Redeemer University College has come a long way from its humble beginnings. In 1982 it opened its doors to 97 students in a rented elementary school building and without degree-granting privileges.
Today the Ancaster, Ontario, school has close to 850 students on a 78-acre campus and has the authority to confer three bachelor’s degrees. Six hundred people attended Redeemer’s 25th anniversary event.
“It has really blossomed,” said Justin Cooper, Redeemer’s president, but Cooper stated the most remarkable change since Redeemer’s early days has been the school’s degree-granting breakthrough.
Former Redeemer president Rev. Henry De Bolster agreed, noting that one of the college’s biggest challenges was finding recognition from the government and other universities. “Slowly they began to see we gave a solid education,” said De Bolster.
Initially nearly all the school’s students were Christian Reformed. Today just under half are, and more than 40 denominations are represented on campus. “It always was the hope that Redeemer would serve the wider church community and the wider society. We’ve found a wonderful way to take the strength of the Reformed tradition and teach it in a way that is accessible to the wider Christian community,” said Cooper.