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Department of Religious Studies

Fr. Rafiq Khoury

Fr. Rafiq Khoury has been involved in the Department since before it began when the Latin Patriarchate offered a certificate in Religious Studies, which became the St. Cyril two-year diploma program under the auspices of the Faculty of Education at Bethlehem University. In 1998, the program merged with the new Department of Religious Studies to become a four-year bachelor's program. He has also been one of the main consultants on the Department's informal Advisory Board and has worked as a professor in Bethlehem, both at the Latin Seminary from 1970-1987 and at Bethlehem University since 1999. As a committed and integral part to the birth and continuation of the Religious Studies Department, Fr. Rafiq believes wholeheartedly in its mission and its potential impact on the local population and on Christians from around the world. "The Department is very important for the Christian community in the Holy Land, because it has helped its graduates to develop a personal faith along with their already developed sociological faith." One function of the Department Fr. Rafiq is particularly thrilled about is its ability to provide an infrastructure from which to develop a contextual theology. "The Department has the opportunity to provide future contributors to develop this contextual theology based in the Holy Land," Fr. Rafiq said.

Born in the Palestinian Christian village of Taybeh near Ramallah, Fr. Rafiq has spent most of his professional career producing textbooks for the training of catechists. He can be considered the driving force behind the standardization of catechism in the Holy Land since 1973. Fr. Rafiq has a Ph.D. in Pastoral Theology from the Lateran University in Rome and has published a number of academic articles and research papers concerning the history of and current situation in Jerusalem as well as Christian-Muslim relations and dialogue in Palestine. He is a board member of the Al-Liqa' Center and the Secretary General of the Synod of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.


Bethlehem University Foundation
Email: brds@bufusa.org
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
E-mail: info@bethlehem.edu
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine