Associate of Arts in Intercultural Studies


Nyack’s AA degree in Intercultural Studies is designed to equip students for the engaging opportunities and challenges of our current and future world. It provides the foundation to explore additional education and work in a cross-cultural context. It is designed specifically for the student who wants to get some preparation, but who is not sure which which 4-year degree to pursue.  

Why Study Intercultural Studies at Nyack?
  • proximity to New York City and its diverse international communities

  • experienced professors

  • a strong departmental community

  • our legacy: Nyack has been preparing intercultural workers for over 120 years.

What Will I Study?
  • cultural sensitivity and awareness

  • core courses that can be transferred into nearly any degree program

  • valuable basic ministry skills

  • a biblical foundation for mission and intercultural engagement

Career Opportunities

Those who receive an AA in Intercultural Studies can expect to have a basic foundation of education that will lead to viable internships and experiences that will guide the student towards the completion of a 4-year degree.

Key Faculty

Steve Nehlsen (Head of Department)

Steve’s thirty-seven years of living in West Africa, as both a child and an international worker, has provided him with a rich cultural background to bring to his class. He teaches courses like Cultural Anthropology, Intercultural Teams, Introduction to Global Engagement, and Theology of Mission and Justice. Steve is currently working on a doctoral degree with a focus on “The Effect of Ancestor Veneration on First Generation Christians in the Alliance Church of Burkina Faso.”  His twenty-two years of service in West Africa involved communicating the Gospel to Muslims, working to help create a center for girls at risk, and leading a team of international workers in Burkina Faso.

Dr. Scott Reitz

Scott is an assistant professor of Intercultural Studies. He teaches core courses as well as many classes related to community development. His courses include International Relief, Sustainable Development, Cross-Cultural Adjustment, Funding Projects and Ministries, and Survey of Developing Nations. Dr. Reitz has a PhD in Global Leadership. He also has experience in community development in both the African and Asian contexts. His research interests include intercultural teams, humanitarian action, and virtual teams.


Credits:  60 
Standard Completion Time:  2 years


“Living on the ethnically diverse campus of Nyack, with close access to the many cultures in New York City, was the perfect environment for studying cross-cultural living. Despite my uncertainty as to how marketable my Intercultural Studies degree would be, when the rubber hit the road in Uganda, I realized how well it had prepared me to live among and serve people of another culture.” Chrissy Chip, Class of 2007

“One of my professors explained that learning is not simply memorizing facts. It is the creation of meaningful connections in the brain. That is the best explanation of the Intercultural Studies program at Nyack. It is a system of learning that goes beyond the classroom. Through Intercultural Studies, I received practical experience and the tools to work abroad. During my internship in the Middle East, as well as my first two years in South Korea, I was constantly grateful for the perspectives studying Intercultural Studies at Nyack had built into me.” Rebekah Carroll, Class of 2013