The Program

The 7.5 month program has been designed to stretch you through new experiences, new places, and new relationships within a Christian community. Out of this year, you will grow beyond what you can imagine in knowing God, learning about yourself, and discerning where you are heading next.

While living together in a large community home, students and Resident Leaders will practice regular rhythms of meals, chores, recreation, adventure, study, mentorship, prayer and worship.  The following gives you an overview of Act Five’s 7.5 month program.

To future Act Five students — Be prepared for adventure, challenge, silence & solitude, gourmet food, real conversations, meaningful reflection, fall sunrises, winter sunsets, sun, rain, and yes snow. You will be stretched, you will grow, and you will thrive!

Matthew GrayDirector of Coldwater Canada

In light of Covid-19, the following program elements may be shifted. Act Five is confident in carrying out its mission and program for 2021-2022. To see an up-to-date schedule of events, see the 2021-2022 Schedule.

First Term

The main goals for first term are to become a community together and to look at who God has made us to be and what He is wanting to do in each of us. We learn to pay attention to God’s voice, to each other and to the world around us, and we will be challenged by new ideas and experiences.


  • Coldwater Canada wilderness trip
    14 days in Northern Ontario in September, including a nine-day wilderness canoe trip through the beautiful Temagami region.
  • Community Life at Blake St
    Settling into life in community, learning & growing together, exploring Hamilton and around Ontario.
  • Coldwater Canada Winter Wilderness Trip
    A 5-6 day trip in the beginning of December, serving as a closing retreat and second wilderness adventure.
  • Learning among First Nations communities
    Opportunities throughout the fall term to visit and engage with various First Nations communities.
  • Academic Courses
    Students will complete Part One of The Six Acts and Stories of Faithfulness, while also completing Place, Home & Land.
    See course descriptions here

Our classrooms go from canoes to the escarpment, from our kitchen table to local waterfalls, listening to literal legends tell us their wisdom — and I'm hoping that I can implement that wisdom into my life somehow.

Arissa VanderburgtAct Five Student — Class of '20

Second Term

The goals for second term are to live out what we’ve been learning in more active ways – beginning away and then back in Hamilton. We hope students can experience God’s mission globally and locally in ways that will give them a clearer sense of what, how, and why they are going to do whatever it is that lies ahead beyond Act Five.


  • 3-4 week Cross Cultural Service Trip in January
    With options to the Texas / Mexico border with World Renew’s Disaster Response Services or to Central America with Resonate Global Mission, these trips will present rich opportunities to engage beyond our comfort zones, serve alongside others, and learn from others and the Global Church.
    *These trips are yet to be confirmed for January 2022 and will be fundraised for by students in addition to program costs.
  • Field Placements
    1-2 Field Placements over the course of 8 weeks with various local business, non-profit organizations, and tradespersons in and around Hamilton.
  • Road Trip to Pittsburgh
    Experience the Jubilee Conference in full, tour some of Pittsburgh, and pay a visit to Lamppost Farm.
  • Coldwater Backpacking trip
    A final backpacking trip with Coldwater Canada hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail.
  • Home Tour
    A commitment to support students once they head home at the conclusion of Act Five by visiting their homes, and sharing stories at school chapels or local churches.
  • Academic Courses
    Students will complete Part Two of The Six Acts and Stories of Faithfulness, while also completing Vocation & Praxis.
    View Courses

Other Program Details


Students will be living together on Blake Street in downtown Hamilton, along with three Resident Leaders.

Going Home

While Act Five is an immersive community experience, students will be given an extended reading break each term as well as a three-week break over Christmas.

Field Placements

Students will work with Act Five staff and outside experts in determining where second-term field placements will be located. Some of these will be within community non-profits. Others will be in placements unique to each student’s interests such as music, business, architecture, healthcare, education, various trades, and more. In most situations, Field Placements will be unpaid.

Have more questions? Read the FAQs