Bethlehem Bible College, the only Christian training school for Arabic-speaking Christians in Israel and the West Bank, now owns its campus.

"At a time when so much Palestinian land is being lost, it is very gratifying to be able to acquire this site," says Bishara Awad, president of the nondenominational college, who credits the grace of God, the pulling together of several churches from differing denominations, and widespread international support.

The college purchased the former Helen Keller buildings in Bethlehem from BibleLands of England for $1.8 million. Funding came from BibleLands, Open Doors, Hope Christian Trust, the College 240 Club, and private donations.

The college, which recently began a tour-guide licensing program, is pursuing accreditation for its Biblical Studies and Christian Education degrees. Other plans include building a community library and outreach center.

About 45 Palestinians attend the main Bethlehem campus, with another 55 taking classes in Haifa and Nazareth. College leaders hope to attract students from Jordan and Egypt.

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