Days Away from Nyack's Historic Archaeological Dig

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Wednesday June 29, 2016

Dr. R. Steven Notley, Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins and Director of Graduate Programs in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins based at the Nyack College Manhattan campus, will partner with scholars from The Center for Holy Land Studies in Springfield, MO and head to Israel July 8-25 with a group of students and faculty for Nyack’s first archaeological dig!

The event which holds immeasurable cultural, historical, and religious value will include support in the amount of $20,000—which represents a $10,000 challenge grant from Biblical Archeology Review matched by $10,000 in gifts from individual donors coordinated by Dr. Notley and associate director Constance Diggs through the Center for the Study of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins. These funds cover Nyack College's commitment to participate in the dig with Kinneret College and the Institute for Galilean Archeology. The El-Araj Excavation Project will be directed by Mordechai Aviam, professor of archaeology at the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee. Dr. Notley’s role will focus on topography and mapping.

“Nyack College students will participate in a field school that will instruct them on how modern archaeological research is performed. In addition, they will travel on field trips to other nearby archaeological sites guided by leading Israeli archaeologists,” says Dr. Notley. “The expectation is that this will be the first year of a multi-year excavation.” He explains that since the middle of the 19th century there has been an attempt to locate missing places mentioned in the Bible, but which disappeared without a trace. One of those is the first-century Jewish fishing village of Bethsaida on the northeast shores of the Sea of Galilee that is also described as a location for Jesus’ ministry (Mark 8:22; Luke 9:10).

Dr. Notley points out that in 1989 excavations began at a site called et-Tell 1½ miles from the lakeshore, which the excavator claimed was the missing New Testament city. He says, “Today it is routinely described as Bethsaida on maps of Israel. However, there are a number of problems with this claim and it has not gone unquestioned.” In 2007, Notley wrote a challenge to this claim in his article “Et-Tell is Not Bethsaida” for the journal, Near Eastern Archeology. His and others' questions culminated in May 2014 when a shovel-survey was carried out at the alternate site of el-Araj which lies closer to the lake. The results of the survey indicated the profile for a city that matched what would be expected for the history of Bethsaida. 

Carlos Cuestas ('09), A Classical Guitar Act

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Wednesday June 29, 2016

Carlos Cuestas (’09), Nyack School of Music New York City alumnus, was awarded the Presidential MAGNET Fellowship from the Graduate Center at City University of New York, where he is a student in the Ph.D. ethnomusicology program. He also received the Harrison Summer Grant for research which has taken him to Colombia to begin work on his dissertation.

Carlos is a member of the Son Jarocho Band Radio Jarocho, Emericus Ensemble, and a classical guitar instructor at the Nyack College School of Music in Manhattan.

Born in Colombia, Carlos began his guitar studies with renowned guitarist and composer Gentil Montaña. In addition to his degree from Nyack College, he earned a master’s degree in performance practice from Brooklyn College. Visit his website.  

Upcoming performances include the following dates:

July 7: Concert with flutist Jenny Cline at the National Museum in Bogotá, Colombia

August 11 and 14: Performance at the Convention of the National Flute Association in San Diego, CA

October 13: Performance with Mexamorphosis at the Union City Performing Arts Center, Union City, NJ

October 14: CD Release of the Cline/Cuestas Duo at Drew University in Madison, NJ

October 22: Performance of the Concierto de Aranjuez with the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, Red Bank, NJ

Rev. Dave Nguyen and the Vietnamese Alliance Church Celebrate an Anniversary

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Wednesday June 29, 2016

Rev. Dave Cuong Huu Nguyen (’92), a Nyack Biblical and Theological Studies alumnus was recently featured in a publication based in Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline.

He is currently a pastor of Landisville’s Vietnamese Alliance Church, which celebrated its 40th church anniversary this month. Read about his journey “From Saigon to a local sanctuary” here.

Happy anniversary to Rev. Nguyen and his congregation! 



Photo credit: Richard Hertzler | LNP Media Group, Inc


Honoring the Life of Dr. Thomas P. Bailey, Sr.

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Friday June 24, 2016


Dr. Thomas P. Bailey, who served as the seventh president of Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary, and before that as its academic dean from 1958 until 1975, passed away on Saturday, June 18 in Fort Myers, Florida.

Dr. Bailey devoted over three decades of loyal service to Nyack/ATS as a professor of history, as well as academic dean of the College and as president. The Board of Trustees named him Professor Emeritus of History of Religion upon his retirement in 1982.

President Michael G. Scales commented, "My dear friend, Dr. Tom Bailey, spent his career translating the heart and vision of A.B. Simpson into the world of modern higher education. As dean, he was instrumental in gaining the accreditation that expanded the reach and influence of Nyack Missionary College through the offering of recognized four-year degrees. As president, he secured the granting of master’s degrees for what is now Alliance Theological Seminary.

Tom led Nyack to take tremendous steps forward without ever stepping off course, and he did so with uncanny gentleness, humor, and grace. Perhaps no individual since Dr. Simpson has had more of a shaping influence on Nyack College and ATS than he. Every Nyack College and ATS graduate who has been afforded the opportunity to serve, to work, and to excel because of his or her degree owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Tom Bailey. As do I."

The College is receiving expressions of condolence and appreciation for Dr. Bailey. These will be compiled and shared on the Nyack website in the next few days.


Nyack College Among 67 Schools Participating in the Second Chance Program

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Friday June 24, 2016

Nyack College is among the New York area institutions of higher education participating in a pilot program that will offer Pell Grants to inmates pursuing degree programs.

Read the Wall Street Journal recent coverage of this announcementInside Higher Education also featured this Obama Administration initiative.


Photo credit: Babita Patel

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