Redeemer University

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Redeemer University
Redeemer Logo - stacked - use on white.png
MottoA Degree You Can Believe In
Religious affiliation
Academic affiliations
EndowmentCA$4.853 million (2021)[1]
PresidentDavid Zietsma (Interim)
Academic staff
43 full time + 33 part time
Undergraduates1,014 (FTE as of Fall, 2021)
Location, ,

43°12′25.81″N 79°56′56.21″W / 43.2071694°N 79.9489472°W / 43.2071694; -79.9489472Coordinates: 43°12′25.81″N 79°56′56.21″W / 43.2071694°N 79.9489472°W / 43.2071694; -79.9489472
CampusSuburban 90-acre (36 ha) campus
Sports teamRedeemer Royals
Colours   Blue & red
MascotLeo the Lion

Redeemer University is a private Christian liberal arts and science university located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in the community of Ancaster. Founded in 1982, Redeemer stands in the Reformed Tradition and offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science degrees.


The college opened in 1982 as "Redeemer College", with 97 full-time and 63 part-time students. This number grew to about 250 for the 1985–1986 academic year, the final year classes met in facilities rented from the Board of Education of the City of Hamilton. In 1985 the college purchased 78 acres (32 ha) of land in Ancaster, Ontario for the construction of a new campus. The college occupied the new facilities in August 1986, and welcomed 279 full-time students in September. In November, 1986, the college held its first graduation, with 40 students graduating.

On June 25, 1998, the Ontario Government passed Bill Pr17, which granted Redeemer College the authority to offer Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. Prior to that time, the college conferred a Bachelor of Christian Studies degree which was recognized by the AUCC (Association of Universities & Colleges of Canada) as comparable to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.

As a university degree granting institution, Redeemer undergoes audits of its undergraduate program reviews, carried out under the auspices of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). In view of its status as an undergraduate university, the Ontario Legislature approved a change in institutional name to Redeemer University College on June 22, 2000 (Bill Pr19).

On June 26, 2003, the Ontario Government passed Bill Pr14, granting Redeemer the authority to offer a Bachelor of Education degree to replace its B.C.Ed. degree. On December 10, 2003, the new teacher education (B.Ed.) program was granted initial accreditation by the Ontario College of Teachers, giving Redeemer the only provincially recognized Christian teacher education program (K-10) in Ontario.

In 2005, a considerable expansion to the academic facilities including the addition of the Peter Turkstra Library was completed.[2]

Redeemer University's Arms and Badge were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on September 15, 2005.[3]

In 2013 they settled a class action lawsuit with about 450 families over the tax deductible donations the families made to the institution which the institution in turn lent to their children to pay tuition and would forgive the loan if the child completed the academic year. The Canadian government had ruled that the donations were ineligible for tax deduction since the donors had benefited and ordered payment of back taxes and interest from donors. In the settlement the institution gave back 10% of the donations and paid the legal costs of the families.[4][5]

In February 2019, a $11 million donation allowed Redeemer University to lower tuition to $9800.[6] In early 2020, Redeemer University updated its name, formerly known as Redeemer University College [7] after a review by Ontario's Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board.[8] Redeemer currently has legislation before Parliament to receive expanded degree-granting capabilities (25 total degrees), including a Bachelor of Business Administration, a Master of Education, and a Master of Science.[9]

In 2021, the Federal Court ruled that the government had unfairly denied Redeemer University participation in the Canada Summer Jobs Program based solely on its religious opposition to same-sex marriage. In a rare move, the court also ordered the government to pay Redeemer University's full legal costs.[10]


Redeemer University offers over 40 majors and minors.[11]

Bachelor of Arts: Applied Social Sciences (Applied Social Sciences, Social Work), Art, Business (Business, Accounting, Management, Marketing), English (Literature, Writing), Environmental Studies, History, Kinesiology and Physical Education (Kinesiology, Physical Education), Media and Communication Studies (Digital Media and Production, Media and Culture), Music, Philosophy, Politics and International Studies (Politics and International Studies, International Development, International Relations), Psychology (Clinical, Experimental), Religion and Theology (Religion and Theology, Urban and Intercultural Ministry, Youth Ministry)

Bachelor of Science: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Health Sciences (Health Sciences, Pre-Medicine, Professional), Kinesiology, Mathematics.

Bachelor of Business Administration: Business - Accounting, Business - Not-for-profit Management, Business - Management, Business - Marketing

Bachelor of Education: Education (Primary/Junior Division, Junior/Intermediate Division)


Redeemer offers three styles of on-campus residence.


Incoming students typically live in the Townhouse residences at Redeemer, located in Calvin Court, Luther Court and Cranmer Court. There are 43 two-storey townhouse residences in all, each with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, a dining room, a living room, and a basement. Features of a Townhouse residence are a furnished common area, dining/living room, and bedrooms, wireless and cable Internet access, local telephone access, self-locking doors and campus security patrol of campus 24/7, Residence Advisor or Housing Advisor, porch, coin laundry facilities, and parking space.

Augustine Hall:

Typically, second-year students live in Augustine Hall at Redeemer, located just past the Recreation Centre. A three-storey complex, Augustine Hall is made up of twelve 3-bedroom residences and three 2-bedroom residences. Each 3-bedroom residence includes two bathrooms, a full kitchen, dining room, living room, and an extra storage unit. Up to six students live together in these residences. One of them serves as Housing Advisor (HA) who meets with the Assistant Resident Coordinator in Student Life on a regular basis. The HA ensures everything runs smoothly as students share meals, chores and devotions together.

