The Church is more than a Building

The dictionary as well as most of the world defines the church as ‘a building used for public Christian worship’. I spent the majority of my life believing this was the true and only definition of church. And, although yes, the building we meet in on Sunday mornings is called a “church”, in reality it is so much more. The church is the people, the believers in Christ who seek to worship together. When we remove ourselves from the four walls that tend to confine our worship we see the full extent of what this body of believers truly is. This is one of the reasons I love having church outside the restrictions of a building from time to time, as a remembrance that when Christians gather in the name of Christ, God is always with them.
I was blessed to attend such a service on Sunday by going to a student-led service that has started here on campus. The leaders decided to hold it outside, on the hillside, and despite the semi-chilling temperatures it was an amazing time of worship. There was singing and an honest and heart-felt sermon preached. A sense of freedom was evident as we were encouraged to respond at the end by singing, praying with one another, or even drawing. It was a beautiful reminder of the amazing God we serve and the wonderful freedom and blessings we have here at Nyack College as we sang our hearts out in the center of the campus for all of Nyack to hear. Especially as the school year is coming to an end it was nice to be able to escape from the paper-writing and other final preparations and just be outside and freely worshiping our God.
This is only one specific example of some of the different churches I have been a part of during my time here at Nyack, but there have been many others. This school is a coming together of many different denominations and cultural backgrounds which opens the door for varying styles of worship and church services. I have been a part of many more creative services since being here including different means of worship such as using flags, dancing, drama, art, and others. There is a certain freedom to worship God in many new and creative ways that I had not so much experienced growing up in my own church. I have come to see that church is more than just going to a building, sitting, singing, listening, and leaving. It is corporately worshiping our father through our whole being and using the varying gifts he has given us to do so.
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Class Trips For the Love of Culture

 

star of david

There are those moments in everyone’s life that you now you will remember forever. I knew this was one of those moments as I stood there reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the Yom Ha’Shoah Commemoration sitting by some of my fellow classmates and surrounded by many of the Jewish members of the Rockland community. There were about eight men on stage who were all Jewish War Veterans. It was a beautiful moment that turned into an emotional evening as we celebrated many survivors of the Holocaust. For me, as I am not Jewish it was a very unique experience to partake in their celebration and also remembrance of many who did not survive. The chance to meet survivors and hear their stories in person is something my children will not have the chance to do. I feel incredibly blessed for the amazing opportunities I have had this semester to learn more about the Holocaust, meet survivors, and become more informed on different Jewish traditions and ways of life.

Through this and some other experiences this past weekend I have really come to appreciate the different and varying opportunities I have at Nyack College to learn and be a part of other cultural settings. Like I said I have had many opportunities recently to learn about the Holocaust and Jewish culture this past month. It is something that I have always been interested in and have had the chance to learn more through my Global Literature class. We read a book about it tittles ‘None of Us Will Return’, and then visited a Holocaust museum just down the road from Nyack. I continue on in my journey to become even more educated about such things and what can be done to avoid anything like this in the future.

 

Another cultural experience I was able to be involved in was a field trip to a Spanish-speaking church with my Spanish class. There was a large group of us that went, but we were welcomed with open arms and loving embraces. The people at the church were so kind and hospitable. My teacher actually preached and afterwards we stayed and shared a meal with the congregation. It was a great chance to practice a little Spanish and get to experience a rich and beautiful culture.

 

These are just two or three experiences I have had over the past month here at Nyack , but there are vast numbers of ways to experience other cultures here. Even just staying on campus I have cultural experiences every day as people from all over the globe make up the community of Nyack College. Then there are many ways off campus as well, living in one of the most diverse places in the world it seems silly not to take every chance I get. Different cultures show God’s creativity and love for all people and I love taking advantage of every opportunity to experience such things.

 

Absence makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Growing up the longest amount of time I would spend away from my family was the one incredible week I spent at summer camp each year. I would go for less than six full days, but I would still really miss my family and always want to call home to talk to my mom. Regardless of the fact I knew I would be missing my family, those weeks I spent at summer camp throughout my childhood where some of the greatest days of my life. And, because of my parent’s nudging and our mutually love shared for this little camp nestled right on the shore of Lake Erie I graduated from camper to staff and still continue to serve every summer there at Beulah Beach. It is an unparralled experience to be able to give back to a place that has given so much to me and helped in many ways to shape me spiritually.

