Discover the impact of the Christian faith with visits to iconic museums, institutes and centers that showcase the best of religious heritage in the United States. Follow the path of Jesus Christ and be thankful for all the blessings and miracles in your life as you learn about Biblical history. Pray to and praise the Lord with like-minded travelers while on your faith-based journey.
Ark Encounter, Williamstown, KY
Ark Encounter is a modern engineering marvel as it features a full-size Noah’s Ark built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. Spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high, this incredible creation amazes visitors young and old. Ark Encounter opened in 2016 and contains 132 bays, each standing about 18 feet high arranged into three decks. Bays on the first deck contain models of animals believed to be on the ark. The second deck features additional animal models along with dioramas of Noah’s workshop. Bays on the third deck contain displays presenting what many believe may have happened inside and outside the ark during the flood. Since its opening, Ark Encounter has attracted around 1 million visitors per year.
BibleWalk, Mansfield, OH
Affiliated with Diamond Hill Cathedral, BibleWalk features life-size figures and scenes from the Bible made out of wax, fiberglass and vinyl. A walk through the museum showcases a wax tableau of The Last Supper along with Jesus and the Children and The Women at the Well. Along with housing a collection of rare Bibles, religious artifacts and folk art, popular exhibits at the museum are the Christian Art Gallery and The Walk of the Parables featuring 39 original oil paintings by noted religious artist Mark Pedro. The museum also has dinner shows throughout the year like the King’s Christmas Story and the Inn Keeper.
Billy Graham Library, Charlotte, NC
Learn about the legacy of Christian evangelist Billy Graham through presentations, pictures, music and artifacts at the Billy Graham Library. Styled like a dairy barn, the library showcases themes like “The Man,” “The Message,” “The Ministry” and “The Mission” with the Gospel of Jesus Christ being at the forefront. Offered daily at the library is the Journey of Faith tour that chronicles the journey of the evangelist to the world.
Boston Theological Institute, Boston, MA
A consort of 10 theological schools and seminaries encompassing Orthodox, Jewish, Protestant and Catholic schools in the Boston area, the Boston Theological Institute focuses on the enrichment and advancement of theological education. In addition to offering certificates and courses in theology, the institute also hosts conferences to promote interreligious learning and has an extensive collection of theological material in its on-site library.
Creation Museum, Petersburg, KY
The 75,000-square-foot Creation Museum showcases a literal interpretation of the creation narrative from the Book of Genesis in the Bible. Starting from Creation and ending with the return of Christ, some notable exhibits at the museum include the realistic Garden of Eden, dioramas of the Flood and full-size dinosaur skeleton replica of an Allosaurus. Other attractions are Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium with interactive displays of a world-class insect collection and picturesque Botanical Gardens with over 550 varieties of plants, a three-acre lake, fountains and a koi pond. The museum also houses a planetarium and a 4D theater with daily shows and offers fun family activities like outdoor zip lining and a free fall experience.
Holy Land Experience, Orlando, FL
The Holy Land Experience is a Christian-based theme park with shows and exhibits that brings the world of the Bible to life. Attractions at the park are educational, inspirational and historic and include the Holy Land Experience Scriptorium museum with the Van Kampen Collection of biblically related artifacts and an exact replica of the Garden Tomb where the body of the Lord Jesus Christ was buried. There is also the largest indoor replica of Jerusalem dating to 66 A.D. and the 2,000-seat Church of All Nations where worship concerts, church services and live productions are held. In addition to activities for children like rock-climbing and mini golf, the park has multiple gift shops including the Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh Shop and Ex Libris Book Shoppe with Bibles, biographies and lithographs and dining outlets.
Museum of the Bible, Washington D.C.
The sprawling eight-floor, 430,000 square-foot Museum of the Bible showcases rare artifacts related to biblical history and Christian culture. With its impressive entrance comprising glass panes with engraved translations of Psalm 19 in 16 languages, the museum affords a 140-foot-long Grand Hall Ceiling with illuminated manuscripts, nature and art and the 40-feet-high bronze Gutenberg Gates inscribed with the fist lines from the Book of Genesis in Latin. Other attractions in the museum include manuscripts and treasures from the Vatican Museums and the Vatican Library and over 40,000 objects and antiquities from the time of Abraham through the New Testament period.
Museum of Biblical Art, Dallas, TX
Housing 11 galleries including the National Center for Jewish Art and European Art Treasury, the Museum of Biblical Art showcases over 2,500 works that include paintings, sculptures, rare books and lithographs. Along with works by famous artists like Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall and Max Webber, other prominent galleries at the museum are an on-site Art Conservation Lab and the Via Dolorosa Sculpture Garden.
Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT
Owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Temple Square is a complex comprises attractions like the Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake Tabernacle and Seagull Monument. The North Visitors’ Center at the square features a replica statue of Jesus Christ, Christus housed in a domed room with painted with clouds, stars, planets and other heavenly bodies. There are free 45-minuted guided walking tours offered at the square every day along with activities like orchestra, choir and organ recitals.
By Devika Hosla