Discovering the Rich Treasures in the Book of Joel

For Dr. Joel Barker, Professor of Biblical Studies at Heritage College & Seminary, the book of Joel is filled with wisdom and truth for the church today. In his new commentary on the book of Joel – recently released as a part of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament series – Dr. Barker says that he has tried to develop a resource that will help pastors and Bible teachers share these important truths with Christians today.

“Joel reminds the reader that when crisis comes, it is important to cry out to God and hold to his grace and mercy,” explains Barker. “Joel demonstrates that although God cannot be tamed, he can certainly be trusted.”

Edited by Dr. Daniel I. Block, the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament series is dedicated to tracing the argument of Old Testament books as a whole, with careful attention to the different authors’ rhetorical strategies – showing the value of not only what the author says but how the message is being communicated. Barker explains that his commentary on the book of Joel provides readers with some consideration of this book in a broader, biblical-theological context while making connections across the canon.

“The aim is to show how Joel contributes to our understanding of Scripture’s pictures of lament in the face of disaster, God’s power over creation, and hope for those who put their trust in God,” says Barker.

Barker says that the commentary will also provide pastors and Bible teachers with a clear structural breakdown, setting good parameters for organizing the book into preachable passages. In doing so, his hope is that all will be able to see how the argument of the book builds cumulatively.

“My goal is to bring to life the literary artistry of the book revealed through its captivating imagery as it bears witness to the glory of God,” says Barker.

Throughout the book of Joel, he says that there are valuable themes for those in the local church today to learn from. For example, Barker highlights the value in teaching through Joel as a reminder of the great gift of God’s Spirit. He says that as the author pivots from despair to deliverance, he anticipates a future in which God will graciously pour out his Spirit on everyone who calls on his name. He explains that this future that Joel foresaw finds its initial fulfillment in the church’s Spirit-fuelled beginning as Peter quoted in his Pentecost sermon in Acts.

“Joel is important to teach and preach because it is God-breathed Scripture and, though venturing into the Minor Prophets is a scary proposition for many, there is so much rich treasure to be found,” says Barker.

To learn more about this new commentary, visit

Gripped by The Gospel

This past year, I had the privilege of being the Local Outreach Chair at Heritage. Growing up and even in my first year, sharing my faith was something I tried to avoid because I was afraid of being judged. I would try to pass by verses in the Bible about evangelism, using the excuse that “I didn’t have the gift”. For the longest time, I let fear hold me back from doing what God had commanded of all His people.

But last year, God completely changed my heart and opened up my eyes to the brokenness around me and gripped me with the urgent need for the gospel. We had the chance to share the good news with countless people and be the hands and feet of Christ to the poor and needy. I was able to witness God move in incredible ways and I am so thankful to have been a part of it.

So many of my friends and I who once never considered missions are now planning on devoting our lives to proclaiming the gospel to unreached people groups. I can’t wait to see how God continues to use the students at Heritage for the furtherance of His kingdom in Canada and around the world.

To read Shannon’s story and more updates from this past academic year, please read the Heritage College & Seminary Spring & Summer 2020 Newsletter.

Learn and Grow During the Online Lecture Series

Be encouraged in your faith as you learn from members of the faculty of Heritage Theological Seminary during our special Online Lecture Series.

The Heritage Online Lecture Series will provide you with a free opportunity to dig deep into God’s Word and grow in your faith as you participate in webinars led by our seminary faculty.

Register today for these special online lectures happening on Wednesdays at 1pm starting on May 20 and ending on June 17.

Discover our schedule of lectures and register today for the lectures you want to take part in all on


Check out our Schedule of Lectures:  

May 20 at 1:00pm – Dr. Ian J. Vaillancourt – “David, Goliath, and the Gospel”  

David and Goliath is one of the best-known and most beloved stories in the Old Testament, but how does it best apply to the Christian life? Most often, people apply the story directly, saying that “just like David faced Goliath with God’s help, I can face the ‘giants’ in my life with God’s help.” But a look at the David and Goliath story in its biblical context and book context, will help us to go much deeper than this. Dr. Ian Vaillancourt will show that the David and Goliath story does help Christians face any difficulty, but in a way that is much deeper and more meaningful than a mere “you can do it” pep talk. As we unpack the gospel application of this great story, attendees will further develop their own instinct to get to Christ and the gospel from every passage of the Old Testament.  

