What is Going on at Nyack College?

Nyack postcard

The historic evangelical college known for its commitment to racial diversity is trying to sell its campus in Nyack, New York and fend off financial losses from enrollment declines.  I am saddened to see this. I taught as an adjunct in the history department during the 1990s.

As a new evangelical I always looked to Nyack College and The Kings College as the flagship evangelical schools of the New York metropolitan area.  Kings eventually moved from its Briarcliff Manor campus to New York City and redefined itself.  It seems like Nyack will try to do something similar.

As Emily Belz reports at World, Nyack is not the only Christian college facing financial difficulties.  Here is a taste of her piece:

Nyack College, a Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) school in the New York City area, received an independent audit in 2017 with an opinion any institution dreads: “substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

The evangelical school with a 120-year history in New York was looking at looming insolvency, according to the audit, because of its tens of millions in debt and falling revenues.

Nyack has about $70 million in debt, according to its IRS 990 forms, on which it paid about $4 million in interest in the 2017 fiscal year. The 2017 audit noted that Nyack had to withdraw the majority of the funds from its endowment to cover expenses (some of that has been paid back), stopped paying into employee retirement funds in 2015, and has violated its debt covenants. Still, the school has managed to stay open to offer classes this fall.

“They’re good Christian people dealing with a market that’s gone really south … [but] it’s an ugly financial picture,” said Thomas Bakewell, a CPA and attorney who has consulted with dozens of faith-based colleges and universities on financial issues. He also served for 15 years on the board of Lindenwood University while it went through a major financial crisis. (Bakewell hasn’t consulted for Nyack.)

Since 2010, Nyack has lost across its programs at least 1,000 students in its total enrollment, which was down to 2,315 in 2018. Each year since 2016 Nyack has been operating $6 million to $8 million in the red—huge losses for an institution with a roughly $60 million budget. From a random sampling of 990s, most similar Christian colleges operated in the black even with falling enrollment.

Read the rest here.

5 thoughts on “What is Going on at Nyack College?

  1. Those were good finish times, Paul. I am sorry your injuries have kept you off the course in recent years.

    I have noted that the “old guys” really start to disappear with the age 65 to 69 competition group. Some of that is due to injuries like yours and some of it is simple discouragement at not being able to come near previous finish times. Even if an older runner is injury free, the laws of nature are working against him as he/she starts pushing 70.

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  2. Wow, that was so long ago, probably 1980 or 81. Nyack was one of the schools competing, but yes,I defer to your memory — it must have been Kings. The schools weren’t located that far apart. I applied and was accepted to Kings, but didn’t go there.

    James, I’ve never done a race longer than a half-marathon. My best times were long ago pre-internet, and I wasn’t keeping track when I was in school, so I’m not sure I recall most of them. Messiah used to keep a top-10 list for track and field on a bulletin board in the athletic center, and I was on that list for the 10K for about 25 years after I graduated. It was for a 10K I did in 34:10. I’m pretty sure that’s not my PR, but who knows.I also remember doing a 10-mile road race in Harrisburg along the river one time in 56 flat. Late 50s now, my times are slower every year and I have a torn meniscus from last year that is not 100%, do 21-minute 5Ks.

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  3. When I was at Messiah in the early 1989s, there was a thing they did called the Nyack Games, where some of the eastern Christian colleges would meet at Nyack for competitions. I won a race at the games (I was a very fast distance runner who was not eligible to run for Messiah’s cross country team that semester because I had just transferred from another school). Then a friend and I snuck into the Nyack cafeteria for supper. I remember going there on a bus, not much else.

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