The Department of Religious Studies offers a bachelor degree in Religious Studies that concentrates on the study of Christianity from a Catholic and ecumenical point of view. It seeks to meet the spiritual and academic needs of all its students, and promotes the study of religion at university level. The program aims at promoting an appreciation of the religious culture of the Holy Land in an ecumenical and interfaith atmosphere. Students have to finish 64 credit hours in the major courses offered by our department.
Along with their major program, students are expected to complete 24 credit hours of a minor in any minor program the students would like to choose, but as a department we guide them to choose the minor offered by our department or a minor in Psychology because as the future teachers of religion they need such minors.
Program Learning Outcomes
The RELS department at BU prepares its students to be the future Christian Education teachers, to work in the different church and community institutions that are related to their studies, and to continue their higher education. During four years of study the faculty works on the formation of the knowledge, skills, personality, and spirituality of the students, so that when they graduate they will be able to enter the community and start their professional life. In order to do so the RELS department has set the goals that will achieve the desired outcomes of the RELS graduates.
Students will be qualified Christian education teachers:
- Students will know how to plan and asses their lessons.
- Students will posses pedagogical skills and methodology.
- Students will be able to link Catechetic with the other fields of theology.
- Students will be formed to be a visible witness to Christ and live their faith in the community.
- Students will be trained to be effective communicators.
Students will have solid academic knowledge in the different fields of theology and religious studies:
- Students will have solid knowledge of Christian teachings in the different fields of theology.
- Students will develop openness to theological diversity.
- Students will read, write, and analyze the different biblical texts.
- Students will read and analyze the texts of the Christian tradition related to the different theological fields.
- Students will link the different theological fields to church life in the Holy Land, in region, and the Universal Church.
Students will develop an ecumenical openness to other churches and appreciation of other faiths of the world:
- Students will have knowledge of beliefs, practices, and institutions of the different churches.
- Students will have knowledge of beliefs, practices, and institutions of the different religions of the region.
- Students will develop a critical openness toward the other different churches. And religions.
- Students will develop good skills of dialogue between the different churches.
- Students will be able to relate the theological principles with the diverse reality of the churches and religions in the Holy Land.
Students will grow spiritually on the personal and community levels:
- Students will develop knowledge of Christian spirituality and other spiritualities.
- Students will be able to participate in the different pastoral fields with in the church (summer camps, retreats, liturgy in schools…).
- Students will develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Students will be able to develop a solid ecclesiastical identity.
- Students will integrate Christian ethical teaching into personal life and the life of the community.
Students will be able to continue their higher education in religious studies or theology:
- Students will be able to articulate their own thinking and conduct their researches and papers through a scientific methodology.
- Students will be able to read and write efficiently in Arabic and English.
- Students will be able to develop their own critical thinking.
- Students will gain research skills that would help them to articulate their work.
- Students will gain a general knowledge in different sciences.
The Religious Studies department was established in 1998 at Bethlehem University, after finishing the required courses the graduate will obtain a Bachelor degree in religious studies.
The department aims at preparing teachers of religion to teach at the different schools. Moreover the department aims at preparing the religious and laity to work in Church institutes, organization, Pastoral work through helping parish priests, and work in the different affiliated church organizations, In addition studying at the department qualifies the graduates to continue their higher education, and by doing so, open new diverse opportunities of work for them. At the same time this specialization in Religious studies in considered as the best program in preparing tour guides who will lead pilgrims in the Holy land.