May 27 at 1:00pm – Dr. David G. Barker – “Lament in a Pandemic: A Worship Voice for the Church” 

The Apostle Paul twice in his writings to the churches said that we are to speak to one another in psalms. While he may have been speaking of more than we have in the Book of Psalms, he certainly was not speaking of less. The single largest category of psalms in the Psalter is Lament Psalms, not Praise, Thanksgiving, or Trust Psalms. In this lecture Dr. David Barker will explore the nature of Lament Psalms and how they can be used in the worship life of the church and in the individual lives of God’s people, especially in difficult times like the ones we are in now.

June 3 at 1:00pm – Dr. J. Stephen Yuille – “The Fear of God in Puritan Theology & Spirituality” 

This motif is front and centre in the Puritan mindset. It is found in all their writings from William Perkins to Jonathan Edwards. They are acutely aware of the fact that they serve a great God—a God greatly to be feared. As Matthew Henry expresses it: “Of all things that are to be known this is most evident, that God is to be feared, to be reverenced, served, and worshipped; this is so the beginning of knowledge that those know nothing who do not know this.”

June 10 at 1:00pm- Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin – “’Beauty so ancient and so new’: God, beauty, and sex in Augustine” 

In this lecture we explore the intersection of Augustine’s search for God, his fascination with beauty, and his struggle with his own sexuality, through the story of his life – a life that took him from teenage rebellion and involvement in a cult in North Africa, where he grew up, to a garden in Milan in northern Italy, where he surrendered to Christ at the age of 32.

June 17 at 1:00pm – Dr. Rick Reed – “Noticeably Better Preaching and Teaching” 

Paul instructed Timothy to work hard at preaching and teaching so that “all may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15).  Having trained preachers and teachers for over a decade, Rick Reed provides practical ways for those who communicate God’s Word to get better—noticeably better.  This webinar focuses on five essentials of effective, biblical teaching.  If you want to get noticeably better as a preacher or teacher, join us for an hour of encouragement and equipping.


Register today at

Encouraging Women in the Word Online

Dr. Linda Reed, Director of the Heritage Centre for Women in Ministry at Heritage College & Seminary, will be speaking at this year’s Women of Grace Spring Retreat hosted by Muskoka Bible Centre (MBC) online on June 6.

This annual women’s conference at Muskoka Bible Centre has become recognized as a time of rest and renewal for women of all ages who gather for fellowship and learning from God’s Word. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, MBC has decided to move the conference online, making it a free, one-day conference to provide soul-strengthening for every woman who attends.

For over a year, Linda Reed says that she has been considering the theme to “Be Still and Know God.”  In this seminar, she explains that she will teach on ‘Knowing God’ and will encourage women to ‘know His strengthening power’ in our challenging times.

Sandra Loewen, a Precept Ministry trainer, will also guide all participants in a hands-on study on “How to Study the Bible for Yourself.”  A final session with Brenda Marshall, will involve everyone in a deep and wide prayer gathering for our world and ourselves.

“The guidance given on this day could change your personal study of God’s Word for years to come and our prayers could also change our nation, and our lives,” says Reed.  “So, join us for this retreat, make a latte, and take some “still” time.”

To register for the online Women of Grace Spring Retreat, visit the Muskoka Bible Centre website or click here for the event’s webpage.

Heritage Music Department Presents “Praise You in This Storm” Cover From Home

During the coronavirus pandemic, students and alumni from Heritage College & Seminary’s Music & Worship Studies department recorded from their homes this special cover of the timely Casting Crowns song, Praise You in This Storm.

Watch this special music video on Heritage’s YouTube page or view it below.

For more information on the Heritage College & Seminary Music Department – visit

A Greater Trust in God

Like for many churches, 2020 has been a year filled with changes and challenges for Restoration Church. This young church plant – located in the Galt region of Cambridge, Ontario – started the year trying to figure out where they would meet after labour strikes temporarily halted their ability to meet in a local high school.

However, as Aaron Ottaway, Pastor and Church Planter of Restoration Church, looks back at those times – those struggles seemed small compared to the changes that were to come as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Master of Divinity graduate from Heritage Theological Seminary explains that though these times have brought challenges to this church plant, he says that this has also been a time of reflection for those in the church, leading many to a greater trust in God.

