Among the activities of the Custody, the educational and formational is of particular importance and this is directed both toward the local population and religious and lay people coming from all over the world.
In 1550, with the opening of the first parochial school in Bethlehem, followed then by Jerusalem and Nazareth, a long tradition of scholastic formation for youths was inaugurated, which is expressed today in numerous schools which host more than 10,000 students, spread not only through the Holy Land but also in Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Argentina - the Terra Sancta Schools.
The attention of the Custody is geared not only to the cultural elevation of the arab population, both christian and muslim, but also to the process of education in tolerance and peaceful respect of creeds, of emancipation of women in society and of the extension of instruction to all, even to the most poor.
Next to the formative gift of the schools, the Custody promotes its activity of research and scientific formation through the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, the faculty of Biblical and Archeological Sciences founded in 1923, which alongside the institutional biblical-archeological courses, organizes meetings for deepening and updating biblical-theological understanding and sustains a flourishing editorial activity.
The Studium Theologicum Jerosolymitanum is ordered to the formation of franciscan seminarians, but also welcomes ecclesiastics and lay people and includes the whole Institutional Cycle or first Cycle of the Faculty of Theology. Finally, but no less important, is then the school of music, the Magnificat Institute, which, with a special focus on dialogue and education in peaceful coexistence, is occupied with the formation of future musicians and teachers of every religion.