AGSC ADMISSIONS NEWSLETTER                             SPRING/SUMMER 2015

After a productive 2014-2015 academic year, we hope that you're preparing to get some R&R and re-charge for another exciting year ahead. Have a safe and enjoyable summer!

If you have input for future newsletters, please feel free to e-mail 



Pictured Right:

Dr. Ben Schepens presenting the Dean of the Year Award to Dr. Carol Robles.


Ching-Ching Ruan, Ph.D. & LMFT
Marriage and Family Therapy Program
Alliance Graduate School of Counseling

How much does your spiritual life really impact your personality and intimate relationships?


Research topic:

"Christian Adults' Spiritual Well-Being, Their Close Relationships, and Their Psychological Well-Being"


Dr. Ruan, of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program in Nyack, New York, is currently conducting a research project exploring the mediating effects of Christian adults' faith on their close relationships and psychological well-being. The Spiritual Well-being Scale (SWS), developed by the founder of AGSC, Dr. Craig Ellison, is at the heart of the experiment.


All AGSC students and alumni are encouraged to participate in this one-time involvement research opportunity, as result will certainly contribute to better understanding the impact Christian faith has on an individual's relationships and psychological adjustment.


Eligibility to participate in this study:

1. You are currently in or have been in an emotionally intimate relationship with someone in the past 12 months. An intimate relationship may be defined as a romantic relationship or a deep personal friendship.

2. You identify as a Christian.

3. You are at least 20 years old.


More details about this research project and where to take the survey please go to the following link:



Nyack College Alliance Graduate School of Counseling is pleased to report that three AGSC students (Sabrina Durand, Dawn Grove, and Charletta Rozzell) and full-time professor, Dr. Lisa Steiner, wrote a 14-page scholarly article based on a study they conducted in the Fall 2013 Research class. It was just published in the prestigious, APA peer reviewed journal, The Journal of Divorce & Remarriage.


You can check out the article at:


The school name, Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, Nyack College appears at the top of the article. This may be a first for AGSC, and if so, a proud moment for AGSC all around! Charletta just graduated this May, and Sabrina and Dawn are working towards graduating next year. Two of them were first year / first semester students when this study was conducted. The article was written last summer, just as they were finishing up their first year at AGSC!


Dr. Lisa Steiner (left) and 
Charletta Rozzell (right) 
at Commencement 2015

Dr. Craig Ellison, founding director of Nyack's Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (AGSC) and a pioneer in the field of Christian counseling, would have been proud of these students who used his Spiritual Well-Being Scale for this research. They studied 133 divorced men in the U.S., and results indicate that spiritual well-being can predict 21% of the divorce adjustment in men.


"As a little girl, I entertained plenty thoughts of being successful, but I never imagined that I would be co-author to a published article. This research enhanced my faith and superseded what I thought I was capable of. I'm excited to live out what else God calls me to."

-Charletta Rozzell

Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, Class of 2015

Please join Nyack in congratulating Dr. Steiner, Sabrina, Dawn, and Charletta on this outstanding academic accomplishment! Go AGSC!!!

AGSC MHC Curriculum Changes

We are pleased to inform you that the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling's Mental Health Counseling program (MHC) has been recently granted curriculum changes by New York State Department of Education! These curriculum changes will enhance the academic standing of the program in the region and beyond. Noteworthy modifications are that the total number of required credits has changed from 66 to 63. New required courses include Addictive Behavior, Crisis Counseling, and the Theology of Mental Health Counseling. Six credits can be elective courses. If you have more questions about the program updates, please feel free to contact us at:


Dr. Eng, Elizabeth Dahlberg-Lee, and Stephanie Lawrence pose under a 

beautiful pagoda in Thailand.


Dr. Elaine Eng and AGSC program coordinator, Elizabeth Dahlberg-Lee, lead a group of 12 students to the city Chiangmai. A full itinerary included attending the Christian Medical and Dental Association Conference (CMDA) at Suan Bua, visiting The Well and Cornerstone Counseling Centers, and exploring the Chiangmai Night Market. The group also enjoyed elephant rides and a day tour of Singapore.

Thoughts from the Thailand Trip by AGSC Student Sharonda Beasley


The Global Service Learning class journey to Chiang Mai, Thailand started on February 22, 2015. I anticipated learning about Thai people, their concepts of worship, and life in a monarchy.  Travel classes have great gain over classroom learning. If pictures (see photos) have the value of a thousand words, then living in Thailand for two weeks has given me enough for a paperback.