“Even though we acknowledge that this isn’t what any of us desired, nor planned for, we are leaning into God’s control and asking what God is teaching us and how is God changing us,” says Ottaway.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ottaway says that Restoration has been using many different means in order to maintain connection with the church, teach God’s Word, and share the gospel with the community. From online Bible studies and mentoring groups to connecting through social media for Sunday services; Restoration has continued to meet, worship, and pray together.

And, though he would admit this is not the desired way to meet as a church, Ottaway explains that they have seen God work in and through this time at Restoration and in the community.

“God in his grace has reached people that we wouldn’t have planned beforehand, so much so that we have experienced professions of faith as well as some desiring baptism once we can be together again,” says Ottaway. “This has challenged us, but it has also increased our church’s creativity and increased our reliance on God.”

As he continues to pastor Restoration during this pandemic, Ottaway says that he is grateful for the education that he received at Heritage Theological Seminary that has provided him with guidance and wisdom to lean on.

Ottaway explains that he has been helped by all that he has learned from the faculty at Heritage who gave him the opportunity to think through important questions surrounding theology, the church, and missions. For him, these spiritual and practical lessons have been important as Restoration continues to think through big questions in these unique times.

Through Heritage, he has also been blessed with a community of classmates who are also serving in churches. Ottaway says it has been great having friends to regularly connect with, supporting each other while they all face the same obstacles together.

“It has been a joy to discuss, bounce off questions, and just be a part of a church movement with fellow pastors that I love and can reach out to,” says Ottaway.

Restoration has also seen Heritage become a big part of the church family. Ottaway says that has been encouraging to have students from Heritage join Restoration and serve the church in a number of ways including leading worship, evangelizing in the community, and even preaching sermons. However, what’s been even more encouraging for him is how these students have truly become part of the family at Restoration – a connection that continues now and will continue into the future of the church plant.

“It has been amazing to see them become a part of the church and take responsibility for the people there,” says Ottaway. “Hearing their stories, their prayers, and also seeing them grow more into the image of God through Jesus has been awesome.”

COVID-19 Archive

CAMPUS UPDATE – March 23, 2020

From the President’s Cabinet of Heritage College & Seminary.

As the situation involving the global pandemic surrounding COVID-19 continues to be fluid and ever-changing, the leadership of Heritage College & Seminary continues to monitor the situation throughout Ontario, Canada, and globally.

With circumstances like this comes the difficulty surrounding how best to prioritize the health and safety of our campus community – including students, faculty, staff, and their families. We also are striving to show love to our neighbour and make decisions that will help in doing so.

As a result, the President’s Cabinet has made some difficult decisions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the remainder of the academic year at Heritage College & Seminary:

All Spring/Summer multi-modal and module courses being offered at Heritage College & Seminary will be delivered online.

  • In order to enable our students to continue their training at Heritage this spring and summer, plans are being made to move all multi-modal and module Spring/Summer courses to an online delivery format.
  • Faculty will be in contact with all students enrolled in these courses as they begin in order to inform you as to how the courses will now run.
  • For more information on our Spring/Summer courses, please visit

Heritage College & Seminary Administrative Offices will be closed starting Monday, March 16, 2020 and all campus operations will continue to serve students online.

  • All staff and faculty of Heritage College & Seminary will be required to continue to work and serve students from home through online means.
  • If you are in need of contacting anyone from our staff and faculty, please make sure to contact them by email only.
  • To contact our Main Office, please continue to call our toll-free number at 1-800-465-1961 or fill out our Contact Form found on

The Heritage College & Seminary Library will be closed starting Monday, March 16 until further notice.

  • We regret to inform you that the Library will be closed for individual access starting Monday, March 16th. These arrangements for the Library will be in place for four weeks, at the end of which the closure will be re-evaluated.
  • We understand that this will greatly impact many students and their research this semester. Please await further word from your faculty as to how this will impact the remainder of the semester with regard to final assignments and exams.

All College and Seminary classes for the duration of the 2020 Winter Semester will be moving to Online on myHeritage.

