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David Zietsma, a longtime faculty member and respected leader at Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ont., has become the institution’s fifth president. Redeemer announced his appointment, effective immediately, March 4. Zietsma was most recently serving as interim president, following Robert Graham’s departure in April 2021. Zietsma previously served as Redeemer’s provost and vice president and had a key role in the development of the school’s current strategic plan Learn. Forward.  

The board of governors, chaired by Denis St-Amour, initiated the presidential search last summer. After an extensive survey of the school community and stakeholders, the board interviewed final candidates earlier this year. 

St-Amour said, "Having been in the leadership development arena for most of my professional life, the board and I have already witnessed significant leadership strengths and qualities in David (Zietsma) as a leader.”

“Redeemer is on a wonderful journey, and the entire board is grateful and enthusiastic that David is now at the helm.”

Zietsma began his career at Redeemer in July 2007 as a faculty member in the history department. He joined the leadership team, as dean of humanities, in 2010. Zietsma holds a doctorate in history from the University of Akron, a Master of Arts in history from the University of Waterloo, a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University, and a diploma in business marketing from Mohawk College. 

Redeemer set record enrollment in September 2021, reporting 1,014 students for that academic year. The school offered dual-delivery programming—in-person classes and online virtual learning—during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this current school year, 85% of the student body is on campus. Redeemer also recently expanded its degree options by offering a Bachelor of Business Administration. 

Zietsma considers it a privilege to serve the university as president and to continue its unique mission in offering quality education from a Reformed Christian perspective. “We are ready to continue the momentum going with increased degree and program options that resonate with what students in grades 11 and 12 are looking for today, a university education that prepares students to reflect the love and hope of Christ in the world,” he said. 

Zietsma said he is grateful for the support received from the community and is looking forward to continued engagement with the Christian Reformed classes (regional groups of churches). He will be formally inaugurated as Redeemer’s fifth president at a ceremony in fall 2022.

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