Bethlehem Bible College was founded because of the need for quality theological education located in Palestine. When the College began in 1979, many of the area’s most promising Christian leaders were leaving the country for an education. Once abroad, many of them, attracted by a new lifestyle and opportunities, did not return to help lead the church in their own country. The College gives young leaders a local option that helps to stem this exodus. BethBC is the only institution of its kind in Palestine or Israel that trains Palestinians in the Arabic language for a BA in Biblical Studies and Christian Education and MA in Christian Leadership and Ministry. The College also trains students in Mass Media and Tour Guiding. Annually the college trains between 150 and 200 students and reaches out to thousands in the community through humanitarian ministries. BethBC has nearly 40 years of experience in training Christian leaders. Their faculty includes world-renowned academics who are experts in the field of Palestinian theology.
Bethlehem Bible College serves to encourage the church’s continuing presence in both Palestine and Israel by empowering the Christians that have been the forerunners and bastion of the Christian faith for centuries. This is an urgent need due to the rapid decline of the Christian community over several decades from 9% to less than 2%, indicated by their classification as an Unreached People Group. Palestinian Christians continue to leave the Holy Land as a result of the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the physical and economic hardships that it creates. BethBC works alongside other Christian organizations to strengthen and revitalize the Christian community and serve as a respected bridge with the Muslim majority.
Due to numerous factors, including student growth, our Online Education Program, community education courses, and conferences and other events, the demands on BethBC faculty, staff and administration are always increasing. Our campus facilities are used for offices, classrooms, events, our library, Guest House, gift shop, and students’ dormitories. For all these facilities to function properly, we rely on non-renewable energy.
Bethlehem Bible College exists to:
- Train people to serve Christ in the world
- Advocate a Palestinian Evangelical perspective, and
- Model Christ through community development
BethBC seeks to prepare Christian leaders to serve churches and society in Israel and Palestine. We train our students to model Christ-centeredness, godly humility, and biblical wholeness. As lifelong learners, our graduates follow Jesus’ way of creative justice and mercy in both their personal and professional lives.
- Provide sound theological education with a distinctively Palestinian perspective
- Train students to maintain a godly influence and perspective in their field of influence, wherever that may be
- Serve the local community through tangible service
- Serve the church worldwide by advocating awareness of peace and justice issues
The underlying goal of our organization, to be a witness for Jesus throughout all operations, is fostered through staff devotionals, bi-weekly chapel for students and faculty, and encouragement of personal and corporate spiritual formation. This then permeates course development and instruction in our primary program objectives – our BA, MA, and diploma course studies.
Some changes have been made in the academic department as a result of the developing strategic plan. The steadily decreasing Christian demographic in Bethlehem and Palestine is affecting our operations. Christians in Palestine make up just over 1% of the population. This compels us to review our plan, which currently involves traditional classroom instruction for students over the course of their 2- to 4-year program. We are countering this challenge by opening opportunities to a broader spectrum of students, as not all who desire theological training can attend a daytime classroom setting. People employed full-time, parents, and Palestinians who are hindered in travel because of the occupation can study with BethBC online, or through our “blended” education, which incorporates both online and classroom settings (day or night). We have begun placing more focus on our Online Program, which reaches students in 19 countries around the world, but as our mission is to strengthen the existing church in Palestine and to train students in-country to lead the church and society, we want to maintain our priority of developing leaders here in Palestine. Adjustments in our academic plan are being considered, and changes being made as appropriate alternatives emerge. For current operations, educational integrity and compliance are monitored by the Academic Dean and department heads, evaluated by accrediting agencies. Educational excellence is encouraged by continuing educational opportunities for the faculty. Currently, two faculty members are working on doctoral degrees.
On a practical level, recruitment of students for our academic programs is undertaken through meeting with pastors, schools and prospective students. We have begun incorporating current students into this plan by arranging field trips to local schools. Recruitment for the Online Program takes place through Internet advertising, print brochures, and travel to venues or conferences frequented by Arab Christian leaders. Fundraising for operational costs and student scholarships (due to the depressed economic situation in our region) is undertaken by the Development Department through fostering relationships with current and potential donors, foundations, corporations, churches, and individuals. Speaking engagements, both local and international, also enhance these relationships. Grant applications, compliance, and reporting also fall to that department. Social media is used to increase awareness and promote College campaigns, such as #GivingTuesday and our Christmas campaign.
