Commissioning Graduates for Future Service Online

As another academic year draws to a close, Heritage College & Seminary is once again preparing to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of its graduating class online.

This year, Heritage will be hosting its online college graduation service on Friday, April 30 and will hold a separate service celebrating the graduates of Heritage Theological Seminary on Saturday, May 1. To mark each event, both services will be broadcasted live with graduates joining together online for this special ceremony.

Though the desire was to have our seminary and college graduates on campus this year, the circumstances and guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario have once again led to both ceremonies being online.

However, Heritage will still be marking the day in a special way with both graduating classes gathering together online from across the province. Friends and family will also be able to attend the service by watching the event live on DiscoverHeritage.ca/Live.

“Our graduation service is truly a highlight and high point in our year at Heritage.  It is a culmination where we celebrate past accomplishments.  At the same time, it is a commissioning to future service,” says Dr. Rick Reed, President of Heritage College & Seminary. “We rejoice as we anticipate the eternal impact these graduates will make for Christ in the years to come.”

Graduates will receive a special package at home from Heritage that will include a number of items including their diploma or degree, a graduation cap to wear for the ceremony, and a few gifts from Heritage in honour of their accomplishments.

Each service will include worship music led by students and alumni of both the college and seminary, as well as addresses from Dr. Reed at the college service and Dr. Stephen Yuille, Vice President of Academics, for the seminary celebration.

Join us online to celebrate with the class of 2021. The service for the college on April 30th begins at 2:00pm and the seminary service on May 1st will start at 10:30am.

Watch both celebrations at DiscoverHeritage.ca/Live.

Equipped to Make Jesus Known in Everything

In my years at Heritage, one of the foundational truths that the Lord helped me to realize was the incredible reality that He is to be made famous through absolutely everything and anything I do.

Spending the four years at Heritage, gave me the opportunity to be in a unique community of students and teachers that gave me the space to figure out what I needed to do in terms of profession, education, and understanding of who God was and who I was. I wrestled in Bible College about whether or not I was to go into something drumming focused or if I was to work within a church setting as a Worship Director. Looking back, the Lord gave me the opportunity to do both while also providing exceedingly more than what I ever thought.

After graduating Heritage, the Lord led me into a time of waiting for a year where I spent some time teaching drums at the local Long and McQuade Music store, as well as at a Christian School in Cambridge. After that year ended, I received a call from Oxford Baptist Church in Woodstock to become their Worship Director over a period of four years, while developing and running a program, called “OWL” or Oxford Worship Lessons, where I taught students how to play various instruments and play on the Worship Team.

Then, in 2020, I was flown to L.A. for a commercial run by Facebook to drum for a campaign for International Women’s Day and following the commercial I was overwhelmed by a number of students who were seeking to take drum lessons. At this point, I was teaching a little bit while I was working at Oxford, however I felt the Lord tugging on my heart for a change in direction. I left Oxford in March of 2020 and have been running my drum studio, Ransom Drum Lab, full time offering online and in-person drum lessons.

What I love about these jobs – as a Worship Director and now a Drum Educator – is that I’ve clearly seen the Lord direct and guide me through all of these scenarios, plus have had the opportunity to witness, to love, and to minister to people in various walks of life. Heritage equipped me for all these circumstances that have occurred in the past six years since I graduated, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

Read Sharon’s stories and more in our latest Alumni Newsletter – arriving in mailboxes soon.

Heritage College & Seminary Announces Plans for Operation Under the Provincewide Emergency Brake Shutdown

In preparing to enter the Provincewide Emergency Brake Shutdown in Ontario, Heritage announces a number of changes to its current protocols and campus operations for the remainder of the academic year.

Posted April 1, 2021

With the recent announcement from the Government of Ontario, the province will officially move into a 28-day shutdown starting Saturday, April 3.

As a result, Heritage College & Seminary will be making the following changes to our protocols and operations on campus for the remainder of the academic year in order to continue providing a safe learning environment for our students.

College students will complete the winter semester through online delivery.

  • In keeping with the provincial regulations for colleges and universities, college classes will move to online, remote delivery.
  • Continuing to follow the Ministry’s guidance on practical Music & Worship Studies classes, the following classes will finish in-person:
    • Worship Leadership
    • Music Fundamentals II
    • Applied Lessons
  • Seminary courses will continue to be offered only online.
  • College professors will be in contact with students regarding further details on classes and exams.

The Heritage Library will move to a full pick-up service.

  • Books can be ordered from Heather Okrafka: hokrafka@heritagecs.edu and you will be notified when they are available for pickup.
  • All book requests will need to be made the day before pick-up, and books will be made available for pick-up from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.
  • Seminary students will be able to utilize the Heritage Library using the new pick-up method.
  • The book drop off will be open all the time for returns.
  • Scanning of material can also be arranged by contacting Heather Okrafka.

Off-Campus Students may only come on campus for essential purposes.

  • Essential services include: Library Pick-Up and Counselling Services.

The Use of the Heritage Community Centre will be limited for the remainder of the semester.

  • The Heritage Community Centre will only be available for students for only individual study space during the emergency brake shutdown.
  • Students will be able to access the space from 8:00am to 4:30pm.
  • Tables and booths will be limited to one student or one apartment only.
  • The Fitness Centre and Gymnasium will be closed for the remainder of the semester.

Residence at Heritage will remain open for the remainder of the semester.

