MA in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins


At the center of the Christian faith is the belief that God has acted in history.  For this reason the cultural fabric (land, language, literature), which comprises the Gospel’s sacred narrative, is important.  The M.A. in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins is a multidisciplinary program that introduces the student to the fields of knowledge necessary for advanced research in the New Testament and Christian Origins.  

Why Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins at Nyack?

Students in Nyack’s AJCO Program are challenged in heart and mind to engage the world of the Bible, and so to hear more clearly the message of Scripture.  No other academic program affords students such a rich opportunity to study Jesus and the world in which he lived.  

The AJCO program is unique in that it trains the student in the methods of research in the fields of language, history, religious thought, and material culture which are essential for an understanding of both Judaism and Christianity in Roman antiquity.

AJCO students have the opportunity to:

  • Study and travel to historic locations to consider the land of Israel in the Hellenistic and early Roman periods.

  • Study ancient Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the three languages spoken in first-century Judaea.

  • Study Modern Hebrew to gain a greater facility in the language of Jesus.

  • Study with world class Christian and Jewish scholars who are leaders in their respective fields and pioneers in the study of New Testament and early Christianity.

What Will I Study?

Courses in the land, language and literary thought of the world of Jesus. To prepare our students to engage comprehensively the cultural aspects that shaped ancient Judaism and early Christianity, our program coursework includes:

  • Problems and Methods in Research

  • Historical Geography of the Land of the Bible

  • Modern Hebrew

  • Hebrew Readings in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Rabbinical Literature

  • Greek readings in the Synoptic Gospels

  • Readings in the Apocrypha and Jewish Pseudepigrapha

  • Paul and Hellenistic Christianity

  • Study in Biblical Lands

Career Opportunities

The M.A. in Ancient Judaism and Christianity will help prepare students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies, Historical or Biblical Research, and Linguistics.  Students may go on to work in history, theology, religious studies, philosophy, seminary and a variety of careers including:  

  • Bible translation

  • Biblical/Historical Research

  • Biblical Education

  • Clergy/Pastoral/Ministry Director

  • Doctoral Studies in Archaeology, History, Language, Biblical Literature

Our Graduates
  • Pastors

  • Religious Educators

  • Bible Translation

  • Faith Based Non-Profit Leader

Key Faculty
  • Dr. R. Steven Notley
  • Dr. David Emanuel
  • Dr. Jeffrey Garcia


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Credits:  36
Standard Completion Time:  2 years
Accreditation: Middle States


“Being exposed to other cultures and having the opportunity to study abroad has deepened my understanding of the history and backgrounds of early Christianity and has allowed me to more accurately translate and teach in my Dominican church community in a way that engages and challenges myths about the shared background of Jewish culture and the beginnings of the Christian faith.”  – Juan

“The AJCO program is a bridge that is linking the far-east, middle-east, and west through a very unique approach to the study of the historical and linguistic backgrounds of Christianity.” – Esther