The broader community is served in a number of ways through low-cost educational opportunities sponsored by Bethlehem Bible College. One example is the Global Leadership Summit, which draws in both Christian and Muslim leaders in business, education, church, and government. Another example is community education courses and summer camps for Christian and Muslim children, mostly from neighboring refugee camps.
Student and Faculty Development
Bethlehem Bible College provides scholarships to students to prepare Christian leaders to serve local churches and society, provide training for other students to contribute to the economic growth of the broader society, and enable the on-going ministry of Bethlehem Bible College. We train our students to model Christ-centeredness, godly humility, and biblical wholeness. Our graduates are taught and encouraged to follow Jesus’ way of creative justice and mercy in both their personal and professional lives. This year with the help of this project, we will provide full or partial scholarships to over 20 students in both the BA, MA, and Diploma Programs.
The actual cost per full-time student is approximately $9,000 per year; the College expects each student to pay less than 10% of the total cost of their education. Although this is a relatively low percentage, it is still beyond the means of many of our students – most particularly those from economically depressed areas of Palestine where their family members are often without jobs. The College has the challenge of raising the 90% not covered by our students. To cover the deficit in funding not paid by the students, the College relies principally on foreign contributions, with some assistance provided through local income generated by the College. Each student completes an application to determine their eligibility for a scholarship and is awarded assistance according to the internal design, criteria, and policies of the College’s Scholarship Program.
The actual cost per full-time faculty member is approximately $25,584 per year; the College pays its faculty and staff at the same time as we are challenged to cover the majority of the cost of our students. To cover the deficit in student funding, and meet the need for faculty salaries, the College relies principally on foreign contributions, with some assistance provided through local income generated by the College.
- At the end of the 2019-2020 Academic Year, Bethlehem Bible College will have a staff of 15-20 full- and part-time faculty instructing students in Biblical Studies and Christian Education, and MA Program in Christian Leadership and Ministry, Online Diploma Program in Biblical Studies, and Mass Media and Tour Guide Diploma Programs. Our goal is to have up to 3 new PhD faculty within the coming years and more teachers’ assistants especially for the Online Diploma in Biblical Studies. One of our on-campus faculty will hopefully start his PhD in 2020. Few of our faculty and staff have left the college due to their spouse’s visa challenges, but we are hoping their issues would be resolved and they will be back to work with the college. One of them has already started her PhD and another will start this September.
- At the end of the 2019-2020 Academic Year, the college will have enrolled 150-200 students in the mentioned above programs including Nazareth College and our Gaza study Center through technology.
- Through the College, both faculty and students will have opportunities:
- to develop spiritually through an annual student conference and faculty training
- to engage in ministry and discipleship through practicums and internships
- to serve the community through volunteer projects
- Because of the ministry of our faculty, an average of 15-30 students annually will graduate from the College who have been trained and equipped to lead the Church with wisdom, compassion, and integrity and who will serve their communities with care and love. (Graduating classes fluctuate according to the degree programs offered.)
- The academic and operation programs (which includes salaries) of Bethlehem Bible College will be funded based on the $1,140,000 estimated budget.
- The mission statement of Bethlehem Bible College will be fulfilled, specifically by empowering faculty and students to be Christian agents of change locally and globally, while decreasing the need for students to study abroad.
- Graduation ceremonies are held each year which is a clear reflection of our effectiveness as students complete their education with us and go out to serve in various ministries.
- The Registrar keeps records on all the students and prepares transcripts accordingly.
- The Board of Directors annually reviews the work of the Bible College.
- Periodic reviews and evaluations are conducted by MEATE (Middle East and North Africa Association of Theological Education), ATA (Asia Theological Association), ECTE (European Council on Theological Education), and the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education as part of the accreditation process.
