In the last week of August, the Class of 2020 took part in the LAUNCH mud pit and moved into residence. Throughout the fall, they have gathered with their dorm-mates and RA for evening meals and dorm devotions. Many of Redeemer’s 206 incoming students are taking the first courses of the new Core curriculum. All in all, the Redeemer campus is excited that another incoming class is off and running on their journey of preparation toward becoming tomorrow’s leaders in our churches, businesses, and communities.
The Class of 2020 will shape and be shaped by the Redeemer community for the next four years. Having each one of these students on campus is a reason to celebrate.
“These 206 students represent a 2.5% increase in incoming students.”
There is another reason for excitement this fall. These 206 students also represent a 2.5% increase in incoming students, the first year-over-year increase in four years.
Even as a larger class will still graduate out from Redeemer in the spring, this year marks the end of a decline in incoming class size. “Raising Redeemer’s profile is one of the three pillars of the Redeemer 2020 strategic plan,” says Dr. David Zietsma, vice president marketing and enrolment. “The level of awareness about Redeemer is still relatively low. But, as we implement strategies to reach more young Christians who want their faith to be at the centre of their learning, who want to explore what God has in store for them, we are beginning to see the number of students interested in Redeemer rise.”
To be sure, Redeemer still faces challenges in the higher education marketplace. Today’s student is weighing universities and colleges for cost and for the programs they believe will lead to jobs after graduation. They are deciding whether they will take their degree online or invest in classroom learning. They are navigating whether to pursue focused skill training or the breadth and depth of learning found in liberal arts and sciences programs.
“More young Christians are hearing about Redeemer as a result of strategic initiatives in digital communications.”
But, many Christian students want to make the same kind of impact that our alumni are making. They want to develop the gifts and skills God has given them and find life-giving callings. As Ontario’s only liberal arts and sciences university that delivers BA, B.Sc. and B.Ed. programs from an integrated Christian perspective, Redeemer is providing students with an education that will prepare them to make a difference.
More young Christians are hearing about Redeemer as a result of strategic initiatives in digital communications. Redeemer has launched a new website and a robust content marketing strategy, which was highlighted by the recent launch of Resound.
“The point of raising our profile, of reaching more young people and influencers is to open the door to Redeemer. In addition to longstanding programs that have prepared a whole generation of Christian leaders, we have added Media and Communications studies, revitalized the Core curriculum, and are planning to launch a new Ministry program,” says Zietsma. “We are also launching a new Centre for Experiential Learning and Careers that will increase work integrated learning opportunities and provide for all students greater access to career planning resources.”
Through the 2020 plan, Redeemer continues to live out its mission of Christian post-secondary learning. Just as for more than 5,000 alumni and for classes to come, Redeemer’s first-year students are being prepared to be difference-makers in big ways and small, empowered to impact their communities and to influence our culture for the glory of God.