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Photo: Image courtesy of Redeemer University
Photo by Image courtesy of Redeemer University

Redeemer University College has passed an important milestone in its life as an academic institution, changing its name earlier this year to Redeemer University. The institution has been granting university degrees for more than 20 years, and its new name will reflect this more clearly.

In Ontario, says Provost David Zietsma, many people understand a college as a place that grants apprenticeships, certificates, diplomas, and degrees in applied areas of study, while universities offer academic and professional programs and grant four-year undergraduate degrees.

The name change, then, clears confusion and “puts Redeemer on a more level playing field with other universities in Canada and the U.S. when attracting students or appealing to donors,” said Zietsma.

He added, “As early as this spring, graduating students will receive a degree with the name Redeemer University, which will help to clarify that it is a university degree.”

An institutional rebrand will continue over the coming year to reflect the change.

Redeemer University began 38 years ago as Redeemer College. In 1998 it became Redeemer University College and was able to broaden its degree granting privileges to include B.A. and B.Sc. degrees. In 2003 it began to grant bachelor of education degrees as well.

The institution completed a review and application process under the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board and was granted consent for the name change on Jan. 20, 2020, by the Minister of Colleges and Universities.

Zietsma noted that this success results from the dedication, mission focus, and generosity of the Redeemer community and supporters throughout its history.

“We’re thankful to God for strengthening Redeemer’s ability through this change to accomplish the mission of preparing the next generation of Christian leaders to make a difference for God’s kingdom,” he said.

Zietsma was recently appointed to the role of provost and vice president, academic, having previously served in various other roles at Redeemer. In recent years he helped to develop both Redeemer’s strategic plan and its new core curriculum.

Explaining his new role, Zietsma noted, “A provost oversees the academic mission of the school, or the school’s central purpose. This involves leading the faculty, the academic program, student and campus life, and the overall academic experience.”

Enthusiastic about the intersection of faith, learning, and serving, Zietsma added, “As provost, my hope is to continue to strengthen Redeemer’s role in discipling the next generation of Christian leaders. I want to ensure a deep rootedness to Redeemer’s founding mission of learning and living from a Reformed Christian worldview. This means Redeemer will continue to be a spiritually vibrant place where students grow more deeply in their walk with God at the same time as they are receiving an excellent university education.”