Bethlehem Bible College Launches Master of Arts in Peace and Justice
With the conviction that when violent conflict intensifies efforts for peace must be multiplied, Bethlehem Bible College (BethBC) has launched an innovative new peace studies program. In cooperation with St. Stephen’s University of New Brunswick, Canada, BethBC has initiated an accredited, online Master of Arts in Peace and Justice (MAPJ). As Jack Sara, the president of BethBC, declares, “We are excited for this new accredited MAPJ which opens the door for students throughout the world to study with Bethlehem Bible College. The MAPJ is one of the highlights of our Bethlehem Institute of Peace and Justice. It builds upon our online Certificate Program in Peacemaking and Justice.”
A unique feature of the two-year, 39-credit MAPJ is that students will focus on peacemaking and justice in the Palestinian context. Palestinian scholars and leaders provide the lectures in the courses which are developed by the college. Also, in the second year of the program students will pursue a two-week Summer Intensive based on the Bethlehem Bible College campus. This Summer Intensive focuses on field study and will explore the challenges for peace on site in Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho, Jerusalem, Nablus, and Nazareth.
The MAPJ is convenient for those with busy work schedules because it is both online and asynchronous; that is, students can access the pre-recorded lectures at their convenience. Courses include The Inner Transformation of a Peacemaker, Theology of Peace and Justice, Peace and Violence in the New Testament, Practical Non-Violence and Peacebuilding, Religion, Peace and Conflict, Peace and Justice in the Old Testament, Peacemaking and Justice in the Palestinian Context. The MAPJ culminates with a thesis, or directed research coupled with a major research paper.
Munther Isaac, the academic dean of Bethlehem Bible College says, “We are so glad this dream has been realized. We have been working for two years on the formation of the MAPJ. We are confident it will be a valuable experience for students throughout the world who want to learn more of how Palestinians are working for peace against all odds.” Andrew Bush, the director of the Bethlehem Institute of Peace and Justice adds, “We encourage students who are enthusiastic about peacemaking and justice to consider this new MAPJ. They will be challenged and transformed, as I have been, by learning in the Palestinian context. People can learn more by exploring our BIPJ website, www.bipj.org.”