As of 2015, Augustine Hall has become a senior student residence for third-, fourth- and fifth-year students. The building is overseen by two fellow senior students known as Residence Life Facilitators (RLFs) who plan monthly events and ensures that each apartment is cared for.

Independent apartments:

Independent apartments are available for students with disabilities, married students, mature and senior students. The 23 apartments are located in Luther Court and in Augustine Hall. Some of the features are choice of a one or two bedroom unit, air conditioning, wireless and cable internet access, kitchen appliances, bathroom, parking space, extra storage unit, and coin laundry facilities.[12]

Student activities and traditions[edit]

LAUNCH is a week-long orientation made up of many activities and held for first-years during the first week of school in September. One part of LAUNCH is the LAUNCH Olympics, a day of events where teams of new students and a senior leader play through games, activities and competitions and end with a mud pit tug-of-war.

The Decade Dance is held on the night of the LAUNCH Olympics; students enjoy music and wear costumes from previous decades, as well as having dance contests.

Spring Banquet is an end of the year event held at a banquet hall in Hamilton, generally in March. There is a sit-down dinner and dance held afterward.

Rooted Worship, previously named Church in the Box (CITB), is a student run worship service held once a month on Sunday evenings, and includes music and drama as well as a speaker. This tradition began in the school's "black box" but has grown over the years and is now held in the auditorium for students, staff and the community.[13]

Hot Spot is an informal worship event intended for students. Held in the Rec. Centre once a month on Thursday evening, it includes a musician and a singer, and a speaker or speakers.

Chapel is a worship service held in the auditorium on Wednesday mornings for students and faculty which includes student participation in music and readings, while having an in-school or guest speaker.[14]

The Battle of the Bands is a contest where Redeemer bands perform to showcase their skills, to learn from other musicians, and to be crowned the top Redeemer band.

Coffeehouse is a monthly student gathering hosted by Student Senate, either in the Commons or the Rec. Centre, where songs, skits, poetry and other talents are performed.

Students for Life is anti-abortion student group that hosts occasional discussions and organizes protests and gatherings in support of religious pro-life ideologies.

Research and faculty[edit]

The campus houses two research institutes through the Centre for Christian Scholarship,[15] the Pascal Centre for Advanced Studies in Faith and Science[16] and The Dooyeweerd Centre for Christian Philosophy.[17]

Each year, the Centre for Christian Scholarship hosts two on-campus events: a fall conference in October[18] as well as The World and Our Calling Lectures in January.[19]


The university holds membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the International Association for Promotion of Christian Higher Education, and the Association of Reformed Institutions of Higher Education in North America.


Redeemer University student athletes

Redeemer Royals fields sports teams in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association. The Royals compete in men's and women's basketball, volleyball, cross country, soccer, indoor soccer, and badminton. They have a men's hockey team in the Niagara Christian Hockey League.

The Royals have five people inducted into the OCAA hall of fame: Terry Talsma (volleyball and soccer), Ryan Talsma (volleyball), Michelle Van Berkel (volleyball), Colin DeRaaf (volleyball) and Dr. John Byl (builder).

Athletic Facilities

Redeemer's Athletic Facilities are open to all students free of charge and also to all athletic centre members. The facilities include one squash court, two lit tennis courts, a soccer field, an indoor soccer dome, a beach volleyball sand court, a lit outdoor basketball court, a double sized hardwood gymnasium, and a workout studio/fitness centre. In September 2011, Redeemer, in conjunction with the Ancaster Soccer Club, opened a new sports complex, featuring an outdoor, artificial-turfed field, and a 10 x 70 meter domed sports field, with an adjoining field house.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Financial Statements of Redeemer University and Independent Auditor's Report Thereon year ended April 30, 2021" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  2. ^ "History". Redeemer University. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  3. ^ Arms and Badge
  4. ^ Arnold, Steve (31 January 2013). "Redeemer settles $6-million lawsuit with families". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Redeemer negotiates end to class action law suit". Redeemer University. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Redeemer University College is cutting its fall tuition by 42%". 900 CHML. Retrieved Mar 13, 2020.
  7. ^ "Redeemer becomes a university". CRCNA. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB) current consents". PEQAB. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Bill 213 text" (PDF).
  10. ^ Hopper, Tristin (4 July 2021). "Judge slaps down Trudeau government for denying summer jobs grants to Christian university". National Post. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  11. ^ "Degree Programs". Redeemer University. Retrieved Mar 13, 2020.
  12. ^ "Residence Life". Redeemer University. Retrieved Mar 13, 2020.
  13. ^ "Church in the Box". Redeemer University. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  14. ^ "Chapel Services". Redeemer University. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  15. ^ "Centre for Christian Scholarship". Redeemer University. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  16. ^ "Pascal". Redeemer University. Retrieved Mar 13, 2020.
  17. ^ "Dooyeweerd". Redeemer University. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  18. ^ "Fall Conference". Redeemer University. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  19. ^ "The World and Our Calling Lectures". Redeemer University. Retrieved 2018-03-09.

External links[edit]