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Bethlehem University

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Bethlehem University
جامعة بيت لحم
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. Hernán Santos González FSC, PhD
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.

In 2017 the Palestine Museum of Natural History opened on the campus; it is closely linked to the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability.[1][2]


Bethlehem University students are predominantly Muslim (~75%) and female (~78%), with Christians representing ~25% of the students.[3]


  • Arts & Humanities
  • Business Administration
  • Education
  • Nursing & Health Sciences
  • Applied Sciences, Technology & Engineering
  • Institute of Hotel Management & Tourism

Interreligious character

Bethlehem University is the only formal educational institution in the Holy Land where Christian and Muslim students formally learn, study and reflect on their respective religions and that of the others in mixed groups and settings.

All religious groups are welcome at the 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.

Graduate programs

  • Master of Business Administration in International Cooperation and Development (MICAD)
  • Masters in Governance & Administration of the Public Sector (MGAPS)
  • Master of Science in Biotechnology
  • Master of Arts in Tourism Studies
  • Master of Arts in Community Social Work [4]
  • Master of Science in Oncology and Palliative Care Nursing
  • Master of Arts in Education. Creative Pedagogies and Community Practices (MOCP)
  • 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

See also


  1. ^ "Biodiversity and hope flourish at Palestine's first natural history museum". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 4 November 2023.
  2. ^ "Palestine Museum of Natural History". ngarchitects. Retrieved 4 November 2023.
  3. ^ "Mission and History". Bethlehem University. Archived from the original on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  4. ^ "جامعة بيت لحم - جامعة بيت لحم". 3 November 2020.

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

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Bethlehem University
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