Bachelor of Science in Youth and Family Studies


Bachelor of Science in Youth and Family Studies


The mission of the Youth & Family Studies Department is to embrace, encourage, equip, and unleash collegians to have kingdom impact in God’s power. We prepare students to be employable upon graduation.

Why Study Youth and Family Studies (YFS) at Nyack?

Nyack’s YFS Department is designed to give its students extensive and practical knowledge, skills, and experience in the field. The YFS Student Leadership Team plans and leads events, including a retreat early in the school year. Our department is a supportive family. We place a high value on support and encouragement. Our lead professor, Len Kageler, has written eleven books on youth ministry and is asked to address gatherings of youth workers all over the world.

Area churches, including those in NYC, love having Nyack YFS students serving as volunteers, paid interns, or youth directors.

What Will I Study?

Foundation: personal soul care, integrity, and maintaining empowering relationships

Level 1: knowledge and skills to work directly with children/youth

Level 2: knowledge and skills to work with and through volunteers/parents

Level 3:  knowledge and skills to work with church/organization leadership

Career Opportunities
  • Associate director at a Christian camp

  • Children’s or youth director/pastor (U.S. or abroad)

  • Parachurch ministry leadership (e.g., Young Life or Youth for Christ)

  • Program staff for a specialized ministry (e.g., working with teen moms)

  • Resident director at a group home for at-risk youth

This degree is also a platform from which to pursue a graduate degree (e.g., a Masters in Counseling or an M.Div.).

Our Graduates

Last year 93% of our graduates either found well paying, full time jobs in the field or were accepted into a graduate school program. Here are some of the positions our graduates have filled.

  • Director of Youth for Christ, New York City

  • Head of Young Life, West Point

  • Head of Youth for Christ, Long Island

  • Head of Youth Ministry, the Evangelical Free Church of America

  • Young Children’s Director

​Key Faculty
  • Daniel Haugh

  • Dr. Leonard Kageler (Department Chair)

  • Dr. ShayLee Perez

  • Anna Shuman


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Advanced Youth Ministry, Camp and Wilderness Adventure Program Leadership, Family Services, Student Selected Interest


“I didn’t realize just how much Nyack's YFS program had prepared me until I sat in my first interview and was reminded of how much I knew! The YFS department gave me the tools, knowledge, and confidence to lead well, while also encouraging me to grow.” Art Pereira, Class of 2013
“Being part of the YFS department brought me out of my comfort zone both relationally and spiritually. My time at Nyack taught me about my identity, worth, and value as a woman, a minister, and part of the body of Christ.” Courtney Cox, Class of 2015 
“I loved being in the YFS department at Nyack because it was a community of like-minded people who all desire to serve God by working with youth and families. I learned a lot from my courses, and I was also challenged through discussions with my peers.” Alex Tufano, Class of 2013