BethBC Opens Its Doors for the 40th Year!
This year has been special, and it continues to be. As we are celebrating our 40th anniversary, we are remembering God’s faithfulness over BethBC and recalling the hard work of our leaders throughout the years. For the 40th year, we have opened our doors and hearts for a new semester to welcome new students and old ones!
If you ask us as a staff, we like it better when the College is full of life. We appreciate our students, and we love to see them around laughing, talking and filling the campus with their presence!
Mr. Gabriel Hanna, our Vice Academic Dean and Head of Students Affairs, is delighted to see our students back on campus as well as all the academic staff in the office!
The staff conducted 60 interviews with different students. “We took our time in interviewing the students, getting to know them, and understanding why they chose to study at the College. Honestly we didn’t care about quantity, but quality; we wanted to be sure that they chose us out of a calling from God.”
As for the Biblical Studies students, Gabriel said that they are perfect. They all see the College as a big opportunity for them to learn the Word of God, to grow in faith and to be part of a larger family and healthy community.
Throughout this year, the students will be attending weekly prayer meetings with faculty and staff – a tradition that has been ongoing for the past 40 years!
One of the special things that the academic office is providing for the students this year is a personal portfolio for each student’s ministry. The file includes a church ministry either with children or youth, and a community ministry that includes voluntary work in one of the community’s institutions:
“The goal of this portfolio is for the students to have networks, to gain experience, and to apply what they have learned in the church and community,” said Gabriel.
This is in addition to the amazing academic courses that are well developed every year and are being taught by our well-equipped professors.
Mr. Carlos Zelfo, the MA in Christian Leadership Program Coordinator, said that this new semester we have six students, of whom four are from the Bethlehem area and two are from Gaza. They are taking two courses: one in Christian ethics and the second in Christian education. He reinforced this by saying, “We are now working on making the MA program online in order to open opportunities for students from around the Arab World to participate in the program.”
With regard to the Tour Guiding Program, Mr. Haytham Deik, the program’s coordinator, is so happy with his 24 new students. “My new students are from different places in Bethlehem and Hebron. They are amazing, and have great potential. I’m looking forward to the two years ahead of us.” He added, “Most of my students this year have high degrees, and they speak many languages fluently, such as Chinese, German, Italian, French, and Dutch. They all have a calling and a message and that’s why they chose to study tour guiding.”
That’s what makes us special at BethBC. Our students, who chose us not only because of our academic excellence, but because they have a greater calling: a call for change and to make a difference in the world!
As we are starting this new academic year, we are so thankful for our Lord who led us in this journey step by step and provided for all of our needs. After 40 years, we are still opening our doors to new students again and again in hopes of continuing our journey of faithfulness.
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.