Sharonda Beasley and fellow AGSC students are all smiles as they await their plane to Thailand.
I learned Thai culture in a "tuk-tuk," a bicycle-like cab.  Observing the landscape, I found Thai people very laid-back. Exchanges with the locals, from directions to transactions, were gratifying.  Whether I encountered a groundskeeper, street vendor, or church member, they were all respectful and kind. This virtuous demeanor may come from the country's monarchical rule.   The image of the king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, is on display everywhere - highway billboards, businesses, and homes.


Much of my Thai education came from Christian missionaries.  I believe this redirection came from God.  While it was necessary for me to know Thai culture, it was equally important for me to comprehend my role as a future counselor.  I gained insight on missionary issues and the support that's needed.


Dr. Eng and AGSC students 
exploring Thailand.
Chiang Mai, Thailand has an emerging Christian culture.  
Sunday worship in Thailand confirmed the universality of Jesus; I even recognized two of the worship songs sung in Thai. Familiar faith agencies in the city include Chiang Mai International School, Cornerstone Christian Counseling Center, Compassion International, and the International Justice Mission. As a hub for Christian resources, Chiang Mai has become Asia's light on a hill - shining the love of Christ in spiritually dark places. With its notable network of Christian organizations, the city is well on its way to fulfilling the great commission, making disciples of all nations.

2016 GS-L TRIPS!

AGSC GS-L destinations have been announced: GCN/CN 780: Counseling for Global Engagement with Dr. Antoinette Gines-Rivera to Honduras January 6-16 and GCN/CN 780: Counseling for Global Engagement with Dr. Elaine Eng to Greece, April 4-14. Visit for more details.


Dr. Lisa Steiner is now the director of online graduate education at Nyack. After a 20-year career in sales and marketing at IBM, she enrolled in the Mental Health Counseling program and then completed Regent University's Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision. While working on her doctorate she worked at a NJ counseling center and eventually became owner and director of the center.


Dr. Steiner is working with Dr. Bennett Schepens and Dr. Carol Robles on the online Mental Health Counseling degree program, which is being reviewed by the State Education Department for a fall 2016 launch.

Liz Lee

Help us warmly welcome two new faces to the AGSC staff:

Liz Lee is the new AGSC Admissions Associate in Rockland 

(contact Liz at


Kathryn Fiet is the new AGSC admissions personnel in NYC 

(contact Kathryn at


Feel free to introduce yourself and let them know if they can be of assistance to you!


Pictured Right:

Dr. Michael Gillern traveled to Boston for the Super Bowl Parade with daughter Grete (Nyack '08) and son Rob!



If you would like to be included in the announcement section of future newsletters, please email your announcement to 

Grete Gillern (Nyack '08) married Sean Nyffeler on November 16, 2014!Lavidia Jones (AGSC '14) married Jean Blaise on May 7, 2015!Joan Hong (AGSC '15) and her husband, David, welcomed baby Ezra Hong on April 24, 2015, weighing 8.5 lbs. and measuring 20.5 inches long.


Jennifer Mae

AGSC Class of 2015 


Jennifer is currently working as a Crisis Counselor for the Mental Health Association of NYC.

Perrin Felder

AGSC Class of 2014


Perrin is a Mental Health Therapist at New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center (NYPCC). He is also a Consulting Therapist for PSCH and a licensed chaplain in the state of New York.



Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids: Practical Ways to Create a Calm and Happy Home 

by Naomi Drew


Any family counselor could recommend this wonderful book to their parent clients. Easy to read and there are many great ideas for parents.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God 

by Timothy Keller


A wonderful book about prayer. A must read for spiritual growth on getting close to God in prayerful ways!


Recommendations by Dr. Ching-Ching Ruan.



For a limited time, if you refer someone to AGSC in NYC (and they apply), 

you will receive a free AGSC gift (while supplies last)! Contact for more information!




June 17, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.: AGSC Open House in NYC

July 22, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.: AGSC Open House in NYC

September 9, 2015: Fall Semester Begins!



Please visit for more information and to RSVP for any of the events listed above.


No matter where you are or what you're doing, we want to keep in touch with you. You can send us your updated contact information or submit engagement, wedding, birth, adoption, career, and ministry announcements on our website at or by emailing