As you can read in the Fall 2015 issue of Tangents [link to Fall 2015 Tangents post], Redeemer is adapting to a new environment, one that has both challenges and opportunities. We have felt the impact of these challenges, especially during the past year, particularly in reduced enrolment and necessary budget and staffing reductions.
Despite these significant difficulties, we — our faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters — remain absolutely committed, with God’s help, to Redeemer’s mission of Christ-centred university education in the liberal arts and sciences in this new environment. In fact, the need for Christian education is as urgent as ever. As historian Marshall Poe wrote in a recent article in The Atlantic, most universities and colleges today are failing to help students address the big issues of life, to develop a sense of meaning and purpose, and to find a way to live. Poe’s article speaks to the despair and spiritual hunger that arises from the empty core of today’s secular university.
By contrast, Redeemer’s mission and our Biblical vision of Christ’s lordship over all of the interwoven parts of life has much to offer our students and to the challenge of our times.
We believe that God calls us to learning that is transformational — learning that disciples our students and deepens their roots in Christ, that helps them to understand their lives and purpose within the story of God’s creation and redemptive re-creation. It is an education that provides them with knowledge and deep wisdom of their major within a broad context, and prepares them to use their gifts to meet the needs of the world in ways that witness to God’s transforming kingdom.
Christian university education remains a vital need, and Redeemer will continue to pursue this mission vigorously, including through Redeemer’s 2020 Strategic Plan [link to Strategic Plan story]. We believe that implementing this plan will increase student enrolment and strengthen Redeemer’s financial position. But more importantly, we believe that the initiatives of the plan will meet our students’ most pressing needs and concerns, and help Redeemer to continue preparing students for participating in God’s work of changing the world.
We are one year into the plan, and our efforts have involved nearly everyone on campus and many of our faithful supporters. We are working together with tireless determination to move forward. Although it is too early yet to see the full impact of our efforts, there are some very promising signs that they are making a difference in helping Redeemer accomplish its mission, both today and tomorrow.
Thank you for your continued support of Redeemer and its mission. Working together, clearly focused on God’s leading and His grace, we are confidently moving forward as His servants, just as we have for the past 33 years and, God willing, for the next 30+ years.
Dr. Hubert Krygsman