Bethlehem University

Coordinates: 31°42′53.50″N 35°11′55.0″E / 31.7148611°N 35.198611°E / 31.7148611; 35.198611
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Bethlehem University
Indivisa Manent
Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve
Established1 October 1973
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
De La Salle Brothers
Academic affiliations
International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU)
ChancellorMost Rev. Monsignor Adolfo Tito Yllana
Vice-ChancellorBr. Peter Bray FSC, EdD
Administrative staff
c. 409
Undergraduates3,414 (fall 2023)

Bethlehem University (Arabic: جامعة بيت لحم) is a Catholic university located in the city of Bethlehem, in the West Bank; it is the first higher education institution founded in the occupied Palestinian territories.


Established shortly before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the university traces its roots to 1893, when the De La Salle Brothers opened schools in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Nazareth, along with others in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt; and to 1964's Pope Paul VI's visit to the Holy Land in which he promised the Palestinian people a university, a centre for Ecumenical Studies (Tantur Ecumenical Institute), and a school for children with special educational needs (Effetá Paul VI School).

Bethlehem University is the first established university in Palestine and the only Catholic university in the Holy Land (excluding seminary schools and theological or biblical institutes). It continues to be a joint project supported by the Vatican and run by the De La Salle Brothers aiming to serve the Palestinian people.

Bethlehem University is among the most prestigious and internationally recognized universities in Palestine.


Bethlehem University students are predominantly Muslim (~75%). The proportion of Christian students (~25%) is far greater than the average Christian presence in Palestinian society (~0.5%).[1] Bethlehem University has also a 78% female student body. Bethlehem University takes pride in being a Catholic University where Muslims feel also at home.

Interreligious character[edit]

Bethlehem University is the only formal educational institution in the Holy Land where Christian and Muslim students study and reflect on their respective religions and that of the others in common groups and settings. Its unique course in Religious Studies is taught in alternative sessions by Muslim and Christian Scholars and Theologians respectively. This course is available for all faculties and programs as part of the core curriculum of the university.

Besides this, all religious groups are welcome at Bethlehem University, which currently counts among its students Christians of many different denominations including Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Russian Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Greek Catholic, and others.

Accessibility for students with disabilities[edit]

Bethlehem University is the only University in Palestine which facilities are fully accessible to wheelchairs. Historically, Bethlehem University commits to provide its students with special educational needs all the support they need to achieve graduation. The center for students with special needs provides specialized advisory and counseling services to students, adapts exams and materials into more accessible formats (including Braille language) and ensures each student's needs is adequately attended to. Currently, many students with mobility challenges and sensorial disabilities study at Bethlehem University.


  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities
    • Department of Humanities
    • Department of English
    • Department of Arabic
    • Department of Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Education
    • Department of Early Childhood Education
    • Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy (Secondary Education)
  • Faculty of Applied Sciences, Technology and Engineering
  • Shucri Ibrahim Dabdoub Faculty of Business Administration
  • Tarek Ahmad Juffali Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism


  • Executive Vice-president
    • Fr. Iyad Twal,PhD. Vice-president
  • Vice-president for Academic Affairs
    • Dr. Iman Saca, PhD. Vice-president
  • Faculty of Arts
    • Ms. Hanadi I. Soudah-Younan, Dean
  • Shucri Ibrahim Dabdoub, Faculty of Business Administration
    • Dr. Fadi Kattan, PhD. Dean
  • Faculty of Education
    • Br. Alejandro González Cerna FSC, PhD. Dean
  • Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences
    • Ms. Salam Awad, Dean
  • Faculty of Applied Sciences, Technology and Engineering
    • Dr. Michel Hanania, PhD. Dean
  • Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism
    • Mr. Elias Juha, Director
  • Dean of Research Office
    • Dr. Jamil Khader, PhD. Dean
  • Dean of Students Office
    • Dr. Mohammad Awad, PhD. Dean

Graduate programs[edit]

  • Master of Business Administration in International Cooperation and Development (MICAD)
  • Master of Science in Biotechnology
  • Master of Arts in Tourism Studies
  • Master of Arts in Community Social Work [2]
  • Master of Science in Oncology and Paliative Care Nursing
  • Master of Arts in education. Creative Pedagogies and Community Practices
  • Higher Diploma in Neonatal Nursing
  • Higher Diploma in Emergency Nursing
  • Higher Diploma in Education. Teaching Christian Religion
  • Higher Diploma in Education. Upper Basic Level - Teaching Science
  • Higher Diploma in Education. Upper Basic Level - Teaching Mathematics
  • Higher Diploma in Education. Upper Basic Level - Teaching Social Studies
  • Higher Diploma in Education. Upper Basic Level - Teaching English Language
  • Higher Diploma in Education. Upper Basic Level - Teaching Arabic Language

Institutes and centers[edit]

  • Brother Vincent Malham Center of Arabic Language for Foreigners
  • Palestinian Traditional Music Archive
  • The Arabic School for Overseas Students & Diplomats
  • Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute
  • Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • Hereditary Research Laboratory
  • Institute for Community Partnership (ICP)
  • Zbierski Library
  • UNESCO Biotechnology, Educational and Training Center
  • Water And Soil Environmental Research Unit
  • Palestinian Museum of Natural History
  • Palestinian Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability
  • Zoroub Teaching Resource Center

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mission and History". Bethlehem University. Archived from the original on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  2. ^ "جامعة بيت لحم - جامعة بيت لحم". 3 November 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Bethlehem University at Wikimedia Commons

31°42′53.50″N 35°11′55.0″E / 31.7148611°N 35.198611°E / 31.7148611; 35.198611