Join the Consortium

The Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) is conducting the Search for Joshua's Ai: The Excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir for which we are seeking help and partnerships from other evangelical institutions and individuals. Because of limited resources, ABR cannot effectively complete this project by itself. Therefore, educational institutions, churches, Christian ministries, corporations and private individuals are invited to participate in the endeavor.

ABR is forming a consortium of interested parties to carry out the excavation. ABR will supply the professional expertise, organization, and leadership for the project while consortium members will be called upon to provide manpower and funding. To make participation in the excavation available to as many individuals as possible, dig seasons are only two weeks in length. In conjunction with each dig, optional touring of major Biblical and archaeological sites in Israel is offered. A typical program consists of several touring options, ten days of excavating and one free day (subject to change based on participation).

As part of its mission to train others in the field archaeology, ABR conducts a Field School as an integral part of the tour and excavation. ABR recognizes that the level of funding available from prospective members of the consortium varies. Therefore, several levels of participation, with a sliding scale of benefits, have been established. Membership in the consortium is on a yearly basis.

All consortium members receive the following benefits:

  • A unique opportunity to participate in what may be one of the most important discoveries in Biblical archaeology in defense of the Scriptures.
  • Recognition in the publication of the excavation results.
  • Copies of all publications pertaining to the excavation.

  • Participation in the ABR Field School. The Field School consists of daily evening lectures by the core staff on places visited while touring, archaeological methodology, pottery typology, the Conquest (including the Ai problem), the early Judges period, the New Testament house and village, and the Byzantine Monastery.
  • Member schools are encouraged to offer credit to students taking part in the program.
  • A faculty member who participates in the excavation on a regular basis is given the opportunity to be trained as a Square Supervisor. The faculty member is then assigned his/her own square to excavate, along with students from the faculty member’s institution.
  • Authorization to publicize participation in the excavation.

Levels of consortium membership, with corresponding benefits:

Consortium Patron— Supports the project with an annual gift of $6,000.00 or more. Qualifies for the “Five for One” faculty participation plan for an unlimited number of faculty members. For each five students from the faculty members’ institution participating in the program at full cost, one faculty member’s room and board will be covered.

Consortium Sponsor— Supports the project with an annual gift of $3,000.00. Qualifies for the “Five for One” faculty participation plan for two faculty members. For each five students from the faculty members’ institution participating in the program at full cost, 50 % of a faculty member’s room and board will be covered, up to a total of two faculty members.

Consortium Member—Supports the project with an annual gift of $1,000.00. Groups and individuals who become Consortium Members will be recognized in pertinent ABR publications.

Our consortium package allows for these different levels of participation, depending upon the interests and objectives of your institution. Levels of participation can be customized to fit the unique circumstances of your school. This project is being conducted with the highest level of academic rigor, and most importantly, with fidelity to the Scriptures as the inerrant and authoritative Word of God.

Please contact Henry B. Smith Jr., ABR Director of Development, for more information on how your organization can be involved in one of the most exciting archaeological and apologetic projects ever!

The 2013 Excavation team, which consisted of Consortium and Institutional Supporters:

  • The Master's Seminary 
  • Lee University
  • Dallas Theological Seminary

In 2014, ABR will also be supported by Southern Evangelical Seminary.


We are very grateful to these institutions for their commitment to ABR and the authority of the Bible!

ABR Security Statement

ABR is closely monitoring the violence in Israel and the Palestinian controlled territories. While the violence is often contained in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip and the coastal region of Israel, it has now spilled over into East Jerusalem and the West Bank where the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation is located. Americans and other westerners are almost never the focus of violence, but we have growing concerns over the security for our guards and other Israeli staff members. Based on these developments, the Winter Dig has been canceled for 2015. There is a possibility that the Maqatir excavations may be postponed in May-June 2016. Presently, we are moving forward with our plans in prayer, as the situation could subside in the coming months. We are working on alternative plans to excavate elsewhere in Israel in 2016, such as Shiloh, Gezer, or the Temple Mount Sifting Project. These projects are all in very safe areas of Israel. If we decide to move our project to Shiloh, this would be a new ABR dig and would hopefully span several years. In any of these cases, we plan to take a group to Israel this coming summer.

While we are being careful to exercise due diligence with wisdom, we have a strong sense of God's providential hand guiding us as we plan for the future. We are confident that ABR will be excavating in Israel this summer, and we are excited about the possibility of you joining us. Please join us in prayer for peace in Israel and for wisdom in making these important decisions concerning our excavations.

Associates for Biblical Research
  • PO Box 144, Akron, PA 17501
  • Phone: +1 717-859-3443 | Fax: +1 717-859-3393
  • Toll Free: 1-800-430-0008
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