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From: VATICAN INSIDER with Joan Lewis

10 Feb. 2017


posted in Bethlehem University, Palestine by Joan Lewis


For the interview segment on this week’s “Vatican Insider,” I feature Part II of my conversation with John Schlageter, executive director of the Bethlehem University Foundation. Hopefully we will bring you on a short visit to the Holy Land, to Palestine and Bethlehem University, one of my favorite places in the Holy Land.

As I wrote last week, John and I have been friends for years, starting when he was a lawyer for the Military Ordinariate of the United States specializing in First Amendment rights. We saw each other recently when I was in Washington, and I asked John to speak of his new position as executive director of the Foundation.


We talk about Bethlehem University, the Foundation, John’s work and the situation in the Holy Land, among many fascinating topics. Part I aired last weekend. If anything can help bring peace to this part of the world, it will be the contribution of Bethlehem University and its amazing students – John and I talk about them throughout our conversation.

Here are some quick facts about BU (from website:, interspersed with photos from my first visit to the campus. It was at vacation time and there were no students to feature – I’ll just have to go back when classes are in session! My second visit was when I spent the night in May 2014 in a guest apartment at the university before Pope Francis arrived the following morning from Amman, Jordan, to celebrate Mass in Bethlehem.


Bethlehem University – Founded in October 1973 with 112 students


Fall 2016 enrollment of 3,290 students:

214 Graduate students (Masters & Higher & Professional Diplomas)

3,076 Undergraduate students (Baccalaureate & Diploma)

719 Graduates (Acad. year 2015/2016)

Total 16,480 Degrees conferred as of August 2016

Total Number of Graduates: 15,282


Courses offered in Bethlehem, Qbeibeh near Ramallah and Online

A Jewish settlement seen from the university: I was told that what used to be a thriving olive tree grove serving Palestinians was razed to the ground to create this settlement:

Bethlehem University Foundation;

Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine