Bethel University Visits Bethlehem Bible College
In early January, Bethlehem Bible College was host to a group from Bethel University and Seminary, St. Paul, MN. The group consisted of Dr. Rahn Franklin, VP of Inclusive Excellence, Dr. Scott Winter, Professor of Journalism, and Dr. Kaz Hayashi, Professor of Old Testament. The purpose of the visit was to explore ways in which the two schools might establish a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationship which would contribute to the education of students and faculty from both institutions.
The trip grew out of a year-long series of conversations between Dr. Franklin and Randy Tomlinson, a Bethel alum and BethBC Ambassador, about the growing difficulty that many factions in American society find in listening to the “other,” whether in political, religious, or racial contexts. The question was raised, given the work that Bethlehem Bible College and many affiliated with the school are doing regarding social justice, reconciliation, and peacemaking, what might we in America learn from our Palestinian brothers and sisters?
With the help of Bart Den Boer, Chairman of the Board for Bethlehem Bible College’s US organization, an itinerary was set, and tickets were purchased. During the week the team was in Bethlehem, they met with Dr. Jack Sara as well as with a number of faculty and staff members. Discussions included reviews of programs and facilities, and ideas were exchanged about the capabilities as well as the challenges faced by both schools. Since few Bethel students or staff speak Arabic, the group met with several BethBC students for dinner and an evening of conversation that made it clear that American students would have no problems with language or with relating to their local counterparts should they visit Bethlehem.
As with all evangelical colleges in the US, the Bethel team came with an awareness of the “ancient stones” of the Land. During their short trip, they grew in their understanding and appreciation of the “living stones” – of Christian brothers and sisters in Palestine in general and in Bethlehem Bible College specifically. Many challenges remain in the building of a meaningful and practical relationship between the schools, but the desire is evident on both sides. We ask for your prayers for wisdom among those engaged in the process, and that God will make His plan clear.
For more information on the specifics of the trip and/or updates on progress, or for more information about Bethlehem Bible College’s Ambassador Program, please reach out to Randy Tomlinson, email@example.com.