This fall, on-campus student housing is nearing capacity. With the most students ever living on campus, the Redeemer community is vibrant like never before.
553 students are calling campus home, spread across four different residences. In the 2023-2024 academic year, Redeemer has 1,052 enrolled students, representing 56 denominations and 32 countries.
“Residence life offers a unique experience of Christian community,” says Kevin Johnson, dean of students. “Students learn to do life together in so many ways–learning, caring, forgiving, laughing, growing, praying and so much more. There is just something truly beautiful about a community that is grounded in Jesus. My own experience of campus living was profoundly influential in my development as a follower of Christ. I hope the same for the many students in residence this year.”
Residence life director AC Taylor is passionate about helping students grow. He sees residence as something much more than just a place to eat and sleep.
“Our hope is that students leave at the end of the year different from when they arrived–that part of their learning includes living in community, growing in faith and overcoming challenges,” says Taylor. “It’s a safe place, with lots of support, but it’s not always the most comfortable place. Students encounter fellow believers with different backgrounds, perspectives and personalities and are encouraged to navigate those things and walk together through them. Experiential learning and active reflection are key pieces of residence life–and the relationships become enriched, often lasting a lifetime.”
There are full dorms, a lot of people on campus, and plenty of new staff. It’s a fresh slate to try new things.
For the first time, there are more upper-year students living on campus than first-year students. This has been made possible by the new Charis Live and Learn Centre. The centre is a mixed-use residence building introducing 170 new beds and extra classrooms, with the Career Centre, Innovation Centre and a makerspace on the lower level. Other contributing factors are positive past experiences in residence and fewer options for affordable housing off-campus.
First- and many second-year students typically live with seven other students in a townhouse, including a residence advisor (RA), where they develop community through dorm devotions and dinners together. Upper-year students typically live in apartment-style housing with one to seven other students and receive support from their housing advisor (HA) or senior student housing advisor (SSHA). This year, there are 51 total student residence life staff, which includes residence life facilitators, RAs, HAs and SSHAs.
“I’m excited about the newness,” says Taylor. “There are full dorms, a lot of people on campus, and plenty of new staff. It’s a fresh slate to try new things. We are always thinking about how to do residence life in a way that integrates Redeemer’s unique, spiritually vibrant communal living model with the needs of this generation.
Taylor puts it succinctly: “In my experience, there’s no place that does residence like Redeemer.”