A Look Back at 2022: A Year of Great Success and Loss
As we enter a new year with hearts filled with hope, we recall the past year with all its successes, losses, and good and bad days.
This year we lost a great leader and a legend that meant a lot to the college – he was our dear friend and a huge supporter, Brother Andrew of Open Doors. Unfortunately, we also lost one of our Diploma in Tour Guiding graduates, “Abu Naji,” who died young due to heart issues.
Yet, we believe that God is good and He took us on a remarkable journey of development and success this year. I’ll leave you with our highlights of 2022:
- We moved forward with our five years strategic plan and objectives. For example, with a focus on our first goal of contextual academic research, our new Palestinian Christian Library, the Journal of Palestinian Christianity, and Academic Conferences open a wealth of academic resources to our students. We also started regular staff meetings to strengthen the relationship between staff and between staff and leadership.
- We were blessed with five new staff members in different departments.
- We celebrated the success of the graduates from the Tour Guiding Program in the Tour Guide Examination, where the students were distinguished by their performance and a very high success rate.
Also Mr. Haytham Dieck organized a tour guiding course for students from Nablus and Jenin, and the course was very successful.
- One of our biggest highlights was that we received renewed institutional accreditation from the Asian Theological Association, and a new one from the European Council on Theological Education, and accreditation for the Online BA and Diploma in Biblical Studies Program and the Peace Studies Certificate.
- We had two conferences in 2022. One was “Christ at the Checkpoint Conference: Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” with 100 international and local attendees. BethBC also hosted the 7th and 8th Annual Global Leadership Summits.
- The Bethlehem Institute of Peace and Justice’s online courses continue to gain wide approval. Along with partnering with St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada, Eastern University in St. David’s, Pennsylvania also approved all three BIPJ’s Certificate Program courses to be added as electives to its MA in Theological and Cultural Anthropology.
- This year, we launched the Online BA in Biblical Studies Program, with students worldwide.
- For our community, the Community Outreach Center organized a summer camp for kids and courses such as English, Social Media, Hebrew and Public Speaking.
- Our Women’s Ministry did workshops for women in the community that focused on their mental and spiritual growth. They produced two issues of “A Pot in His Hand” magazine, and continued their monthly gatherings.
- The Shepherd Society also had quite a year. In December, they hosted their annual Christmas celebration for their beneficiaries, with 700 people attending. In August, they received a group of doctors with different specialties from the Christian Medical & Dental Association. They treated 1,100 patients from the Bethlehem area. They also had their annual refugee trip in June to serve Syrian refugees.
Our accomplishments this past year are too many to mention in a small article, and we are grateful for this. We are looking forward to 2023, to the lives the college will change, and the leaders that will come out to the community to make an impact, for our main focus and goal is our students, their growth and impact! Please keep them in your prayers!