But, even now at twenty years old there are times when I’m away at camp or now being at school eight hours away, that I miss my family and all the laughter they bring to my life. For me college was a dream because it was like a very long summer camp. I lived in a dorm with a bunch of other girls, ate in the cafeteria, learned about Jesus, met amazing people and lived life together. I attribute my love for dorm life and ease into it to my many incredible experiences at Beulah Beach. I love my family, but spending some time away from them at school made my love and appreciation for them grow so much deeper. My parents have always believed in my dreams and wanted what is best for me. They were always supportive of my decision to go away to school even if that means several long drives ahead of them to drop me off each September or to come visit me.

Living on campus and meeting so many people on my floor or in my classes has given me a beautiful and diverse family here at Nyack, but one of the most looked forward things is when I get to go home. I do love school, but just like when I went to summer camp there is some homesickness that sets in. At a certain points in the semester you would do anything for a home cooked meal or your own bed or to just be able to spend time with old friends and family. Just coming off of spring break I can tell you that nothing refreshes your soul and gets you ready to conquer that last bit of the semester like a week-long break to relax and distress. Getting to see relatives and spend time with my little nephew are some of the highlights. Also getting to reconnect with some of my best friends is something I always look forward to. There are many great things about home and school and even summers spent at camp, but it is all about the people you meet and friends you make. Through all the moving around I have come to learn that nothing rings truer than the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

best friends

 

Table for two

You go to college to learn and equip yourself for the work force however it is the people you meet and friends who quickly become family who make college such an unparalled experience.  Just living life beside these amazing people has greatly enhanced my life and taught me countless lessons. Giving people your time is one of the greatest gifts you could give a person whether you are studying for a Spanish test, making a late night run to Dunkin Donuts or going out for dinner. These are the places where you become more than a fellow student, but a friend through living intentionally with one another.

There is such an indescribable and deep bond you can form just by eating dinner with a friend on a regular basis and sharing in intentional conversation. God has put a lot of wonderful women in my life and once a week I sit down for dinner in the cafeteria with one girl who I have gotten very close to. We meet and talk about our day and our lives in general. It is something I look forward to all that day and throughout the week. Just to know that someone cares and wants to listen to your life is so valuable as you deal with some of the stresses that come along with college life. This relationship has been a huge blessing in my life as we make time outside of classes or dorm life to invest in a meaningful and encouraging friendship.

So coffee dates and dinners in the caf are such blessings, but it is also great when I get the chance to go off campus and have fun at one of the many amazing eateries in and around Nyack. This area of New York is so diverse and full of so many different opportunities to experience new foods and cultures or to just relax and cure the occasional home sickness with some comfort food. I have spent countless nights journeying late-night to Applebees for half price appetizers, spending hours in laughter and conversation. I have had my fair share of risky trips through the snow in order to secure cannolis and muffins from Rockland Bakery. And, I have spent many a day in downtown Nyack sharing a meal with a friend at one of the diverse restaurants in the community. When it comes down to it we are all students, but more than that we all desire community and sharing a meal is a great way to connect with people. God has blessed me with many wonderful and new people in my life and I love how there are so many unique ways to spend quality time with them as we grow together.

erinerin

How Public Service Professionals Can Repay Expensive College Loans

New York's Christian College

 

If you are pursuing a degree in nursing, education, criminal justice or another form of public service, you may be watching your debt build with awe.  You may be wondering how you will ever be able to pay off those student loans.  But it’s okay! Here’s why:

 

New York's Christian College

On the way to chapel!

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How to Pay Off Big Student Loans

In 2007, Congress ratified a bill specifically designed to help students with a passion for public service.  Called the Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees, the program assists qualifying students by “forgiving” or rather cancelling loan balances after 120 payments.  Even better, a parent PLUS Loan for parent borrowers are also eligible.  With the program’s start in 2007, the first round of “forgiven” loans will begin in 2017.

 

Who’s eligible for this type of federal student aid?

Criteria for the program is as follows but you should continuously check the Student Aid website to review latest guidelines.  In general, students must

 

-not be in default on the loans

-be employed full time by a public service organization

-make each of the 120 payments while working for a public service organization

-apply for forgiveness while still employed full time by the public service organization

 

 

What types of jobs qualify for loan forgiveness?

Again, check with the official Federal Student Aid website for new updates but as of 2013, the following positions and organizations qualify for the program.

 

-a government organization including federal, state, local or tribal agencies or a tribal college

-non-profit, tax-exempt organizations under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code

-private, non-profit organizations (excluding labor unions or partisan political organizations) that provides a public service such as: emergency management, military service, public safety, law enforcement, public interest law services, early childhood education, public health, public education, public library services, school library services.

