History of Redeemer University
As early as the mid-1950s an attempt was made to begin a university institution with a Reformed perspective in Ontario. However, it was not until early 1975 that a detailed investigation was undertaken by a feasibility study committee. The result of that investigation was the establishment of the Ontario Christian College Association which came into existence on November 13, 1976.
The Board of Governors that was elected worked toward opening such an institution in Ontario as soon as possible and in the process consulted with a committee of Classis Hamilton of the Christian Reformed Church which had a similar aim. On December 12, 1980, the Ontario Legislature passed private member’s Bill 48, “An Act to Incorporate Redeemer Reformed Christian College.” With the granting of this charter, Redeemer College could become a reality.
In September 1982, Redeemer College opened its doors for the first time, with 97 full-time and 63 part-time students. This number grew to about 250 for the 1985-86 academic year, the final year classes met in facilities rented from the Board of Education of the City of Hamilton. In 1985 the college purchased 78 acres of land in Ancaster for the construction of a new campus. The college occupied the new facilities in August 1986, and welcomed 279 full-time students in September. In November, 1986, the college held its first graduation, with 40 students graduating.
On June 25, 1998, the Ontario Government passed Bill Pr17, which granted Redeemer College the authority to offer Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Prior to that time, the College conferred a Bachelor of Christian Studies degree which was recognized by the AUCC (Association of Universities & Colleges of Canada) as comparable to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
In view of its status as an undergraduate university, the Ontario Legislature approved a change in institutional name to Redeemer University College on June 22, 2000 (Bill Pr19).
On June 26, 2003 the Ontario Government passed Bill Pr14, granting Redeemer the authority to offer a Bachelor of Education degree to replace its B.C.Ed. degree. On December 10, 2003 this new teacher education (B.Ed.) program was granted initial accreditation by the Ontario College of Teachers, giving Redeemer the only provincially recognized Christian teacher education program (K-10) in Ontario.
In 2005, a considerable expansion to the academic facilities including the addition of the Peter Turkstra Library was completed.
In June of 2009, Redeemer University College received 2.9 million dollars in a matching funding formula from the Government of Canada through the Knowledge Infrastructure (KIP) program.