AGSC Directors - Alliance University

Dr. Antoinette Gines-Rivera

Dean of Alliance Graduate School of Counseling and Associate Professor of Mental Health Counseling

AGSC Directors - Alliance University

Dr. Andrew Mercurio

Program Director and Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy

Dr. Antoinette Gines-Rivera, Ph.D. is the Dean of AGSC and Director of the Mental Health Counseling programs at Nyack College, Alliance Graduate School of Counseling. Dr. Toni, as she prefers to be called, is a graduate of Regent University where she obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology & Counseling with a specialization in Counselor Education & Supervision. Also receiving a duo degree in M.S in Bilingual Education and Bilingual School Psychology from Fordham University in NYC, after which she worked for the NYS Department of Education for ten years before pursuing her doctorate. Dr. Toni obtained her B.A. in Psychology from the College of New Rochelle, Bronx, NY.

Dr. Toni’s duo-language bilingual abilities in Spanish and English afforded her the opportunity to conduct an emic research study where she investigated the counseling needs of the Honduran population in-country. Her study has been published in an ACA (American Counseling Association) publication in 2013, titled Counseling Around the World: An International Handbook. This publication has opened countless doors for Dr. Toni to speak publically abroad and in the United States where she teaches and trains those who are working in the trenches of helping the native Hondureńo and Latino family with their hardships and suffering. Dr. Toni also specializes in the study of sexual abuse and victimization. Her passion for counseling and spiritual well-being comes on the heels of her own childhood trauma eventually becoming her catalyst to becoming the resilient women she is today, Dr. Toni has learned to embrace the biblical truth that suffering is what God uses to prepare and train us to be a beacon of light for others who suffer in this world. Through her journey of faith in God, inner healing and education, Dr. Toni has found her passion and purpose advocating for those that come across her path.

As Director of AGSC, Dr. Toni’s objective is to guide applicants interested in Mental Health counseling in navigating through the process of discovering their highest potential, passion and dreams in career choice. Choosing a graduate school can have a significant impact on your future profession, ministry, and personal life. This is especially true of our counseling program. Counseling is both a calling and a responsibility requiring competency, compassion, discipline and discipleship.

Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (AGSC) was founded on the principle that we are able to grow to be healthy, holy beings. AGSC offers an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling at our new beautiful and high-tech Manhattan campus. This is a program that has been designed to prepare our students to be competently trained counselors, ready for any arena of help services. Dr. Toni strongly believes that God is raising up a new breed of counselor that will be used mightily to service a spiritually and emotionally impoverished world, We accomplish this through an integration of faith and practice, using the psych-spiritual-counseling model. Situated in an urban environment, we purposefully emphasize counseling in the cross-cultural. Lastly, we care deeply about the personal and professional growth of each student, as Dr. Toni encourages you to pray and seek to know if AGSC is for you. If you decide that it is, we are here and ready for you!

If interested and you would like to hear more of what Nyack College’s AGSC program has to offer you, Dr. Toni can be reached by email at

Antoinette Gines-Rivera, Ph.D.
Director, Alliance Graduate School of Counseling
Director, Mental Health Counseling Program