7 Christian Women That Are Influential Palestinians

Dr. Madleine Sara

Madleine is an education specialist and a Christian counselor.  Since 2014, she has had a counseling office in Bethlehem Bible College, where she is also a professor. She also provides pastoral ministry in the Jerusalem Alliance Church, where she preaches and is part of the pastoral team.

In 2014, she also founded a very effective women’s empowerment ministry, “Anyeh biyadeh” (“A Pot in His Hand” in English) which focuses on training women for leadership in church and society.  Within the women’s ministry context, Madleine also serves as a personal mentor to many emerging Arab women leaders and theologians.

Under Madleine’s leadership, the women of A Pot in His Hand edit and write a quarterly women’s magazine by the same title.  Madleine also hosts a television talk show called “You are Altogether Beautiful, My Love,” aimed at encouraging and empowering women spiritually and emotionally.  As a mother of three, she also published a book in Arabic on raising children called “Motherhood is a Responsibility, not just a Role.”

She holds a B. Ed from David Yellin College for Teachers, Jerusalem, with majors in education and special education. She completed an M.A. at Liberty University, Virginia, with a focus on Christian counseling and human relationships, and holds a D. Min in spiritual and leadership formation from Portland Seminary at George Fox University, Oregon.

Shireen Awwad Hilal

Shireen is a leader and outspoken advocate for Palestinian women.  She is also involved in a youth ministry that works for human rights, reconciliation and leadership, and she travels internationally speaking on these subjects at churches and conferences.  She is the mother of four beautiful children.

She was the Dean of Students at Bethlehem Bible College, as well as a lecturer. She is now the Director of Bethlehem Bible College Community & Outreach Center, a position she has held since 2019

Shireen began her career as a teacher at the Evangelical Lutheran School in Beit Sahour before becoming an administrative secretary at Life Agape in Jerusalem and then an administrator at Beit Al Liqa in Beit Jala before joining BethBC.

She has a B.A. in English Literature with a minor Translation from Bethlehem University, a M.A. Degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University, and a Master’s of Business from Sofaer International at Tel Aviv University.

Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen

Grace Al-Zoughbi Arteen is a Christian Palestinian born and raised in Bethlehem. She completed her undergraduate degree at Bethlehem Bible College, and obtained a Master of Arts in The Theology of Transformation: Church, Scripture, and World from the London School of Theology.

Grace is currently working on her Ph.D. degree through the London School of Theology. Her research topic involves the Theological Education of Women in the Middle East and North Africa.

She served as a Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Theology and developed many contextual courses in the area of Biblical Studies. She also served as Head of the Biblical Studies department at Bethlehem Bible College.

Grace has spoken at global conferences about the Palestinian Church and Christianity in the Middle East and the theological education of women in that region. She loves to write and has translated many English biblical and theological materials into Arabic.

Shadia Qubti

Shadia was born and raised in Nazareth. She is a Christian Palestinian Israeli involved in various initiatives that encourage and inspire Palestinian women and youth to advocate for peace. Her faith had an essential role in shaping her identity, mainly being a “minority of a minority” as a Palestinian Christian and citizen of Israel.

Among her recent creative projects is a podcast entitled “Women Behind the Wall,” which interviews a variety of Palestinian women and the struggles and issues they face living under occupation.

Shadia has served as Projects Manager in Musalaha, an organization that promotes reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. Currently, she works as a manager in external engagement, governance, and faith and development for World Vision.

She studied International Relations and English Language at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and Conflict Resolution and Nonviolent Action at Trinity College University in Dublin.

Dina Katanacho

Dina is the director of the Arab Israeli Bible Society. She is responsible for making the word of God available and accessible to 1.8 Million Arab citizens in Israel.

Dina has earned a B.Ed from David Yellin – Jerusalem, a graduate certificate in Leadership and Administration from the United Bible Societies Academy, and an M.A. in Leadership and Christian Ministry from Bethlehem Bible College.

She has done graduate studies in Women Studies at Trinity Theological Seminary and postgraduate studies in theology at Nazareth Evangelical College.

Dina has authored two books in Arabic and has edited and supervised the publishing of many magazines and books.

Rula Khoury Mansour

Rula is a Palestinian theologian from Nazareth. She is a lawyer who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Rula worked as a public prosecutor for 13 years. She was the deputy head of the public prosecution office in Nazareth, becoming the first Palestinian to hold such a post in Israel.

She currently serves as the Director of Peace Studies at Nazareth Evangelical College.

Rula’s areas of interest include the theology of reconciliation within a Middle Eastern context, anthropology, conflict resolution, and church conflict. She wrote a chapter titled “The Church in the Face of Injustice: Two Case Studies” in Why the Church? A Contemporary Perspective on the Role of the Church in the Arab World (2019). She is also a speaker at various churches and conferences, both locally and internationally.

Rula holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution and Mediation from Tel Aviv University. She has a Ph.D. from the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies / Middlesex University. She was awarded a Langham scholarship for her Ph.D. studies, becoming the first female Langham graduate from the Middle East and North Africa.

Jumana Kaplanian

Jumana is a skilled, motivated and ambitious psychologist experienced in providing specialized psychological assessment of clients’ problems based upon collected data through counseling sessions in Bethlehem. 

She is a social activist and the founder of Psychology Spa, a non-profit company for psychological awareness and psycho-education in Palestine. It is the first center in Palestine where individuals meet to learn, discuss, share, collaborate, and seek ways to gain psychological knowledge to deepen their understanding of mental health in a very relaxed and stigma-free place. 

She is very passionate about the discipline of psychology. She has a desire to make psychology applicable to everyone, and she believes that the learning process is the most powerful in leading any community transformation. Learning is her useful tool in helping the Palestinian population to improve and enhance their quality of life. Thus, she can give back to her community.

Jumana has a B.A. in Social Work/ Psychology from Bethlehem University in Bethlehem, and an M.Sc in Psychology from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford.

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