Suburbs and Skyscrapers

Nyack College’s two New York campuses


Someone once asked Jesus an important and difficult question: “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus’ response was both unexpected and challenging as He told the parable of the good Samaritan.

Suburbs and Skyscrapers
Nyack’s Rockland County, New York, residential campus includes a beautiful view of the Hudson River.

Today “who is my neighbor” remains a question that each of us must think through seriously and answer personally. At Nyack College, considering this query has led us to something unprecedented.

Unique Settings

Many who think about Nyack envision our 102-acre residential campus located in the scenic Hudson Valley of New York State. We are proud of the heritage we have built on this campus. The men and women who have studied, taught, and worked at Nyack’s historic suburban campus, beginning with Dr. A. B. Simpson and his contemporaries, have gone from Nyack to shape not only The Christian and Missionary Alliance but modern Christianity worldwide.

But today, approximately 30 miles from our suburban college and seminary campuses in Rockland County, another world of Nyack College exists. Here, a view from a campus window displays the gleaming skyscrapers and bustling streets of New York City. Here, Nyack provides Christian higher education the likes of which can be provided only in this unique setting.

Suburbs and Skyscrapers
Nyack’s New York City campus, near Wall Street, is surrounded by landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center’s Freedom Tower.

Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary offer degree programs both in a suburban setting and in New York City (NYC). There is no other accredited Christian college in America that can make this claim. Developing a Christian college in NYC is an enormous and complex undertaking. People have asked me if launching and growing our campus in NYC is really necessary. My answer is an unqualified, “Yes!”

Educational Access

Perhaps the best vantage point from which to understand my passion for this is not on the “macro” institutional level but on the personal, individual level. Listen to how James Powell, a 2016 graduate of our Social Work program, describes his Nyack experience on our NYC campus.

When I felt that God was calling me to transfer to Nyack College, I did not know the exact location of the campus in Manhattan. However, the proximity of Nyack College’s NYC campus to my job as the preteen ministry director at the Brooklyn Tabernacle has been a tremendous blessing. Nyack’s campus was only one subway stop away from my church. This made it so much easier for me to be both a full-time employee and a full-time student.

Suburbs and Skyscrapers

I visited Nyack’s Rockland campus for my Nyack Heritage class. I loved it! I was so blessed to spend time on the Rockland campus, learning about our rich, godly heritage. It really ministered to me and inspired me.

Now that I have graduated, I would love to continue to work at my church. Nyack has equipped me to be more of a help and a blessing to the children, youth, and families of our church. But I could also see myself working as a school social worker. The children in the NYC Department of Education face so many challenges. I would like to be there for them—to champion them forward, to show them that they have value and that they matter.

I have heard dozens of testimonies like James’s. There are hundreds more emanating from the lives of our NYC students. Like James, many of them would not have reasonable access to a Christian college or seminary education if Nyack and ATS were not present in NYC.

Suburbs and Skyscrapers

Like James, some of these students come from NYC and plan to return to serve the communities and neighborhoods of this great city. But many other students have come to NYC as part of a new wave of immigration that is likely to continue well into the next century. Often their dream is to return to their home countries to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. Serving these students will have a ripple effect around the globe.

When Jesus answered the question, “Who is my neighbor?” He taught His followers to serve the people God places in our path. For Nyack College and ATS, God has placed students like James in our path. They are our neighbors. So too are the people around the world whose lives will be touched by these students when they graduate.

That’s why Nyack must be there, in NYC, to serve.

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