him, noticing their contributions to our community in the midst of expressing his own. So in 3 days we’ll proudly, but with a touch of sadness say, “there he goes.”


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