Nazareth Center for Peace Studies
A faith-based organization, physically and symbolically located in Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus, the ultimate Peacemaker.
Our Vision
Promoting a culture of peace rooted in Christian values and nurturing peacebuilders through whom society may be transformed towards peace and justice.
Our Mission
Empowering individuals and communities as peacebuilders within their societal contexts through Learning, Training, and Research.

Our goal is to foster the multiplication of peacebuilders, equipping them with tools to be agents of positive change in their own social environment. Through our transformative Learning, Training, and Research, peacebuilders are empowered to confidently navigate the challenges of their context, becoming ‘salt and light’ within their society.

The Founder

Founder and Director

Rula Khoury Mansour

Rula is the founding director of the Nazareth Center for Peace Studies and an Associate Professor of Reconciliation Theology, Peace Studies, and Christian Ethics at Nazareth Evangelical College (NEC). She also serves as an adjunct professor at Bethlehem Bible College (BBC) and the Asia Graduate School of Theology (AGST) in their PhD Peace Studies program.
She lectures, conducts research, and offers training and consultations in congregations and various institutions, both locally and internationally. Her teachings aim to empower individuals and organizations as peacebuilders, equipping them with tools to pursue peace in their communities.
Her personal experiences and background as a Palestinian Christian woman, Israeli citizen, cultural Middle Easterner, and threefold numerical minority have given her a deep understanding of the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Having lived within this conflict her entire life, she has gained valuable insights into intricate conflicts.
In her practical experience as a lawyer, she worked for over a decade as a public prosecutor and served as the deputy head of the public prosecution office in Nazareth, becoming the first Palestinian to hold such a post in Israel.
Throughout her career, her motto has been: ‘Do justly and love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God’ (Micah 6:8). Her experience as the deputy head of the public prosecution office and her subsequent role as an associate professor of reconciliation theology and peace studies, along with her initiative in establishing and leading the Nazareth Center for Peace Studies, have enabled her to engage firsthand with the opportunities and challenges involved in cultivating harmonious communities.
Rula’s educational journey reflects her interdisciplinary interests and calling. She is a Langham scholar, and earned her PhD in Peace Studies and Theology from the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in Oxford (OCMS), UK, in 2018. Prior to that, she graduated with honors (Cum Laude) with a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Tel-Aviv University and obtained her Law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1995. In 2007, she was granted an award from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for Jewish-Arab cooperation, a commendable initiative initiated by Tel Aviv University. Her education has equipped her with the necessary knowledge to investigate the nuances of peacebuilding.
As a researcher, deeply rooted in her Christian beliefs, Rula has authored the book “Theology of Reconciliation in the Context of Church Relations,” published in 2020 by Langham. In her doctoral research under the guidance of renowned theologian Prof. Miroslav Volf, Rula explored the cultural-theological implications of church conflict within a Palestinian evangelical context in Israel. Her work critically evaluated Volf’s reconciliation theology and Palestinian peace-making models while proposing a Middle Eastern theology of reconciliation. This research demonstrates her commitment to fostering understanding and peace within complex cultural and religious landscapes.
Rula has contributed several articles and book chapters in English and Arabic, which have been featured in various journals and volumes. Her works explore essential themes such as reconciliation theology, forgiveness, justice, peace ethics, church conflict, the church as a peace agent, and theological insights into sociocultural issues. Her writings highlight the transformative power of Christ-centered reconciliation and explore how divine guidance and community efforts intertwine.
Additionally, Rula has held visiting scholar positions at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia (2015-2017), Asbury University in Kentucky (June 2022), and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University, UK (June 2023). Her extensive involvement in research and teaching has allowed her to interact with diverse perspectives and gain a deep understanding of the complexities involved in peacebuilding.
She currently serves as a council member on the Langham Partnership International Council, an organization that supports theological education worldwide. She is a member of the Women Peer Leader Forum in theological education, a member of the advisory board at the Bethlehem Institute of Peace & Justice, and also chairs the Ethics Committee at the Nazareth Hospital.
Rula is passionate about fostering a peaceful common existence in divided societies and hopes that the vision and mission of the Nazareth Center for Peace Studies will contribute to promoting a more harmonious society.
Rula and her husband, Bader, live in Nazareth with their three sons: Adi, Rami, and Sami.

Board of Directors

Chair Person

Randa Elias

Randa lives in Nazareth with her family. She is married and has two grown children and two grandsons. With strong ties to her faith, she actively participates in the Local Baptist Church in Nazareth and has dedicated numerous years to the ministry, particularly focusing on women’s empowerment. Currently, she works at the Nazareth Hospital, a missionary establishment founded in 1861 by an Armenian Physician and his wife. Randa holds a nursing degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Master’s degree in management from Haifa University. Over the years, she has held various managerial roles in the hospital and currently serves as the Director of Quality and Monitoring. With retirement approaching at the end of 2023, Randa eagerly awaits the next chapter in her life where she can continue to serve and make a meaningful impact in whatever capacity she is called upon.

Board Member

Elizabeth Shehadeh

Elizabeth lives in Haifa with her family. She is the Vice Principal at the elementary Baptist school in Nazareth, where she also teaches English and Christian education to junior school students. As a skilled leader, she excels in creating a positive learning environment and implementing effective educational strategies. Elizabeth’s true passion lies in empowering her students to realize their full potential and lead lives in accordance with God’s will. She constantly seeks opportunities to enhance her teaching methodologies and contribute to the growth and success of her students. Married to Rev. Canon Hatem Shehadeh, Elizabeth is deeply committed to serving the community in Haifa, especially in ministry for children to foster their spiritual growth. Moreover, she actively participates in the Women’s Ministries Committee in the Diocese of Jerusalem, representing the Episcopal Anglican Church of Haifa. In this capacity, she collaborates with fellow committee members to promote the empowerment and well-being of women in the community through the love of Christ.

Board Member

Rasha Saba

Rasha is the General Secretary of the Fellowship of Christian Students in Israel (FCSI), a ministry composed of Messianic Jews, Arab Christians, and International Christians studying in Israel. She is passionate about teaching the Bible, training, and equipping young leaders who can influence their communities and the Church, and seeing unity in the body of Christ in the Land. She has been leading the ministry since June 2018. Before taking her current role, she worked with the ministry for six years among Arab students and as the training coordinator – the first to hold this position. Rasha left behind a career in occupational therapy to work for the FCSI because of the personal calling she felt from the Lord. Her work also includes serving with the International Fellowship of Christian Students (IFES) on both a regional and international level. Rasha possesses a master’s degree in counseling and group facilitation, a certificate in couple’s counseling, and is currently studying for a master’s degree in ministry. She and her husband Rani live in Nazareth and serve in pastoring a local Baptist church in Nof Hagalil, where Rani has served as lead pastor since January 2022. She also serves on the board of the Arab Evangelical Convention in Israel and on other boards.

Board Member

Dr. Khalil Nasrallah

Khalil lives in Shefa-amr with his family. He is married and a father of two children. Khalil works as a senior orthopedic surgeon at the Galilee Medical Center. He is a Faculty Member of AO Trauma and a clinical instructor at Bar-Ilan University. He completed his fellowship training in orthopedic trauma at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, Jerusalem. Additionally, he successfully finished the AO Research Traveling Fellowship, which took place in various centers in Europe such as Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. He has completed his training as an International Master Coach (IMA) from the Technion, the school of continuing education. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Biological Thought at the Open University and studying Cognitive-behavioral therapies for personality disorders at Bar-Ilan University. Apart from his medical profession, Khalil also serves as a youth leader in the Shefa-amr Baptist Church. He actively engages in giving lectures and seminars, particularly focusing on challenging topics from philosophical, psychological, and spiritual perspectives.

Board Member

Remah Abdo

Remah lives with her family in Nof HaGalil, adjacent to Nazareth. She is married and a mother to three wonderful children. Remah is an educational counselor at the Baptist School in Nazareth, where she offers guidance on psychological, educational, developmental, and social aspects to students, parents, staff, and administration. Remah also works with the Ministry of Education as a mentor and supervisor for beginner and experienced counselors. Her work extends to facilitating various groups and themes, such as educational consultants, teachers, and school administrators, with the aim of improving social-emotional learning in their respective schools. Remah writes and leads workshops for diverse groups on an array of topics, ranging from psychological resilience and social skill development to healthy communication and other life skills. Remah served alongside her husband at the youth meetings at their Local Baptist Church in Nazareth for several years. They continue to provide advice to young people and various families in need within their community, while also serving the Lord through worship in the church.

Board Member

Shireen Giryes

Shireen was born and raised in Nazareth. She is married and a mother of two children. Shirin actively serves her community as a Sunday school children’s teacher. In her professional life, Shireen works as a lawyer at the Jerusalem Municipality, specializing in cases involving at-risk youth. Before her current role, she provided invaluable legal consultation at the 1-in-9 organization, assisting women diagnosed with breast cancer. Shireen’s legal expertise covered various fields, including health insurance law, health basket for sick fund members, social security, national institute and income tax, and employment rights. She also delivered lectures to raise awareness among these women about their rights and encouraged them to seek the health services they deserved. Additionally, she represented patients before relevant bodies to uphold their rights. Prior to her tenure at the 1-in-9 organization, Shireen worked as a legal consultant to judges. Shireen holds an LLB in Law from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Master’s degree in Law from Haifa University.

Audit Committee Member

Khaloob Kawar

Khaloob was born and raised in Nazareth. She is deeply involved in serving the community through various ministries focused on children, youth, and women. With a PhD in speech and language pathology from Tel Aviv University, Khaloob has made significant contributions to her field, publishing numerous research articles in esteemed academic journals.
Currently, Khaloob’s professional endeavors revolve around working as a dedicated speech and language pathologist, specializing in assisting children with disabilities. Furthermore, she holds the positions of a lecturer and the head of the MA track in the Special Education Department at Beit Berl College. Khaloob’s core values encompass integrity, commitment, human rights, and social justice. These principles guide her in both her academic pursuits and her clinical practice. Her passion for knowledge, her innate curiosity, ambition, and dedication to learning, serve as the driving forces behind her exceptional work in both academia and the field of speech and language pathology.

Audit Committee Member

Rana Haddad

Rana lives in Nazareth with her family. She is married and a mother of three children. She is a licensed psychologist with a specialization in working with children, adolescents, parents, and teachers within the school setting. Rana holds a Bachelor degree in Behavioral Science and a Master’s degree in Clinical and Educational Psychology, with a specialization in Educational and School Psychology. Rana actively participates in her local community. She and her husband play integral roles in various ministries at the Local Baptist Church in Nazareth. Their active involvement spans across children’s ministry, couples’ ministry, women’s ministry, youth ministry, and family ministry, reflecting their commitment to serving and supporting their fellow community members. In addition to her church involvement, Rana serves as a board member of the Fellowship of Christian Students in Israel (FCSI). This further emphasizes her dedication to assisting and encouraging students in their Christian faith journey.

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