- The College undergoes an Annual Audit by Deloitte, an outside certified accounting organization.
By enabling our faculty and these students to receive quality education and transformative discipleship training, Bethlehem Bible College can continue to fulfill its mission purpose and build up a declining Christian community that is challenged by various religious, political, and economic difficulties.
|Student Training Programs||Number of Full-time Students||Cost of Full-time Students||Number of Part-time Students||Costs of part time Students||Total Costs for Programs|
|Diploma Biblical Study in Bethlehem||3||$27,000||0||–||$27,000|
|Online Education Diploma||43||$258,000||0||–||$258,000|
|Amount to be Raised||$1,140,000|
Based on current student enrollment numbers the College needs to raise approximately $1,140,000 annually to cover the cost of its training programs. Student tuition and other local income covers approximately $70,000 of that amount. The time frame of this project is for the academic year of 2018 and 2019.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Using MOOCs for Grassroots Theological Education at Bethlehem Bible College
Introduction and Background
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are considered by many to be the future of higher education. The concept kicked off strongly in 2012 with the launch of major MOOC platforms, notably Coursera and edX. Coursera was founded by two Stanford professors, and edX was created by a joint collaboration between Harvard University and MIT. The two platforms have since attracted hundreds of universities and non-profits offering thousands of courses to millions of students worldwide. Although these platforms have initially attracted courses in the sciences and engineering, the humanities—and theology in particular—have also been gathering attention. For example, Harvard Divinity School boasts to have launched “the world’s biggest ever Bible course” back in 2014.0F Their edX course on the letters of Paul drew more than 32,000 participants from 169 countries.
The basic idea of MOOCs is to offer high-quality courses to the masses. Instead of paying a huge tuition fee to attend a course at one of the elite universities, one can now subscribe to a Harvard course free of charge (or might choose to pay around $100 USD or so to receive a certificate from Harvard upon completing the course). What distinguishes MOOCs from traditional e-learning courses is that MOOCs are designed in a way that allows them to accommodate a large number of students that can reach to tens of thousands. They are also distinguished by their reliance on well-produced videos, easy-to-follow content, and extensive use of forum discussions to create an interactive learning environment.
In the Arab world, Queen Rania of Jordan has launched an edX-based platform, Edraak, back in 2014—fully in Arabic. The platform has recently received a grant of $3M USD from Google aimed at expanding it to school children. Since its launch, Edraak has attracted major universities in the Arab world such as the American University of Beirut, the University of Jordan, the American University of Cairo, among others. Courses offered by Edraak span a number of disciplines ranging from management, finance, and accounting, to sciences, engineering, and humanities. So far, nine edX-based platforms have been launched in the Arab-world.1F Among these are two Saudi platforms, Rwaq.org and Zadi.net. Rwaq’s courses cover a range of disciplines similar to Edraak, but the platform also offers more than 30 open courses on Islam. Zadi focuses purely on promoting Islamic teaching and currently offers more than 100 courses on different subjects within Islam.
In the Christian Arabic-speaking world, the Middle East Association for Theological Education has been encouraging local theological seminaries to launch traditional distance e-learning programs. In partnership with seminaries in the MENA region, the association developed 32 e-learning courses and made them available for accredited seminaries to use in developing their own e-learning programs. So far, three seminaries in the MENA region have benefited from this initiative; Bethlehem Bible College, the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo.2F Each of these seminaries has created their own custom-made e-learning programs with different emphasis. At Bethlehem Bible College, we launched our first e-learning program, the Online Diploma Program in Biblical Studies, back in 2015 with a strong emphasis on Biblical Studies. The Arab Baptist Theological Seminary and the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo have chosen to develop e-learning programs that focus on ministry skills and theology.
However, what is common among all these programs is that they are all traditional e-learning programs; they all lead to an academic degree (undergraduate diploma in our case), they aim at training Christian ministers, and they employ a pedagogy that limits the capacity of each course—usually around 20-25 students per course.
