The Nyack College Pastoral Ministry department equips men and women to successfully serve the church and not-for-profit organizations locally and globally. We also prepare students to be ministers in the workplace in any professional context. We focus on the well-rounded development of our students in the areas of attitude, knowledge, and skill so that they graduate equipped with the following: an understanding of their unique calling and gifting; the ability to lead with a servant’s heart; a deep understanding of the Bible; healthy emotional, physical, and relational habits; spiritual maturity and passion; and the desire to apply biblical principles to every area of their life.
Meet Professor Velez who speaks here about the unique experience of pastoral ministry at Nyack College:
As a teacher of pastoral ministry, what is your greatest passion?
Having been on a pastoral staff for 21 years, the church, in particular, the local church, very much a part of my life and part of my heart. I enjoy teaching students and preparing students to do the work of the ministry. That’s my greatest passion.
How does a degree in pastoral ministry prepare its students?
What’s unique is really the hands-on experience. Pastoral ministry can’t be just knowledge-oriented. You really have to get your hands dirty. You have to get your experience in there. In my Pastoral Methods class, students have to perform a wedding ceremony, do a funeral service, and a Sunday morning worship service. It gives them good background of, this is how we design it, this is how we do it.
I think what I’m most proud of with the students is understanding where they came from, where they were when they graduated, and what they became afterwards. Sometimes, they come in feeling like they’re worthless. But, through Nyack College, and through the various programs, not just pastoral ministry, but in all of the different disciplines, you begin to see that a student begins to feel a little bit more confident. So, by the time they graduate, they are a totally different person than when they came in.