Mission & Vision

Growing out of Redeemer’s mission to offer a university education that is biblically directed and explores the relation of faith, learning, and living, Act Five is a response to the growing number of young adults who are looking for an extra year with new experiences to help them develop and bridge the gap from high school to post-secondary education or other pursuits.

Commonly known as a gap year, a wide variety of programs have been developed by post-secondary institutions to address this need, and research suggests that students who participate are likely to be more successful in their post-secondary programs, more engaged in life beyond school, and working in more satisfying careers. Students who take a Christian gap year program are also more likely to stay committed to their faith and to a local church during their post-secondary years.

  • For more than four decades Harvard has recommended delaying college by a year
  • A 2015 study concludes taking a gap year may help students succeed in college or university
  • God in the Gap Year: The benefits of taking time off before going to college or university

Redeemer’s eight-month Christian gap year program builds on this knowledge and provides a distinctly Christian approach, rooted in its reformed Christian worldview.


To offer young adults a year of transformative experiences that shape their faith, learning, character and future pathways.

Within this program, they will…

  • Reflect on their story and grow deeper in their faith
  • Imagine the world around them with fresh eyes
  • Practice justice in loving their neighbours
  • Prepare for what lies ahead

And they will do this through…

  • Community – with each other, neighbours, other Christians, teachers and mentors
  • Travel and Service – wilderness out trips, Zambia service learning trip, First Nations partnership, local field placements
  • Worship – regular community rhythms of prayer, meals together, spiritual disciplines and engagement with Scripture
  • Learning – understanding gifts and vocation, exploring Scripture, Christian worldview and culture*
*Earning 12 university credits from Redeemer, learning from Redeemer and Hamilton-based faculty.

We grow up spending a lot of time learning the right ideas. But there is so much in us that has to catch up. If we don’t give time to that now, when will we? Why are we in such a rush?

Jon BerendsGap Year Program Director


We see young adults thriving as kingdom citizens, walking faithfully in the contexts of school, church, neighbourhood, and work.

Goals for students

To know, experience and practice the Christian story:

  • By engaging with the full story of scripture and the early church
  • By experiencing and learning about the local and global church
  • By practicing spiritual disciplines and regular rhythms that establish and shape who they/we are

To understand the world and work of God’s Kingdom in the public sphere:

  • By witnessing first-hand different expressions of Christian vocation
  • By learning from a variety of Christians committed to their faith in their work, church and neighbourhood
  • By wrestling with and studying relevant cultural issues across academic disciplines

To reflect on their stories, grow in character and discern future pathways:

  • By living and learning in community and with regular mentorship
  • By exploring outside comfort zones and learning to listen well
  • By exploring gifts, passions and vocation through a range of experiences, lessons and guidance from experts

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