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History of Alliance University

1882 - Our Story Begins

A.B. Simpson, recognized as one of the foremost figures in the American missionary movement, establishes a training school for missionaries in New York City, called the Missionary Training Institute - the first Bible college in North America. As the forerunner of Alliance University, this revolutionary institution is dedicated to providing Christian education as preparation for service to others.

1897 - Relocating to South Nyack

The Missionary Training Institute purchases 28 acres on a pictureque hillside in the village of South Nyack, New York. The school moves its campus 30 miles outside of NYC to Rockland County and establishes its new home in the Hudson Valley.

1946 - A New Identity

A charter is granted by the New York State Board of Regents to offer bachelor's degrees in theology, religious education and sacred music. In 1956, the Missionary Training Institute becomes Nyack Missionary College - an identity that stands firm for the following 16 years.

1960 - Growing Our School

The Jaffray School of Missions is established as a graduate program of Nyack Missionary College offering interdisciplinary studies in theology and the social sciences.

1972 - Introducing Nyack College

Following the Middle States accreditation, as a liberal arts college and graduate school, the school is renamed Nyack College. A name proudly represented by students, alumni, faculty and donors for the next 50 years.

1974-1979 - Alliance Theological Seminary

In 1974, the Jaffray program is redesigned to include the preparation of students for North American and international ministries. The name of the school is subsequently changed to the Alliance School of Theology and Missions. In September of 1979, the Alliance School of Theology and Missions become Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS). Expanded course offering and additional faculty soon enhance the seminary's commitment to the worldwide evangelistic task of the Church.

1995-1997 - Establishing a Satellite Campus

Returning to its roots, in 1995 a satellite program is established in Lower Manhattan. By 1997, Alliance Theological Seminary classes are offered in the city as well. The New York City campus makes studies accessible to those who work in the city and provides a thoroughly urban context for theological education.

2001 - Championing Prison Education

Starting in 2001, the first cohort of 17 men complete the adult degree program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, NY. Today students at the Fishkill Correctional Facility on the AU Beacon campus can earn an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences or a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management. Our prison education holds a remarkable distinction. While New York State has a 43% recidivism rate, AU has 0%. None of our released graduates have returned to prison. All have taken their second chances and made fresh and productive start. This is the power of a transformative and restorative Alliance University education anchored in Christian values.

2019 - The Pilgrimage Home

Nyack consolidates its two New York campuses to one location - returning to the city where Dr. A.B. Simpson was inspired to establish a school dedicated to serving others.

2022-Today - Becoming Alliance University

In August of 2022, the 140-year institution becomes Alliance University. Recognized for its dedication to Christian higher education and commitment to global service, the school embraces a new identity in the city where it first began.

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