After 41 years of sustained Christian university education, Redeemer University is an incredible example of God’s sovereign goodness. This goodness continues to overflow through the generosity of his people at local churches and Christian organizations, the most recent example being New Street Christian Reformed Church (CRC).
After seven decades of ministry in Burlington, New Street CRC made the difficult decision to close, hosting its final worship service on July 30, 2023. During the process of selling church assets, New Street CRC landed on the decision to distribute some of the funds to Redeemer, giving a legacy gift of $500,000.
“New Street CRC is providing a legacy of blessing that will have a positive impact on students for years to come,” says president Dr. David Zietsma. “I am so grateful that New Street CRC, along with so many others, understand the impact of Christian university education on preparing the next generation of Christian leaders to share the hope and love of Jesus in all sorts of callings and communities. Without such generous support, Redeemer’s Kingdom mission would not be possible–and we are truly thankful!”
Redeemer has long valued the congregation’s support, with an additional nearly $400,000 donated over the church’s lifespan through annual contributions.
“We had an early connection with Redeemer,” says John Glasbergen, elder and chair of consistory at New Street CRC. “The very first president of Redeemer, Henry R. De Bolster, was a member of our congregation at the time. Our connection goes back a long way and has always been dear to our hearts.” Glasbergen says that while the closing of a church is a painful experience, it is exciting to pass on proceeds from its closure to a special place like Redeemer.
That’s what excites me, that the demand for Christian education is growing, hence the size of Redeemer growing. It’s a testament to the need, but also a testament to the quality of the education.
Along with Redeemer’s first president, many alumni have called New Street CRC home, such as chair of council Jerome Vos ’02. New Street CRC has long sought to build up the wider Church, equipping God’s people to serve in both religious and secular contexts.
“The vision of New Street was to be immersed in the community that we serve in,” says Vos. “And looking at something like Christian education, it creates leaders in business, sciences and so many other fields. And having faith-based leaders helps fulfill God’s mission and New Street’s vision.”
This legacy gift will be designated toward capital projects at Redeemer. New Street CRC’s transformative gift will make a big impact on the development and sustainability of the university.
“We started on the lakeshore (Beach Blvd), and now you have a massive campus here … That’s what excites me, that the demand for Christian education is growing, hence the size of Redeemer growing,” says Vos. “It’s a testament to the need, but also a testament to the quality of the education.” Redeemer has experienced significant development over the last few years with the opening of the Charis Live and Learn Centre, a dining hall expansion and strong enrolment numbers. “Us being able to, as New Street, give to help that growth just means that more people can experience a Christ-centred education.”
Vos hopes that New Street CRC’s giving encourages others to give. As a proud alumnus, he understands Redeemer’s true impact on students.
“It’s been fortunate that Redeemer has had fixed tuition for a period of time–and crazily enough, the tuition now is less than when I was here. It lets students pay for the education and the donors pay for the expansion and the growth … keeping it at a reasonable price for students to attend–because that’s the purpose of all this. You don’t need to expand, grow or add programs if it’s not about students.”