(Photo courtesy Nyack College)
A small yet growing evangelical Christian academic institution based in New York has received an honor for being an excellent place to work.
Nyack College, which has about 300 faculty and staff, was given the 2013 Great College to Work For honor earlier this week from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Part of the Chronicle's sixth annual survey project on the "Academic Workplace," Nyack was one of 97 American colleges to get such an honor.
Michael G. Scales, president of Nyack College, told The Christian Post that he was both "humbled and grateful" for the honor.
"We don't coach any of our faculty and staff when [they] do these kind of surveys, so they did it on their own," said Scales.
"It says a lot about the kind of people we have and we are very grateful, very humble to get that kind of confidence in our leadership."
Scales also told CP that he believed the positive workplace environment derived from the evangelical Christian worldview of Nyack College.
"We believe that every human was created in the image of God, so we try to give ultimate respect and dignity to everyone. The president is no more important than anyone else in the institution," said Scales.
"We just have different roles…so everyone is valued. Everyone. So in our world everyone is somebody."
James Muckell Sr., professor at Nyack's School of Business and Leadership, said in a statement published by Business Wire that the College "is indeed a great place to work."
"I have academic freedom, the liberty to express my Christian beliefs, the satisfaction of positively influencing young lives desiring to raise families and impact the workplace," said Muckell.
"[I have] the honor of working with congenial men and women of esteem from various professional and ethnic backgrounds."
The Chronicle's honor comes a couple months after Nyack moved its Manhattan campus to a new and larger facility in Battery Park.
Scales told CP that the new facility has about 170,000 square feet, or double the space of the previous campus. It also includes 60 classrooms.
"We were able to design it like a university campus, the way we really wanted it. We'll be able to easily double there and it looks out over the harbor," said Scales.
"For over a hundred years we have been around, at the most, 600 or 700 students, and it's only been in the last, you know, 15 years or so that now we're approximately 3,400 students."
The connection to the urban environment of the Big Apple can also be found in the makeup of the student body, and faculty and staff.
According to Nyack College statistics, 35 percent of students are black, 25 percent are Hispanic, 25 percent are white, and 13 percent are Asian. Furthermore, 45 percent of the faculty and staff are nonwhite and 46 percent are female.
"The other fascinating thing is 62 countries are represented in our student body. Almost 30 languages are spoken. There are 82 church denominations," said Scales.
"The classroom doesn't end when you walk out of the classroom door. The entire institution is a learning experience because of that kind of background. So anybody engages someone else, they are still learning."
Founded as the Missionary Training Institute in New York City in 1882, Nyack College was started up by Christian evangelist Albert B. Simpson, who also founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance.