Bethlehem Bible College Honors Dr. Salim Munayer for 32 Years of Service to the College and the Palestinian Community
Bethlehem Bible College held a celebration last week in honor of Dr. Salim Munayer for 32 years of service to the College and the Arab Christian community in Palestine. Dr. Salim began his work at the College as one of the first local professors in 1986. By 1989, he was offered the position of Academic Dean. At that time, he focused on recruiting, training, and empowering local leaders from Palestine, especially women, to be teachers who could better serve the local community.
Dr. Salim is an educator of generations who taught and influenced many students and professors. He taught us to love and defend our homeland armed with the Bible and gave us the confidence to confront, defend and speak up with justice and truth as our motto. Only those of us who took the class on John’s Revelation with Dr. Salim will understand all its complexities, implications, and depth! And now, after 32 years of service in the College, he is leaving us to start a new journey in his life. Our feelings are conflicted between joy and sadness, sadness for his leaving, and joy because we got the opportunity to work with him and learn from him.
On November 5th, the College held a simple yet beautiful ceremony for Dr. Salim with the presence of all the College’s staff, teachers, administration, and students, Dr. Salim’s family and friends, and the College’s friends. We recalled our memories with Dr. Salim, and many teachers, administrators, and members of the Board of Directors offered a special message to him while recalling their memories with him.
The College also issued a book titled “Towards a Renewed Mind: Evangelical Intellectual Contributions within the Palestinian Context,” co-written by a group of Palestinian evangelical theologians and intellectuals in honor of Dr. Salim. Among those who wrote the book were his four sons, with the participation of the Nazareth Evangelical College and the “Come and See” Ministry.
In his closing speech, Dr. Salim said that he joined the College at first because real theological richness occurs in small colleges and not in large universities, stressing that Bethlehem Bible College gave him the freedom for theological writing. “Despite all the challenges, we have succeeded as a college, for we have professors and books that we have written and published, and we are affecting the whole world through our theology, which is a blessing to the church in the entire world.” He stressed that we, as a college, have to give freedom to our students and encourage and support them to write theological books, whether men or women, but especially women.
He added, “My last word is that despite the challenges and dangers that have occurred during the years, specifically during the first and second intifada, we continued to teach and carry out our message. I remember well when the tank was standing at the College’s front door ready to bombard the camp, while we were sitting in the class studying the Epistle of Paul to the Romans chapters 9-11.”
With great pride and from all our hearts, we thank Dr. Salim Munayer for his service to Bethlehem Bible College during all these long years. Thank you, Doctor, for what you have taught us! Thank you for your great person, efforts, and writings that affected not only Palestine but also the whole world!
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.