The Religious Studies Department is in a continuous process of development and improvement. The faculty strives on a daily basis to improve by responding to feedback from their students, their colleagues, and outside religious and academic institutions. The Department has decided on several initiatives it would like to undertake in the near future.
Religious Studies Minor
In response to the needs of the students, the Department would like to offer a minor in Religious Studies for students who are majoring in any other academic discipline, thus providing a greater opportunity for teaching and learning in the Religious Studies discipline.
Christian Education Diploma in Amman
For many years, the diploma program in Christian Education at the Jesuit Center in Amman was affiliated to the Faculty of Education at Bethlehem University. This two-year program was designed for the graduates of the Jesuit Center to continue their BA requirements at Bethlehem University. However, in recent years, due to a lack of students, the program was discontinued. The Department would very much like to restart this program in order to realize its dream of making the Religious Studies Department at Bethlehem University a center of Christian religious learning known and respected throughout the Middle East.
Canon Law and Ecclesiology for Lawyers
In cooperation with the legal office at the Latin Patriarchate, the Department would like to offer a one year program for civil lawyers in the Bethlehem area in Canon Law and Ecclesiology in order to prepare them for an exam at the Ecclesiastical Court for accreditation.
Because catechists in different schools work independently according to their school's policy, the Department feels it can help them work together. To begin the Department hopes to organize an annual Catechetical Conference in collaboration with the Catechetical Center of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem and the Ecumenical Joint Committee for Catechism, preferably for catechists in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Ramallah. Starting on a smaller scale and the Department can gradually work to include more people for a longer period and on a more regular basis.
Summer Program & Interreligious Updates
The Department would like to establish a two-week summer program as part of an academic minor that would (center for) (delete) update catechists on interreligious subjects related to Islam and Judaism. This would be open to teachers and students from the area and possibly from the region with excursions to certain holy places and meetings with local religious leaders.