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July 27, 2012

Bethlehem University receives prestigious international award for academic excellence in building the Palestinian state 

Sciat vt Serviat Award affirms “interreligious dialogue and peace building” at Bethlehem University

The International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) “wishes to exalt the academic and social contribution of Bethlehem University” and highlight “the remarkable commitment of Bethlehem University in building a sustainable society in the Holy Land” declared Prof. Anthony J. Cernera, IFCU President, in awarding the prestigious Sciat vt Serviat Award to Bethlehem University at the General Assembly in São Paulo, Brazil on Thursday, 26 July 2012.

“It is an honour for the Bethlehem University academic community to be selected from among the 200 Catholic university members of IFCU to receive the Sciat vt Serviat Award,” responded Brother Peter Bray, Vice Chancellor of Bethlehem University. “I am proud of the faculty and staff of Bethlehem University whose dedication provides a quality education and whose graduates contribute significantly to building the Palestinian state.”

Designed to enhance the mission of IFCU and of Catholic universities across the globe, the Sciat vt Serviat Award rewards creative initiatives that represent a significant and inspiring contribution to Catholic university culture.  Dr. Yousef Zaknoun, Director of The Cardinal Martini Leadership Institute at Bethlehem University, was among the 300 participants at the IFCU International Assembly in São Paulo, Brazil on Thursday, 26 July 2012 when it was announced that Bethlehem University was this year’s recipient of the Sciat vt Serviat Award. Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis, President of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil; Mr. Júlio Semeghini, Secretary of Regional Planning and Development for the São Paulo government were also present for the IFCU Assembly.

Bethlehem University is the third such institution to receive the Sciat vt Serviat Award, being singled out for “the social commitment of its Faculty Members and Students in favor of the Interreligious Dialogue and Peacebuilding.” This is evidenced by the engagement of all students in an interreligious dialogue class during their fourth year of study; the prominent voice of Bethlehem University faculty, staff, and students at the “Christians in the Holy Land Conference” last summer at Lambeth Palace in London; the leadership of Bethlehem University faculty in the international discourse around the Christian presence in the Holy Land, such as through Kairos Palestine; and countless other initiatives. 

Bethlehem University is one of the more than 200 member institutions of IFCU that are found on six continents.  IFCU holds consultative status and maintains an active presence with the United Nations; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); The Commission of Human Rights; and other international bodies.

Photos from the event can be found here:

For More Information Contact:   

Patti Riippa, Communications Director, Bethlehem University
Tel. (U.S.) 202-526-6099     Skype: dcoffice.bethlehemuniversity

Loïc Roche, Communications Director, International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU)


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine