Intercultural Studies Major (B.A.)


The Intercultural Studies Department is designed to equip students for the engaging opportunities and challenges of our current and future world–at home or beyond our borders.  Our curriculum provides foundational and specialized skills for work in business, non-profit, humanitarian, diplomatic, and Christian ministry sectors.

Why Study Intercultural Studies at Nyack?
  • Relevant programs of study

  • Proximity to New York City and visits to ethnic neighborhoods

  • Experienced professors

  • A strong departmental community

  • An intercultural legacy: Nyack has been preparing intercultural workers for over 130 years.

What Will I Study?
  • Cultural sensitivity and awareness

  • Skills for business and/or non-profits in both relief and development

  • Ministry skills

  • Bible knowledge and application

  • Two internships enable students to gain practical experience domestically and internationally.

Career Opportunities

An Intercultural Studies major can expect to have a solid foundation leading to a variety of career opportunities. As with most college programs, graduate level studies will enhance the opportunities, but the foundation of Intercultural Studies will prepare students for a career in:

  • Church leadership or Church administration

  • International ministry  

  • International community development  

  • Business

  • Education  

  • Government  

  • Military  

Our Graduates

Graduates of the Intercultural Studies program in the past ten years have served in many places around the world.  They are doing church planting, community development, working for nonprofit organizations, and teaching English in countries around the world.  

Key Faculty

Steve Nehlsen (Department Head): 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 classes. 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: Dr. Reitz is assistant professor of Intercultural Studies. He teaches in the Intercultural Studies core, 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 Ph.D. in Global Leadership. His experience was in community development in both the African and Asian contexts. His research interests include intercultural teams, humanitarian action, and virtual teams.


Global Outreach, Intercultural Entrepreneurship, International Community Development


“Living on the ethnically diverse campus of Nyack, with close access to other 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 “David Ausubel, language theorist, explained that learning is not simply memorizing facts. It is the creation of meaningful connections in the brain. This is the best explanation of Nyack’s Intercultural Studies program–a system of learning that goes beyond the classroom. Through Intercultural Studies, I received practical experience and the tools to work abroad. Whether during my internship in the Middle East or my first two years in South Korea, I have been consistently grateful for the perspectives Nyack’s Intercultural Studies program built into me.” Rebekah Carroll, Class of 2013