  • Starting Monday, March 16th and for the remainder of the semester, all College and Seminary classes will be delivered online through myHeritage.
  • Please keep updated on the plans regarding your classes through your myHeritage email address as faculty will be connecting with you regarding how the classes will be conducted for the rest of the semester.
  • We ask that you would be patient during this transition time and understand that we are working diligently to ensure your semester and hard-work studying will not be lost.
  • Please note that online registration for both Fall Semester 2020 will continue with the deadline of June 30th. Students are asked to be in contact with their faculty advisors by email.

Heritage Residence Students will be required to vacate no later than Wednesday, March 18th at 8:00pm.

  • In order to ensure the health and safety of the student body, we will be asking that the students living on campus at Heritage College & Seminary vacate their rooms by Wednesday, March 18th at 8:00pm.
  • Exceptions to this requirement may be requested by filling out this Exception Form – Click here to access the Exception Form.
  • For returning students who plan to be living in residence next academic year, Heritage will provide a partial credit towards next year’s room and board. Details to follow.
  • For more information or questions, please contact DJ Mudde, Dean of Student Services at or our Residence Directors Dane Allen at and Katie Allen at

All on-campus events and travel will be postponed or suspended.

  • ­As a precautionary measure, all SERVE.experience service trips will be suspended for May 2020 with efforts being made to coordinate trips at a later date.
  • In addition to the cancellation of Ministry Leadership Day, the following events will be postponed for a later date or cancelled:
    • Student Sampler – March 17-18
    • Tech Talks for Churches – April 4
    • Arts Week – March 16-19
    • St. Patrick’s Mission Dinner – March 17
  • All campus tours, youth group bubble soccer or NERF events, and other recruitment events will be either rescheduled or postponed. If you have any questions, please contact Admissions at

Graduation 2020 will effectively be postponed until Fall 2020

  • With the recommendations from the Ontario Government to limit and avoid large gatherings of people, we have made the difficult decision to postpone graduation events for some time in Fall 2020.
  • We will be working toward a new date and will inform all of the new plans as soon as possible.

We ask for your patience and understanding during this time as we continue to deal with this ever-changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you have any questions, please feel free to be in contact with your respective faculty, faculty advisors, deans, and department heads or email us at

Understanding the Life, Theology, and Piety of William Perkins

Dr. J. Stephen Yuille, Vice President of Academics and Academic Dean of the College, sees the legacy of William Perkins as multi-faceted. During his ministry at Great St. Andrew’s Church in Cambridge, England, Perkins played a pivotal role in advancing the cause of Reformed theology while shaping the nature of pastoral ministry on both sides of the Atlantic. “His role as a physician of the soul became paradigmatic for succeeding generations of ministers,” says Yuille.

Perkins’s legacy as a pastor-theologian is what led Dr. Yuille, along with Dr. Andrew S. Ballitch, to co-edit a new book, The Wholesome Doctrine of the Gospel: Faith and Love in the Writings of William Perkins. As a part of the Profiles in Reformed Spirituality series, published by Reformation Heritage Books, this work seeks to provide a glimpse into the ministry, theology, and piety of this towering figure.

Yuille explains that Perkins had a deep pastoral concern for those whom he called “common” or “drowsy” Protestants – those who possessed a mere notional belief in God yet remained worldly in their ultimate concerns and pursuits. “Perkins was adamant that true faith never remains indifferent to the things of God, but engages the whole person in living for Christ,” writes Yuille.

With this conviction before him, Perkins gave considerable time and energy to expounding what he called the “wholesome doctrine of the gospel.” It consists of two key components, as found in 2 Timothy 1:13. The first is “faith” – what we believe. The second is “love” – what we practice. These two components shape the structure and content of this new book. After an introduction to Perkins’s life and ministry, Yuille and Ballitch provide excerpts from Perkins’s writings, which highlight 21 doctrines to be believed and 11 doctrines to be practiced.

Yuille explains that this merging of “faith” and “love” was central to Perkins’s vision of the Christian life. This is why he laboured to prove the inseparable relationship between doctrine and practice, theology and piety. By reading the present volume, Yuille hopes that believers will gain greater insight into Perkins’s vision of the Christian life and a greater appreciation for what it means to have a heart “inflamed to love God.”

To learn more about The Wholesome Doctrine of the Gospel, or to purchase the book, see the following link: