Chairman of BethBC: Dr. Tanas Alqassis
Whether on campus, or overseas, servants of God don’t hesitate to serve Him and work for His Kingdom through BethBC. Our special servant for this month is the Chairman of Bethlehem Bible College’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Tanas Alqassis. Tanas is currently living in England, and we were blessed to have him among us for a week for the board of trustees annual meeting. I had the opportunity to meet Tanas and have an interesting chat with him about his life, mission and vision.
Tanas was born in Beit Sahour, Palestine to a Christian family. He is the regional manager for the Church Mission Society for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Tanas has a vision to change the way the West views the Middle East and the way the Middle East views the West. He has a passion for education and media and the firm belief that the only solution for the Middle East is Jesus Christ. He has his Master’s degree in Leadership, and Doctorate in Ministry concentrating on Practical Leadership.
“I left Palestine in 1986 to study Accounting at Bob Jones University in the USA. There, I met my wife, Anna. I graduated in 1990, and I came back to Palestine. My very first job was at Bethlehem Bible College, where I worked as an accountant for four months. It was the best time of my life!”
After that, Tanas worked for World Vision in Jerusalem for nine years as the finance/administration manager. At that time, he was still living in Beit Sahour with his wife. “After nine years of working for World Vision in Jerusalem, they asked me to go and work as the grant manager for World Vision Romania.”
After this, Tanas came back with his wife to Palestine, and worked for a year at Holy Land Trust; he has also been very involved with Musalaha, serving both on the board and as a leader of the desert encounters and other forms of training. As the political situation in Palestine started to worsen, Tanas’s wife, who is Danish, began having visa problems. She could no longer stay in the country, and Tanas had a good job opportunity in England, so they left. “Now I’m the regional manager for the Church Mission Society for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. I have around 50 missionaries who serve in Arab countries and Europe.”
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Five years ago, Dr. Bishara, the founder of BethBC, called Tanas and asked him to be one of the board members. Tanas agreed, and a few years later, he was elected to be the chairman of the board!
“As the board, it is our role is to make sure that the vision of the College is fulfilled. We are monitoring and evaluating; we make sure that the inner system of the College is going right, and that the mission is being fulfilled. We also ensure that the budget of the College is doing fine, and goals are being met. We think of the objectives for the upcoming year, and we also present the College internationally and locally. We make sure that we are always headed in the right direction, and we are fulfilling God’s call.”
Bethlehem Bible College is one of the first theological seminaries in the Middle East. And academically, it has one with the most PhD degree holding teachers. “Bethlehem Bible College is salt and light in this land. The College doesn’t care where you come from or what your religious background is; it opens its doors for you, and it helps in building leaders to serve their community. It plays a large role in bringing traditional churches together with the evangelical churches. And for us, Palestinian Christians, this is very important because we are minorities, and we need to be unified together.”
Internationally, Tanas sees that the College has an important voice in sharing the real story of the Palestinian nation to the world. A lot of internationals don’t even know that Palestinian Christians exist. “Dr. Bishara and Dr. Jack are doing an amazing job when they travel to churches and speak about the College and Christians in this land.” Tanas is committed to doing all he can to help the Body of Christ be reconciled and work together for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ and His testimony in us. We are very proud of Tanas, and we are blessed to have him as our chairman, for he is doing his best to bring the College to better places!
Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writings sign up for Bethlehem Bible College’s monthly newsletter.