Wise Women of BethBC
Gender equality is one of Bethlehem Bible College’s core values. It seemed appropriate to bring greater attention to this due to the amazing achievements of a few of our faculty members during International Women’s Month. Our hard-working staff and faculty strive to provide quality education that holistically ministers to our students, and we are thankful for their commitment and fortitude.
Our first faculty member we are celebrating is our guidance specialist and on-campus counselor, Dr. Madleine Sara. Dr. Madleine teaches and provides counseling at the College, all the while remaining heavily involved in other ministries such as serving on the pastoral team at her local church in Jerusalem, counseling and coaching women for her ministry called A Pot in His Hand and raising her family.
Having recently received her Doctorate in Spiritual and Leadership Formation at George Fox University, Dr. Madleine is forging new paths in a culture and society that is often resistant to female leadership. Her dissertation was focused on Palestinian women in the evangelical local church. She tackled difficult and often controversial scriptures concerning the leadership of women in the church and came out convinced that women can and should be involved in leadership roles not only in the church but in society as well. Her hope is to take the church a step forward in recognizing the blessing of having women involved in more positions of leadership and allowing them to fulfill God’s calling in their lives without gender restrictions.
“I hope to use my dissertation to open more discussions, and to teach my own research in trainings for next generation leaders. I want to coach women leaders, helping to be a spiritual director for others, and to help further this in Arab culture, where it is especially lacking.”
Additionally, one of our other faculty members, Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen, the head of the department for BA studies, was recently accepted to a Ph. D. Theology program at the London School of Theology. Her dissertation is titled, “Theological Education of Women in the Arab World: An Exploration of Religious and Cultural Assumptions Impacting Their Participation.”
Grace, too, has long been passionate about women in education and is adamant in seeking out ways to empower women in the area of education, but specifically theological education. Grace’s study and research up to this point has revealed that while it is definitely an issue within Arab culture, there is a long way to go world-wide when it comes to women being educated in theological studies. She sees the potential in the Arab women and students she works with, but sees the lack of position, placement or even opportunities for these women to pursue furthering their knowledge of theology in this context and culture. Much of this has driven her to the topic of her dissertation.
“This work will stretch me. It is forcing me to be exposed to different views, and I hope to do all of this for God’s glory. My hope is that more people will study God’s Word, and that my work will be an encouragement to those around me.”
Through their own context and experience in this society, Madleine and Grace are forging a new way forward within the Arab Christian culture of the importance of women in leadership and education. Through their dedication and fortitude in pursuing a field that is marginalized and often goes unnoticed, they are sowing seeds of empowerment and change. These wise women of BethBC are laying the groundwork that we pray and strive to see bearing fruit now, but also in the future. We are so proud of their hard work, but also of their character, boldness and steadfastness in this endeavor.
Kamila is volunteering full-time with Bethlehem Bible College in the Communications Department. In addition to her love for writing and sharing stories, her endeavors in Bethlehem and greater Palestine involve facilitating cultural immersion programs for young adults from North America to see first-hand the realities that those living here encounter. At times deemed the “eternal optimist,” Kamila holds fast to the future hope of restoration and reconciliation of all things back to God. When she’s not writing, or organizing trips, you’ll catch her training and competing with the Ultimate Palestine frisbee team.