Bethlehem University


Bethlehem University is a Catholic co-educational institution in the Lasallian tradition whose mission is to provide quality higher education to the people of Palestine and to serve them in its role as a center for the advancement, sharing and use of knowledge.

Contact persons:

Mr. Mousa Rabadi, director of the institute of community partnership.

Mr. Elias Juha, Director of the institute of Hotel Management & Tourism

Bethlehem University

Brief Historical Background

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 Palestine, and a founding member of the Palestinian Council for Higher Education in 1978. Additionally, the University is a member in:

  • Association of Arab Universities (AAU)

  • Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU)

  • International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU)

  • International Association of Universities (IAU)

  • International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU)

  • Lasallian Association of College and University Presidents (LACUP)

  • Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED)

The International Board of Regents is the higher Governance body of Bethlehem University, followed by the Local Board of Trustees and the Internal Executive Council. The University has six academic faculties:

  1. Faculty of Arts

  2. Faculty of Business Administration

  3. Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences

  4. Faculty of Education

  5. Faculty of Science

  6. Institute of Hotel Management and Tourism

In addition to these faculties, the University has the following research and outreach centers:

  1. Abdel Rahman Zuroub Teachers’ Resource Center

  2. Arabic School for Foreigners

  3. Brother Vincent Malham Center; “Palestinian Traditional Music Archive”

  4. Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute