The world has experienced dark days this past year. From the virus and resulting restrictions that have changed daily life for so many, to political tension around the globe, the weight of it all has worn heavy at times. It’s been easy to become tired, overwhelmed and distracted.
But the pages of this issue of Resound display glimpses of light. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Redeemer has been able to continue preparing students to exercise their God-given talents and is moving forward with hope on many exciting initiatives that serve as reminders that God is still working and that he is still in control.
A significant milestone in Redeemer’s history was achieved with the passing of Bill 213 in December 2020. The provincial legislation enshrines the name Redeemer University (dropping College) and gives the university the authority to grant 20 new degrees including nine master’s degrees. Redeemer has been granting bachelor’s degrees for more than two decades, but the ability to grant more specialized degrees ensures that Redeemer remains relevant and competitive in an ever-evolving post-secondary sector. Redeemer could be granting up to three of these new degrees within the next year. You can read the full story in this issue.
This academic year, Redeemer was able to preserve relational learning by offering dual delivery to its students. This method of course delivery allowed students to have the choice to learn in person or remotely while having a presence in the classroom either physically distanced or on a screen. Discussion and discourse could continue and important peer and mentoring relationships that Redeemer students value highly continue to flourish.
Those who have been on campus this year are noticing significant changes to its landscape. A new residence and learning facility is beginning to take shape at the heart of campus. The upper levels will house new student residences, while the lower level will incorporate new modern learning spaces and the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Related to the centre will be a makerspace, giving students from every major a place to experience the design thinking process as a framework for innovation. It has been exciting to watch construction progress over the last months, and the Redeemer community looks forward to its opening in fall 2021. The new facility plays an important role for a growing student population, another sign of a bright future for the university.
The new facility plays an important role for a growing student population, another sign of a bright future for the university.
In January, Redeemer welcomed Dr. Esau McCaulley, winner of the 2020 Emerging Public Intellectual Award, and his Wheaton College colleague, Dr. Vince Bacote for Reading While Black and Reformed. This virtual discussion, led by Redeemer’s Dr. Jessica Joustra, explored how the perspectives and experiences of different cultures enhance the study and interpretation of Scripture. Redeemer looks forward to welcoming McCaulley to accept his award and engage the campus further this fall if health restrictions allow.
Though many of Redeemer’s events and spiritual activities have taken on new, often virtual, forms during this pandemic, the spirit of God is alive and moving in the lives and hearts of students, staff and faculty as Redeemer remains steadfast in the commitment to seeing Kingdom-centred, innovative graduates make a profound impact in a rapidly changing, complex, digital world.