 

What to do now?

Discuss with your guidance counselor or admissions officer if you might be eligible for this program.  Once you’ve planned out your repayments, keep track of the requirements and your adherence to the Employment Certification for Public Service Loan Forgiveness form.  As you continue your studies, remember to budget carefully and study hard!  Good luck!

The Importance of Adult Education Degrees

adult education degree graduation

What comes to your mind when you think about adult education degrees? Fear of cost? Impossible time commitment? Not cost effective? Irrelevant? Last hope to succeed? Many negative feelings can creep in about earning a degree as an adult. The importance of adult education degrees depends on the specific needs of the individual and her family. Though many adults look to continue their undergraduate or start graduate classes to reach goals, adult learners have already completed many challenges composed of a diversity of experience in the workplace, military, etc. Many adult education programs gear their classes around such diversity.

Check out these alumni stories who explain how they went back to school even with families and full time jobs.  George Ramos works for New York City as a Family Assessment Coordinator.  His job is to help families in crisis.  Coming back to the classroom, he earned his master’s degree in mental health counseling and says that he can successfully compete for jobs against others with a master’s degree.  Then there is undergrad mom, Annette Mendoza, who began her career as a bank teller and worked her way up in IT as a technical software analyst.  Did we mention she was also valedictorian of her class?

Adult degrees include an MBA or an MSOL and can be completed fully online.  But adult education can also include finishing your bachelor’s.  If you’re a non-traditional student, look for programs that have hands on teaching, can be a transformative experience, have a cohort like family, and have world-class professors within a business environment. Completing degrees have taught adult students to apply themselves to succeed while they gain tools for living and continuous learning through holistic teaching. People are social beings so getting an education in a diverse environment with professors and students around the globe is empowering and relevant to work, life, and faith. Adult degrees improve the student’s depth of critical thinking and self awareness while instilling passion to take on more responsibility. Dynamic urban campus locations in New York City offer convenience and inspiration. The diversity of students and teachers is exciting in an adult program. The kingdom of God can be represented where the professors model balance between academic and spiritual lives. An adult degree can offer cross cultural communications which is just what’s needed in this global economy modeling Christ in the world.

 

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The goal of the Division of Adult Education at Nyack College is to serve the adult learner in a manner that considers adult learning styles, competing obligations of the adult learner, and their future goals.

 

The structure of the programs in the Division of Adult Education involves seminar-style classes, held online or in convenient four hour sessions once a week, allowing small, cohesive learning groups to remain intact during the core programs.  The curriculum is relevant, competency-based and modular.  Adult program courses emphasize communication skills, interpersonal skills, organizational behavior and problem solving through a cooperative, rather than a competitive, classroom environment.

adult education degree graduation

Whether you are looking to advance your career, continue toward a graduate degree, or meet a personal goal, Nyack College’s adult programs may meet your specific needs as an adult learner. Below are the adult program offerings at Nyack College.

Liberal Arts and Sciences (AA)

Two years of full time study are required for the 60-credit AA. The majority of the AA Liberal Arts and Sciences credits earned may be applied toward a Bachelors degree. Adult intensive tracks may act as core courses. Rich selection of courses in different fields help students gain relevant information and broaden their understanding of several academic disciplines.

Liberal Arts and Sciences: Sciences (AA)

Two years of full time study are required for the 60-credit AA. The AA Liberal Arts and Sciences: Sciences program has been designed to prepare students to enter the upper-level BS Nursing program or for employment in the health services.

Organizational Management (BS/BPS)

Start September 2013 and finish September 2014! Requiring 120 credits for completion, the OM program is conducted in three terms. Adult students may enter into Nyack College with as little as 30 credits and then enter the program at 60 credits. Students are required to complete 36 credits in 16 months. The BS requires fewer liberal arts credits than the BPS but has the same core curriculum.

Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL)

The mission of the MSOL is to educate adult students with a values-based leadership studies program. Composed of 33 credits, 10 courses, 3 thesis seminar classes, and an action research thesis, it takes 12-months to complete this program.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Nyack’s MBA program is designed specifically for students who wish to work full time while earning their degree. Composed of 42 credits including an entrepreneurial capstone project, a student can finish in as little as 16 months.
Available MBA Concentrations:
Entrepreneurial Management
Marketing
Finance
Accounting

 

To request more information about the adult education degrees at Nyack College, please click here.
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