In the summer of 2016, Nyack College, along with other institutions of higher education and scholarly organizations, partnered with scholars from The Center for Holy Land Studies located in Springfield, MO, and headed to Israel for what would be Nyack’s first archaeological dig.
Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Nyack, Dr. R. Steven Notley continues to serve as the academic director for the El-Araj Excavation Project (EAEP) with Dr. Mordechai Aviam of the Kinneret Institute for Galilean Archaeology at Kinneret College in Israel. In 2017, the dig uncovered evidence of the ancient city, Bethsaida-Julias. This breakthrough incited a media blitz that circled the globe including coverage by National Geographic, USA Today, Newsweek, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, “The Today Show,” Fox News.com and the History News Network. Just a few short months following the discovery, Dr. Notley learned that National Geographic included the article, “The Real Story Behind the ‘House of Jesus’ Apostles’ Discovery” among the revered magazine’s “Best of 2017 Editors’ Favorites.”
Among the many 2019 participants joining this fourth season of excavation is Nyack’s president, Dr. Michael Scales; his wife, Susan; and grandson, Jack Brookshire. President Scales commented, “It’s one thing for Nyack College to develop degree programs that offer our students experiential learning. It’s quite another thing to participate with the Nyack team here in Israel—literally on the ground making a connection to their text…in this case, the Bible. So grateful for this extraordinary opportunity!”