Until now, Arab-world seminaries have not benefited from the emerging capabilities of MOOCs. We have been implementing traditional e-learning programs that target Christian ministers (or those called to Christian ministry). We haven’t yet explored the idea of providing massive open online courses that target the masses of the Arab world with solid and rigorous Christian teaching. This is, in fact, the particular goal that the present concept note wishes to propose; to establish a Christian platform with full Arabic support that hosts top-quality Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on Christianity, aiming to reach Arabs at the grassroots level.
How the Idea Started
The idea of using MOOCs at Bethlehem Bible College started in the spring of 2017. One term after starting our Online Diploma Program in Biblical Studies, we were approached by a group of Muslims from Gaza eagerly wanting to learn about Christianity. They heard about our newly established online program and they wanted to enroll in it. We faced a challenge. On the one hand, our courses are designed to train Christians for ministry; they do not target non-Christians.
On the other hand, we do not want to deny any seeker from the opportunity to hear and understand the gospel in a profound way. This challenge triggered the idea of using the emerging trend of MOOCs to create open courses that aim to provide a profound exposition of Christianity to the masses. The idea was further emphasized by the increasing number of applications that we continuously receive from Muslims wanting to enroll in our Online Diploma Program.
Project Framework and Context
The following diagram provides a helpful framework to understand the way this concept note proposes to use MOOCs at Bethlehem Bible College.
Traditionally, seminaries focus on developing programs that aim at training Christians for ministry. This is, in fact, the first of the three elements constituting the vision and mission of Bethlehem Bible College; “to train people to serve Christ in the world”. Like other seminaries, we currently fulfill this part of our mission and vision by offering different academic programs; an Online Diploma in Biblical Studies, a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in Christian Ministry and Leadership—in addition to our other non-theology training programs.
Usually, seminaries tend to move forward in this model (towards the right of the diagram above). They aim at providing more and more specialized programs that target a select group of Christians who are already involved in Christian ministry or who have a clear calling for ministry. This concept note, however, proposes to move towards the other side of the diagram. Instead of developing more specialized programs that target a narrow group of committed Christians, it proposes to develop courses at the grassroots level, which target the masses of the Arab world using the emerging technology and didactics of MOOCs.
This means that we would be operating in areas that precede ministry training; i.e., evangelism and discipleship. This, however, does not mean that as a Bible college we should replace the work of churches and mission organizations (some of whom are already active in online evangelism and discipleship; see for example talmazaonline.com, among others). Rather, our work would come to enrich and support the work of evangelism and discipleship by providing high-quality online courses that are created with an evangelistic heart, but with academic and intellectual rigor.
The idea is to capitalize on the intellectual abilities of the faculty members of both Bethlehem Bible College and Nazareth Evangelical College (and possibly other seminaries in the MENA region) in order to create courses that expound the Christian faith with simplicity—yet with intellectual rigor and depth. This, in particular, is something missing in the Arab world. Evangelistic and discipleship curricula are mostly translated from English resources developed by Westerners, they lack intellectual rigor and depth, and/or they are polemic against other religions—especially Islam.
The objectives of the proposed project can be summarized as follows:
- To reach out to the seeker in the Arab world with a simple, yet profound, exposition of the Christian faith
- To create an online community of Arab disciples/learners across the world
- To provide resources for evangelists and disciple-makers in the Arab world, which are contextual, intellectually rigorous, and evangelistically oriented
- To help the committed Christian prepare for more specialized studies in Theology and Bible through laying the basic foundations of Christianity
The following are the final expected outcomes of the project:
- A scalable learning platform (most likely based on edX), with full Arabic support. The platform will be capable to host Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for thousands of learners.
