Bethlehem Academy at a Glance

  • Beit Sahour, Palestine
  • Founded in 2014
  • Grades PreK – 12
  • Enrollment approximately 500                  
  • Boys and girls in attendance
  • Bi-Lingual curriculum (Arabic/English)
  • Preparation for the CLEP and SAT exams

After decades of successful operation of our Hebron school, the Lord blessed us with a brand-new state-of-the-art school building in Bethlehem in 2014, allowing us to expand our reach- and spread hope, to another city, and countless more children. With grades K-12, not only are hearts ministered to, but minds are trained as well. Using a western Christian multi-lingual curriculum we focus on developing critical thinking, collaboration, and the technology skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century marketplace. Presented in a spiritually aware environment, our students are growing in hope for themselves as well as the desire and ability to be agents of change for their community at large.   


By 2010, Gregg and Rawda Doolittle had been our on-site directors of the Hebron School for over a decade. Now the Lord saw fit to combine Gregg & Rawda Doolittle’s vision for a new school with the involvement of a major donor from the U.S., allowing us to embark on the building of a brand-new school in Bethlehem. God’s hand was in it from the beginning, as the normal red tape and logistical challenges for such a project were negotiated smoothly. Funds were secured, land purchased, plans drawn, and ground broken- all within 18 months!

The doors opened for our first classes in 2014, for PreK through 1st grade. The plan was to grow slowly and deliberately, expanding one grade level per year. However, due to the number of parents who were pleading with us to add more grades sooner, we added four grade levels in year two. That was a difficult year, but the Lord was faithful. It wasn’t long before the very first class was graduating, in the spring of 2023.

Bethlehem Academy is one of the only schools in the region to have a truly bi-lingual program, using a western Christian curriculum. The primary focus is to teach English, and in so doing prepare our graduating students for taking the CLEP and SAT exams. We also ensure our students strengthen their Arabic skills, a big factor when it comes to being competitive in the local job market. This excellent education is provided in a setting of spiritual consideration, rooted in knowing who they are in God.

As institutions go, the Bethlehem Academy is still quite young, but we have seen very encouraging progress. As our students got older they were involved in college prep exams and other high school activities. Our first juniors and seniors all did very well in those exams, many earning college credit. This was especially encouraging given the fact that they were taking these tests in their second language. The older students were also involved with hosting a science fair for other local schools, and a fascinating NASA challenge, designed primarily for college students. Our two teams were not only accepted into the competition, but one of the teams came in first place!

Key to achieving these accomplishments is our use of volunteer English-speaking teachers. By recruiting teachers from the United States, and other English-speaking countries, we are able to immerse our students in a superior English learning environment. The volunteer staff members work side by side with our local Arab teachers, providing a seamless bi-lingual experience.

In this region of on-going social and economic challenges we are providing our students with a hope of a better tomorrow, along with the skills and confidence they need to become not only productive citizens, but forward-thinking leaders for their country. Leaders who will guide their people with determination and wisdom.

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Hamza dealt with a blow that is hard to imagine for many of us; his father was killed in a workplace accident. Rather than tell him the truth, his family told him that his father had gone abroad for a job opportunity. He is an inquisitive kid and it wasn’t long before he knew something was not right. After persistent questioning, his family finally told him the truth. The loss of his father, along with the deception, caused a downward spiral in his grades and behavior at school. The school administration along with the entire staff poured themselves into this young man’s life and he began to slowly recover from his loss. Hamza still misses his father every day, but with his friends and teachers encouragement he is beginning to find his smile again.  


Ziyad joined us in kindergarten, and was a normal, happy boy. His life got challenging though when his mother was diagnosed with some severe mental health issues, fighting a battle with anxiety and depression. Life at home became a challenge. She got the help she needed, but it was hard on Ziyad. Our teaching staff was aware of this situation and came along side to love and encourage him as much as they could. With their extra care and attention, he was able to cope successfully with this situation. Ziyad is now doing well and is actively developing a newfound love for art. He has also developed many close relationships with his classmates. (We understand his mother is doing much better as well.)