Catholic institutions of higher education in the Holy Land

Universities, seminaries and other institutions of higher education are among the many institutions that the Catholic Church in the Holy Land administers for the benefit of the Church and of general society.

– Bethlehem University in Palestine was inaugurated in 1973, a dream envisioned during the visit to the Holy Land of Pope Paul VI in 1964. The University is directed by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, who have run schools in the Holy Land since 1893.

See here for the Bethlehem University website

More recently two more Catholic Arabic language institutions of higher learning have been inaugurated in the Holy Land.

– Mar Elias College of Technology in the Galilee town of Ibillin in north Israel was founded by Emeritus Greek Catholic Archbishop Elias Chacour in 2003.

– American University of Madaba in the Jordanian city of Madaba was founded by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 2005.

See here for American University of Madaba website

The Catholic Church also has four seminaries in the Holy Land.

– The Seminary of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is situated in the town of Beit Jala, Palestine. Founded in 1852, it trains the diocesan clergy for the entire diocese of the Patriarchate.  Studies are in Arabic and French.

See here for Beit Jala Seminary website

– The Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land founded its own seminary, the Studium Theologicum Franciscanum, in Jerusalem in 1866.  It has an international student body and studies are in Italian.

See here the Studium’s web page

– The Salesians run the Studium Theologicum Salesianum, founded in 1929. Today it is situated in West Jerusalem and studies are offered in English.

See the Studium’s website here

– The Neo-Catechumenal Way opened its seminary, Redemptoris Mater, in the Galilee in 2009. An Italian language seminary, it trains young seminarians from around the world.

The Catholic Church in the Holy Land has three important schools of Biblical studies.

– The French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem was founded by the Dominican Friars in 1890. This prestigious French language institute continues to train Biblical scholars.

See the School’s website here

– The Franciscans founded their school, Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, in 1924, and it trains students from all over the world in Biblical exegesis and ancient languages.

See the Studium’s website here

– The Jesuits also maintain a house of Biblical studies in Jerusalem, a branch of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, whose center is in Rome.

See the Institute’s web page here

The Catholic Church also has a center dedicated to ecumenism, another fruit of the visit of Pope Paul VI in 1964. The Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies is situated at Tantur, between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

See the Institute’s website here

There are yet other Catholic institutions of higher learning including:

– Casa de Santiago (

– German Academic Study Program at Dormition Abbey (

– Center for Biblical Formation (

– Polis Jerusalem Institute (

– Bat Kol Institute (