- A custom-made didactical approach that draws upon state-of-the-art MOOCs didactics, while being sensitive to the Arab context
- A clear marketing strategy to promote the courses
- A series of media-enriched open courses that aim at expounding the Christian faith to the average Arab (Muslim or nominal Christian). These series could include:
- A series of courses on the Bible and Biblical Theology
- A series of courses on Christian Doctrines (Systematic Theology)
- A series of courses on Comparative Religion (with Apologetic emphasis)
- A series on Arab Christianity
Once this concept note is discussed and approved by the Senior Leadership Team at Bethlehem Bible College, we will proceed to conduct a feasibility study and a detailed implementation plan for this project, which will include the following elements:
- A full assessment of the feasibility of implementing this project in the current setting of the college
- A full assessment of what is needed to implement this project, mainly in terms of human resources, technology, and budget
- A detailed implementation plan to be used for executing the project and for fundraising, which includes the following elements:
- Project vision
- Project goals
- Project outcomes
- Target group (persona)
- Work plan with a clear timeline
- Specific activities and work packages, tied to timeline and responsible department
- Human resources required to execute the project and maintain its outcomes for the long-term
An estimate of the MOOCs pilot project is shown in the table below. The duration of this pilot project’s budget is set for a 15-month duration, starting from June 2019 – August 2020 to prepare for the launch of MOOCs. The actual budget is still being worked on.
The project budget includes 5 work packages: pilot courses, academic, IT, marketing, video production, and its supervision and HR needed.
|IT Work||$5,000||To build the MOOCs platform|
|Cost of developing 6 courses||$12,000||$2,000 USD per course|
Biannual Academic Journal
Due to the lack of Arabic resources for Arab speaking believers and those seeking to gain theological knowledge, BethBC is preparing an academic journal comprised of 10 papers to be issued twice a year. The journal will be written by the College’s highly qualified academic faculty members and other academics recognized by the College for their quality work.
The purpose of this journal is to finally have an academic reference for Arab theologians locally and around the world. A strategic goal to encourage research in contextual and missiological issues, tackling youth ideologies and challenges them. The journal will be distributed by printing 200 hard-copies per issue and online publication on a designated website for the journal. Through the website, we can influence different geographical areas.
Publishing this journal biannually will encourage our teachers to be consistently productive and challenged to conduct up-to-date research to continue gaining knowledge and therefore upgrade their teaching qualifications.
Implementation of the project will start as soon as financial support is approved. The publication of the first issue is planned for September 2019.
|Coordinator||$4,200||$350 x 12 months|
|Printing & Design||$1,400||$7 per copy
Total copies= 200
|Website||$1,200||$1,200 one-time payment
|Website Host Subscription||$200||$100 per year x 2 years
|Editing & Translating||$2,500||Price per issue of 10 papers
Editing Arabic Text: $10 per 250 wordsTranslation: $20 per 250 words
|Marketing||$1,000||Includes the making of a video, social media posts and boosting|
The general purpose of this conference room is to facilitate communication by connecting and bringing our dispersed community together. Having a conference room with high-quality connectivity will give a more realistic feeling of one-on-one meetings, therefore more effective learning and exchanges. The multi-purpose nature of this conference room will help the College with online education communication, meetings, lectures and seminars for all students, faculty, and staff.
One of the main uses of the conference room will be for the Online Diploma in Biblical Studies. It will provide a better venue for us to better connect with our students online. Our 70 enrolled students are widely dispersed among 19 countries on 5 continents, which will call for ongoing usage of the room. When we are able to celebrate our first graduation of students from the Online Studies Program, this will be done in the conference room. The conference room will be used also for the MA Program in Christian Leadership and Ministry. We have MA students based in Gaza, and without suitable or stable internet in Gaza, we face the need for high-quality video sessions to be recorded in the conference room. Our students in Gaza will download the high-resolution session as needed.
Another ongoing use for the conference room will be with our long distance teaching faculty. Instructors come weekly from Nazareth to BethBC for classes with our students. Each visit costs us $100 USD per person. The faculty from Bethlehem and Nazareth generally meet once a month. We also anticipate academic conferences to take place each summer in the conference room.
The conference room will allow us a pleasant venue to meet new and existing partners, colleges or universities that may be interested to join our programs. Cultural and educational exchanges with international colleges or local ones that are out of reach are also possibilities, as well as the room’s use as a classroom or general meeting space.
|Items||Cost Per Item||Units||total||Notes|
|Conference Room Equipment||$2,900||$2,495||Camera, speakers, and microphones|
|PC||$691||4||$2,764||Hard drive only excluding screens|
|Led TV 55″||$600||1||$600|
|Video Conference Software||$15/ per month||24 (months)||$360||ex: Zoom Chat & video conferencing|
|Broadband Internet Connection Boosting||$100/ per month||24 (months)||$2,400|
|Miscellaneous||$1,500||$1,500||Include: cables hangers and adapters…|
In a modern world, all colleges rely on IT to enhance mission-related outcomes and boost performance. The strategic utilization of IT requires a decent budget to support our database, library software and registration system, especially in the areas of financial sustainability, strategic communications and relationship-building, and student recruitment and partnerships.
To boost IT’s mission-related impact, the college has a full-time, qualified IT staff to implement and achieve our goals. Yet, we face most of the financial challenges in this department. As we have supporters who would like to support our mission, some fail to see the connection between IT needs and outreach. The college is challenged financially to provide the technological needs for its students, faculty, and staff. For example, the computer lab is more than 10 years old, and all PCs need to be renewed, the server is in critical condition and might crash at any moment, the internet is slow and therefore our students and faculty take longer time in conducting their research or communicating, most of the on-campus projectors do not work anymore therefore this limits creative education methods. Today, colleges are using interactive screens but we are still using old fashioned technology that is not practical, therefore does not create a progressive environment. The needed budget for IT upgrades is $130,000, and $24,000 of this budget is an annual expense. More details are available in the enclosed file.
Bethlehem Bible College’s library exists to provide the students with the resources they need for their study, but the library is also open for public use. The IT department is upgrading the library’s system by having all books accessible online for students. This platform will make finding a book and retrieving it much easier, as it will be accessed remotely. The platform will give access to students even on weekends and holidays when the college is closed. Purchasing the platform and adapting it to the library’s needs is in progress, but still needs a lot of manual work to input the information.
|Subscription to the platform||$3,000||Annually|
|Purchasing new books||$5,000||Annually|
Renovation and Rehabilitation of BethBC Guest House
Bethlehem Bible College’s Guest House is an excellent place for visitors to stay to learn about the situation in Palestine and the work of Bethlehem Bible College. Our communal atmosphere brings people together and makes them feel at home. We welcome everyone – tour groups, study groups, retreat groups, volunteers, individuals, and families. Our location is a privilege as we are situated in a significant touristic area, near many Holy Sites in Bethlehem, with Jerusalem nearby.
Although our Guest House offers comfortable rooms with bathrooms, a sitting room, and a well-equipped kitchen, this is not sufficient. We have 11 rooms that can host single, double or triple guests, but cannot host a standard tourist bus of 50-55 people. On many occasions, we had to turn down big opportunities of hosting groups for the lack of space. Doing so, we lose the opportunity to meet people and we lose any financial revenue, therefore, we are not making the best use of this space.
One of the purposes of this project is to host visitors who are coming to learn about BethBC or to serve our community with us. This is a priority to our calling in building a community. We want people to stay at our premises so we can get to know each other first hand. This will also be an income-generating project, where all proceeds go to fund Bethlehem Bible College’s mission. In doing so, the project will help us become less reliant on outside funding.
We are conducting a financial and architectural study with 4 different architect offices. The estimated cost of the project so far is $700,000 (this amount may vary when the study is finalized). The project is conducted on 1,200 m² as the estimated cost per square meter is $300. The total estimated budget takes into account tearing down walls, remodeling, plumbing, extending electrical power, equipping the building and furnishing.
Solar Power System Installation
As the ministries of Bethlehem Bible College continue to grow and expand, opportunities become available for ministry, training, and outreach to the local and international community. With such opportunities, we become more reliant on electricity and power therefore, fossil fuels. Staff are using their computers more especially after the establishment of our Online Program, MA and Community Training programs that are taking place in the afternoon forcing us to depend on non-renewable energy all day long. To this end, Bethlehem Bible College endeavors to install a solar power system to become a more environmentally friendly campus.
While the ministries of Bethlehem Bible College continue to grow and expand, we aim to be more environmentally friendly, so through our own development, we are considering alternatives for any harmful consumptions.
