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Bethlehem University

  • Research Institutions

  • Christianity (Catholicism)
  • جامعة بيت لحم‎

    • 5 Rue des Frères, Bethlehem, West Bank, State of Palestine

    • Bethlehem University Foundation, 6001Ammendale Road, Suite 200, Beltsville,MD 20705, USA
  • bethlehem

  • English, Arabic, German
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Provide quality higher education to the people of the State of Palestine; serve them in its role as a center for the advancement, sharing and use of knowledge.


Bethlehem University opened its doors on 1 October 1973 to 112 enrolled students. The idea of establishing a university eventually emerged from the visit of Pope Paul VI to the Holy Land in 1964. In fulfilment of the Pope’s desire to help the Palestinian people, the then Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Pio Laghi formed a committee of some educational and community leaders in 1972 and asked them for suggestions in order to follow up and implement a project. From those discussions emerged the idea of a university. In 1973, Protocols of Accord were signed between the Vatican and the Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian schools so they could run and administer the University. In the same year of 1973, Bethlehem University became the first registered university in the State of Palestine, and a founding member of the Palestinian Council for Higher Education in 1978.

IRD Activities

  • Faith exchange

    To strengthen its commitment through action, the Religious Studies Department offers two courses about dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jews. These courses are co-taught by a faculty member who is Muslim and a faculty member who is Christian and serves students of both faith traditions in the same classes. The courses provide students with the academic arena through which to explore their own faith traditions and the faith tradition of the others while maintaining a spirituality of dialogue

  • International conference

    The International Religious Conference "Exploring Christian-Muslim Relations in the Middle East and the West" was organised by the university and placed emphasis on sharing the personal experiences of people living in different communities in order to exchange insights that could aid in practicing coexistence

  • Short program on interreligious dialogue

    The 2-day program in interreligious dialogue, organized by the guest lecturer from the German Association for Development Cooperation, included serious and focused group discussions, allowing participants to share difficult experiences with people from religions other then their own, express their understandings of Christianity and Islam, and search for what is common and what is not. By the end of the two-day program the nine students became more aware of how talking about their religions in the face of the other touches deeply on identity, a sensitive issue, and that religious expression can be more cultural than spiritual. Each student made a commitment to personally engage others in interreligious conversation and to help organize a follow up to this experience

  • Christian Muslim Coexistence

    Professor of Religious Studies at Bethlehem University attended conference in Alexandria on Christian-Muslim dialogue organized by the Jesuits of the Near East Province

  • Peace through encounter

    Muslim professor of Islam in the Religious Studies Department of Bethlehem University participated in the conference entitled "Building Peace Through Interreligious Encounters" in the U.S. While visiting Notre Dame University.

  • Main Focus Countries of Activities

    Bethlehem, State of Palestine - Bethlehem, State of Palestine - Bethlehem, State of Palestine - Alexandria, Egypt - Notre Dame, IN, USA