One of the most rewarding gift options at Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary is scholarship funds. Investors who donate to our Student Support Fund contribute to education, as well as leadership development. You will be able to follow the progress of recipient students as they learn and grow. It is an unforgettable way of giving and when you hear from students, you’ll be fully persuaded that your gift is a personal victory you share with scholarship recipients.

Our goal is to provide opportunities—within and outside of the classroom setting—that will help make a student’s dreams become realities. Scholarship awards, based on financial need and outstanding academic performance, are an integral part of this goal. Our scholarships are not handouts, but a means of rewarding deserving students who demonstrate strong academic and leadership qualities. Students who qualify, based on need, can become the first generation college graduates in their families. Together these qualifiers build our population of students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who have a common goal of a Christian education.

Here are a few of the endowed Scholarships in place to bless students:

Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship

The Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship fund for nursing students has been established by Nyack College/ATS Trustee, Dr. Carolyn Tonge, in memory of her mother, Cassilda Downs. Mrs. Downs passion for the profession came together in a nursing career that lasted for all the working years of her lifetime. She was committed to serving God and serving others.

Mrs. Downs completed her nurse’s training in 1929 at Kingston Public Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. She spent an additional nine months in training as a midwife before returning home, where she became the first registered nurse on the east coast of Nicaragua. She served her island community tirelessly by treating the most severe illnesses as well as the minor things that ailed her patients. There are thousands of fortunate men, women, children, and especially babies, who benefitted from her selfless and loving ministry of healing. Nursing was not what Cassilda did; a nurse was who she was.

The Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in the nursing program from either Central or South America who is in financial need.

Comments from the Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship recipients:

“I chose Nyack College because of the mission focus of the school. This scholarship will help me accomplish my goal of becoming a missionary nurse. I hope that in the future, I can go to South or Central America to spread God’s word while giving people the medical attention that they really need.”

“My goal is to start an orphanage for street children so that they cannot only have a bed and food every day, but also be loved. I want to help orphans get adopted into loving families, while first meeting their physical needs. This scholarship was an answer to my prayer as God provided a way for me to finish paying for my last year of school.”

Paul L. Liljestrand School of Music Scholarship

Dr. Paul Liljestrand’s impact on the School of Music is legendary. During his tenure at Nyack, beyond his role as an educator, he was a mentoring and loving presence for students and faculty alike. A graduate of the Julliard School and the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary, he was the conductor of the Nyack College Chorale and presented the group to an international audience, which included performances in Ukraine, East Berlin, Poland, France, and Spain. Under his leadership, the Chorale performed at two iconic venues—Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

A noted composer of sacred music, the world premiere of his oratorio, O God Our Help was presented at the Norton Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX and the New York premiere was performed at Carnegie Hall in 1993.

The Paul L. Liljestrand School of Music Scholarship exists to award worthy students majoring in music at Nyack College.  An accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music, Middle States Association, and the Association of Christian Schools International, the Nyack College School of Music is one of the oldest and most popular divisions.

Comments from the Paul L. Liljestrand School of Music Scholarship recipients:

“I am a sophomore and a Music in Worship major here at Nyack. I am a part of the Honors program and regularly participate in Honors trips, retreats, and special projects. After I graduate, I hope to lead worship full-time. My major is unique in that it combines my vocation, career, and ministry goals. This scholarship will enable me to take out fewer loans and leave college with less debt.”

“Words cannot express my appreciation for the honor of receiving this scholarship! My hope is to be able to minister to people through music. Receiving this scholarship has been a reminder to put all my cares and worries at the foot of the cross, for God always provides for my needs.”

Dr. John F Taylor Memorial

​Dr. John F. Taylor, a Nyack College legend, devoted his life to the service of God and others. His commitment to higher education and the development of emerging leaders marks his legacy. Dr. Taylor received a diploma at Nyack Missionary College in 1943; a B.A. in 1945 from Wheaton College and an M.A. in 1947 from Wheaton Graduate School of Theology. His B.D. was earned at Southern Baptist Seminary and a Ph.D. was completed at New York University in 1966.

His profound impact on Nyack began when he was a student and continued as a faculty and staff member. Taylor held different positions on campus that include Dean of Men, Director of Publicity, Vice President of Public Affairs, and Executive Director of Nyack’s Alumni Association. Dr. Taylor taught classes such as Fundamentals of Speech, Bible Archaeology, European Civilizations, and Pastoral Epistles.

The Dr. John F. Taylor Memorial Scholarship was funded to honor his life. The scholarship is awarded to students preparing for full-time vocational ministry and to a student with the vision to become a Christian business leader. Through his dedicated commitment to Nyack College, the works and good deeds of Dr. Taylor live on in the many lives that he touched.

Craig Ellison Scholarship

The Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (AGSC) began as a concept in 1982 with Dr. Craig Ellison’s vision for a master’s level counseling program that had the ability to train future counselors to address the psychospiritual needs of hurting people in the church, on the mission field, in the city, and in the community. Dr. Ellison was known as a highly gifted, active, and prolific Christian psychologist. In his professional career, Dr. Ellison wore many hats, among them psychology professor, author, clinician, researcher, and radio show host (“Perspectives on Personal Living”).

Dr. Ellison was named Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies and Counseling.  He was the first professor in the history of Nyack College/ATS to receive this recognition. Awarding the title of Distinguished Professor was a unanimous decision of the Nyack/ATS president, and Board of Trustees because of Dr. Ellison’s consistent excellence in teaching and scholarly work, as well as his service to the institution, to society and to the Church.

Dr. Ellison went to be with the Lord on March 13, 2012. He is remembered with much affection and gratitude for the lasting legacy he established at Nyack College. The work of Dr. Ellison will continue to be honored as generations of students benefit from the Craig Ellison Scholarship Fund.  Fundraising is underway to endow this scholarship for awards to eligible AGSC students.

Students are notified of the different endowed scholarships through an online application that is sent to them at the beginning of the spring semester.  Applications must be submitted annually as award amounts vary from year to year. Please see the Office of Student Financial Services for specific deadlines; awards become effective for the following academic year.

If you are interested in learning more about giving to scholarship funds, you may contact our College Relations Office by emailing or phoning 646.378.6151.