Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا abouna.org
When one visits the Holy Land, one feels the scent of holiness since this land became holy being the place where Lord Jesus Christ was born, lived, conveyed the message of love and peace, died on the Cross, rose from the dead, and set a model of brotherly love which culminated in loving one’s enemies.
In line with the holiness of this land, a Catholic university, that carries the name of the place where Lord Jesus was born, and is located in the vicinity of the Nativity Church. It is Bethlehem University that came into being in 1973 following the historic visit of Pope Paul VI to the Holy Land in 1964. The pope’s visit had been a great boost to the local people as it stimulated religious fervor and Christian pride. The visit set the ground for the establishment of Bethlehem University which originated with the desire of Pope Paul VI to do something to help the local community.
This Catholic Church has enriched the Holy Land with the introduction of university education to students from Bethlehem and the neighboring region through the establishment of Bethlehem University 47 ago. This university has served to help the local population pursue higher education in a plethora of majors with the aim of serving the local society, creating job opportunities, and ensuring the Christians a bright future with a hope that this would curtail or stem Christian emigration.
Bethlehem University which has been serving the local community for 47 years, has 407 faculty members and staff, a total of 17,800 alumni with a total of 3,414 students are currently enrolled.
Over the years, Bethlehem University maintained academic cooperation with leading universities in the world which enabled its graduates to pursue higher studies abroad and acquire leading positions in society. Its graduates have been serving humanity in the various parts of the world with records of successful achievements.
Bethlehem University has served as an asset for Bethlehem and the local community as the services it provides helps in the advancement of local communities. It emphasizes excellence in academic programs and fosters shared values, moral principles, and dedication to serving the common good.'
Among the recent achievements of Bethlehem University is that on November 11, 2020, Executive Vice President of the University Rev. Dr. Iyad Twal and Secretary of Qatar’s Permanent Committee for the Support of Jerusalem Major General Bilal Natsheh signed a cooperation agreement that aims primarily at supporting Jerusalem students enrolled in the university. This agreement augurs well for the students who currently face economic shortfalls due to the dire economic situation caused by corona pandemic which wreaked havoc on various sectors of life.
During its 44th graduation ceremonies that were held on November 3 and 4, 2020, Vice Chancellor Br. Peter Bray said, “Today the graduates have completed their time here and will leave Bethlehem University to serve their society and their local communities. We trust they will prove to be good ambassadors for Bethlehem University, but more importantly, to be worthy citizens serving the common good of their community and of Palestine.”
Bethlehem University is worthy all support for the role it plays, particularly at the current critical time, which augurs a bright future for the local population.