Since 2006, Herbert W. Armstrong College has participated in archaeological excavations in Jerusalem, partnering with Dr. Eilat Mazar, a prominent Israeli archaeologist.

Between 2006 and 2008, the college contributed a handful of students who participated in phases two and three of Dr. Mazar’s excavations at the summit of the City of David and who also helped discover Nehemiah’s wall. A pair of graduates assisted in the first phase of Dr. Mazar’s Ophel excavations in late 2009 and early 2010. The college contributed a group of 16 students and alumni for the second phase, which lasted from August 2012 to January 2013. Another group of seven went in the summer of 2013 to continue work on the second phase. It was during this time that the Menorah Medallion was discovered. In early 2018, 12 students and graduates assisted in completing the second phase of the Ophel excavation. The Ophel and the City of David are located just south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Armstrong students have helped excavate key discoveries, including King David’s palace, Nehemiah’s wall, and the Solomonic wall, usually participating for the duration of each excavation season, lasting from two to six months. Dr. Mazar has also assigned AC graduates to work as area supervisors, a position often held by an individual with an extensive background and a degree in archaeology. Experienced graduates train new AC volunteers in field work, and Dr. Mazar has said the Armstrong volunteers are valuable to her team. Armstrong students and graduates also produce content for the excavation’s blog,

While in Israel, students also become immersed in biblical history, taking field trips to museums and ancient sites such as Caesarea, Capernaum, Megiddo, Hazor and Shiloh, as well as to sites like the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean coast and other destinations. They experience Israeli culture and learn Hebrew to differing degrees. Following excavations, some students and graduates have assisted Dr. Mazar in processing artifacts and publishing her academic reports of her archaeological findings through Hebrew University.

The college’s archaeological involvement continues a partnership that existed between Herbert W. Armstrong and Dr. Mazar’s grandfather, Prof. Benjamin Mazar of Hebrew University. In 1968, after Israel won control of the Temple Mount area, Professor Mazar began excavating Jerusalem, winning an Israel Prize for Jewish studies, and partnering with Mr. Armstrong and Ambassador College the same year. Groups of up to 70 Ambassador students went to Jerusalem to serve in Professor Mazar’s workforce on the eight-acre “Big Dig.” The joint partnership between Ambassador College and Hebrew University lasted for a decade.

On January 15, 2012, the “Seals of Jeremiah’s Captors Discovered” exhibit opened in Armstrong Auditorium. The archaeological exhibit featured First Temple-period artifacts, including two clay seals once used by Judean princes who persecuted the Prophet Jeremiah in the sixth century B.C. The princes are mentioned together in Jeremiah 38:1. Approximately 4,592 visitors came through the exhibit between its opening in January 2012 and its close in October 2015.

The college continues to contribute funding and labor to the biblical archaeology work of Dr. Eilat Mazar in Jerusalem.