The unique benefit of a solar system installation is its sustainability for many years and allowing the college to achieve its mission with better financial support from the revenue from this project. Through the year we spend around $50,000 on electricity bills (non-renewable energy), while each year the bills increase by a rough figure of 5%. This constant rise challenges our ability to fund our ministries. Through the installation of a solar power system, we will be able to save up to 77% of our expenditure on energy (approximately $38,500 per year); these savings will be redirected to investments in current and new ministries conducted at and through Bethlehem Bible College.
This project targets directly Bethlehem Bible College full-time faculty and staff, a total of 44 people, and will significantly affect our mission to and with our students and community. Ultimately, Palestinian society will benefit from our passion and stewardship of God’s creation to transform the society with God’s vision.
The college has installed the solar panels on one of its premises covering one building’s electricity expenditure. The project was installed and running by the end of October 2018. Even though it was still winter time and the results are not as high as they should be in summer days, the college still established good outcomes of the project so far.
The following is a graphical report of the increasing renewable energy from November 2018 – Early March 2019:
Bethlehem Bible College’s premises contains 3 main buildings, the estimated cost for 77% coverage on one building is $71,580 and we are seeking a 100% coverage on all buildings at the college’s premises.
Bethlehem Bible College is purchasing additional property adjacent to the current campus space. Like any thriving College, available space on campus is already at a premium. As our student population increases, there are requirements from the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education as to the amount of land required. More classroom and library space will be required for expanding current programs, or for additional programs. Supporting programs, such as English language training and other diploma programs, require additional facilities.
With two refugee camps positioned around Bethlehem Bible College, and building taking place on other sides, BethBC is landlocked. Another consideration is that in Palestine, land rarely changes hands. Property stays with a family for generations. However, a property of 0.44 acres (1800 square meters) is now being purchased adjacent to the College facility, just west of the existing Student Center.
The purpose of this project is to purchase the land adjacent to the current College campus in order to enlarge the available space for the use of the College’s programs. The land will be used for additional classrooms and library space in conjunction with what we envision being our International Peace Study Center.
The land to be purchased is pictured below:
The cost of the tract of land is $800,000. Purchase of the land has been secured by a down payment of $200,000, and a loan is being secured for $600,000. To date, approximately $100,000 has been raised toward this purchase. The college still needs $500,000 to finalize the payments needed for the land.
Because of the on-going economic conditions facing Bethlehem Bible College students, we do not anticipate that in the near future the College will become self-sufficient based on student tuition. We plan to continue our current funding strategy. The overall revenue of Bethlehem Bible College is 38% local income and contributions (including Gift Shop sales, Guest House revenue, student tuition, and donations), and 62% foreign contributions. Part of the strategy for fundraising includes promotional speaking with local visitors, and numerous international engagements with churches, schools, organizations, and individuals. These speaking engagements are undertaken by the President of the College, the President Emeritus, the faculty and staff, and other friends of the College. Currently, the College employs two Development Officers, one in Bethlehem and one in the United States, and other support organizations around the world. Great emphasis is placed on developing ongoing relationships with individuals, churches, and foundations.
In 2018 the breakdown of funding sources was as follows:
Individuals: 26% of income
Churches: 21% of income
Foundations: 52% of income
|Name of Project||Budget||Notes|
|Students and Faculty Development||$1,140,000||Annual average budget – total for one academic year|
|Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)||$81,850||Estimated budget total – budget is still under study|
|Biannual Academic Journal||$12,000||Final budget for project completion|
|Conference Room||$15,269||Final budget for project completion|
|Library Development||$26,588||Annual budget|
|IT Development||$130,000||$24,000 of the budget is an annual expense.
More details in an enclosed file.
|Renovation and Rehabilitation of BethBC Guest House||$700,000||Estimated budget total- budget is still under study (to be finalized by the end of May 2019)|
|Solar Power System Installation||$71,580||Final budget for project completion.
More details in an enclosed file.
|Land||$500,000||Final budget for project completion|
|Total||$2,677,287||$1,190,588 of the total budget is annual expense|