117th NYTS Commencement – Saturday, May 20, 2017

New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) Commencement Day Information

 Download this information as a PDF HERE


When and where is the 2017 NYTS Commencement?

DATE: Saturday, May 20, 2017

PLACE: The Riverside Church 490 Riverside Drive & West 121 Street, NY, NY 10027

For elderly, those with disability or limited mobility and one escort – Doors open at 8:30am – PLEASE GO TO: 91 Claremont Avenue entrance ONLY.  You will be escorted to your seat.


  • For elderly, those with disability, limited mobility and one escort, doors open 8:30am for special seating
  • General entrance begins at 9:00am – from Riverside Drive.
  • Seating is on a first come first served basis

Where do I line up for entrance to The Riverside Church?

  • Guests must line up for entry on Riverside Drive & West 121 Street – Rain or Shine.
  • Candidates gather 9 AM SHARP at the SOUTH HALL of Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave. (Between Broadway & Riverside Dr. at W. 121 St).
  • All candidates MUST arrive at the SOUTH HALL by 9:00 am to robe, be placed in your respective processional formation, and receive instructions.
  • NO family or guests will be allowed in the staging area (South Hall).
  • GRADUATES: Please leave your purses/coats/personal belongings with your guests BEFORE you go into the SOUTH HALL.  There is NO coat-check and NO security in the SOUTH HALL; (YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PROCESS WITH PURSES OR OTHER BAGS).
  • The ceremony will begin promptly at 10 am and lasts approximately 2 hours.
  • After the ceremony ends ALL graduates MUST go back to the SOUTH HALL to receive their diplomas and take class graduation pictures.  This process takes about a half hour to 45 minutes. Please make arrangements with family and friends to wait for you at a designated area.  They will NOT be allowed in the SOUTH HALL.


When the first floor is full you will be directed to the elevator which leads to the balcony seating.


            ENTRY STOPS at 9:45am for the Processional and RESUMES AFTER THE INVOCATION.

Will there be a video recording available of the NYTS Commencement?

There will be NO video recording available.  You may take personal pictures and recordings however please note that you are not allowed to be in the aisles and not allowed to go to the front of the church.  For safety reasons and mobility of the Graduates you should remain in your pews for the duration of the ceremony.

Are children allowed at the NYTS Commencement?

Children are welcome at the NYTS Commencement.

Because of the tight space constraints in The Riverside Church, we recommend that you leave strollers at home (or cars) if at all possible. There is no stroller parking or storage available.  If you must bring a stroller please sit in the side pews and keep strollers out of the aisles. NYTS

Commencement is a very crowded indoor event with limited space to move around and may prove to be a challenging environment for small children.

Parking and Accommodations

Parking in Morningside Heights on the morning of NYTS Commencement is challenging. If you must drive, please leave plenty of time for a parking search and walking to The Riverside Church. There are a few parking garages (for a charge) in the area; these fill up early and should not be counted on for convenient parking. There is no designated parking for guests with disabilities.

Please take note of meters and other parking regulations. Please diligently check for any signage indicating that the street will be closed. Failure to notice these signs may result in your car being towed.

What time does the ceremony end?

The ceremony ends between 12/12:30pm

  • Fifteen (15) minutes before the end of ceremony The Church doors will close again to allow for a smooth recession of the graduates and the faculty. If you leave the Church for any reason at this time, you will not be allowed re-entry.
  • Please remain in your seating area until the graduates have vacated. Do not step out into the aisles or gather in the back of the Nave; you will be directed to return to your seat.
  • Please exit directly to Riverside Drive (where you came in) AFTER the graduates have vacated.
  • Please make arrangements with family and friends to wait at a designated area.  Families and friends will NOT be allowed in the SOUTH HALL.
  • No picture taking will be allowed in the Church after the ceremony. We must vacate the Church immediately.  Please do not go or stay in the Nave.  Pictures may be taken outside the Church.

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PLEASE NOTE:In response to COVID-19, the NYTS office is currently closed. The staff is working remotely during this time and can still be reached via email. Click HERE for our faculty and staff directory.

Due to Covid-19,

all NYTS classes will be held online for the Spring semester of 2021

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