  • Students who choose to finish the semester in residence will be required to stay on campus until the assigned move-out day.
  • Students will be permitted to only make trips off campus for essential purposes which include groceries, pharmacy, work, or medical appointments.
  • With churches being allowed to open at 15% capacity, students will still be allowed to attend church while maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks, and following public health measures. 

Starting Monday, April 5, the Cafeteria will offer meals to students through take-out.

  • All meals will need to be picked up in the Cafeteria and taken back to your residence rooms.

Outdoor gatherings are permitted with a limit of 5 people

  • Gatherings may only occur outdoors with a maximum of 5 people while maintaining physical distancing.

Heritage Staff and Faculty are required to work from home starting Monday, April 5.

  • All staff and faculty of Heritage will be required to work from home, unless they are given permission from their supervisor.

Heritage College & Seminary Moves into Red-Control on Tuesday, February 16

As the Region of Waterloo transitions into a Red-Control zone under the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework, Heritage College & Seminary is announcing a number of changes to current protocols.

Posted February 16, 2021

After the announcement from the Government of Ontario on February 12, all communities under the Region of Waterloo Public Health will officially enter the Red-Control zone of the province’s COVID-19 Response Framework when the Stay-at-Home Order ends on Tuesday, February 16th at midnight.

Given the move back to the provincial framework, Heritage College & Seminary will be making a variety of changes to our current protocols and campus operations in order to continue our efforts to create a safe learning environment for our students and seek the safety and good of others.

Please note that these protocols will continue to be subject to change as the government will be re-assessing the effectiveness of health and safety measures every two weeks.

Course Delivery for college students will move back to in-person classes starting Monday, February 22.

  • All on-campus, Section 1, college classes at Heritage will once again be offered in an in-person format.
  • College students enrolled in Section 23 (live-stream) will continue to join classes online.
  • Heritage will continue to use our larger classrooms in order to maintain physical distancing and to ensure a healthy on-campus learning environment.
  • All students enrolled in on-campus college classes, living on campus or off campus, will be welcome to attend classes at Heritage while adhering to physical distancing guidelines and properly wearing a mask.
  • All classes for Heritage Theological Seminary will continue to be delivered online.

Library will be open for in-person service.

  • The Heritage Library will be open to enrolled students, staff, and faculty from Monday to Thursday from 11:30am to 4:30pm and 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Friday from 11:30am to 4:30pm, and Saturday from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Students will once again have access to the Heritage Community Centre.

  • The Heritage Community Centre will be open for regular hours starting Tuesday, February 16.
  • All furniture has been rearranged in order to create a safe space for students to use while under Red – Control. Students are asked that all furniture within the Heritage Community Centre remain where it is placed and are not to be moved.
  • Other than for classes, Chapel services, or Cafeteria usage, each room in the HCC will not exceed a capacity of 10 people unless otherwise posted.

The Fitness Centre will reopen for pre-booked use effective Tuesday, February 16.

  • All visits to the Fitness Centre must be booked in advance. To book a time, please be in contact with Cassie Talabis at ctalabis@heritagecs.edu.
  • Please maintain a physical distance of 3 metres at all times.
  • Masks are required, except when exercising.
  • Please immediately clean and wipe down equipment immediately after use.

The Gym will reopen for individual physical activity and all team sports will remain cancelled.

  • Under Ontario’s public health measures for regions designated Red – Control, team sports must not be practiced or played. As a result, all team sports have been cancelled and will not be allowed in the Gym.
  • The Gym will remain open for use with a maximum of 10 people and can only be used for individual physical activity. (ex. Shooting a basketball)

Limiting Off-Campus Trips for Essential Purposes including attending church.

  • Following the recommendations from Waterloo Region’s Medical Officer of Health, all students are asked to carefully consider and limit all trips off-campus.
  • It is important that each student only make trips for essential purposes which include groceries, pharmacy, school or work, and medical appointments.
  • Under the Red-Control level, churches will resume to be open and students will still be allowed to attend church while maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks, and following public health measures.

The Cafeteria will be open for dining and will continue to provide take-out options starting Monday, February 22.

  • All furniture will continue to be arranged in order to ensure physical distancing is maintained and all tables and chairs will be required to stay in their given space and must not be moved.
  • Students will be required to continue limiting table capacity to a maximum of three people.

Heritage Staff and Faculty will continue to be encouraged to work from home.

  • If a staff or faculty member requires access to the campus or to work from Heritage, they are required to receive approval from their supervisor.

 All protocols will continue to be in effect.

  • As the winter semester begins, all campus protocols will remain active, including:
    • You must wear an appropriately fitting mask inside of all campus buildings, with the exception of your residence room.
    • You must swipe in and out of all campus buildings using the swipe card issued by the main office. When you use the swipe card, you are confirming that you are feeling well and are not displaying any of the common symptoms of COVID-19. Please use the Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment found at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/.
    • You must sanitize your hands when you enter and leave all campus buildings and keep a physical distance of 6 feet or 2 metres.

New Protocols for the Winter Semester at Heritage

In light of the Ontario-wide stay-at-home order and other recently heightened measures, Heritage College & Seminary announces new protocols for the winter semester.

Posted January 13, 2021

On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the Government of Ontario has declared the beginning of the province’s second state-of-emergency. In this announcement, public health measures have tightened more, including an Ontario-wide stay-at-home order effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01am – requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes.

Given the new restrictions and the stay-at-home order, Heritage College & Seminary has had to make significant changes to our protocols and how the campus will operate under these announced measures.

Heritage has made great efforts to create a safe learning environment for our students this winter semester, while striving to comply with the directions given by our governing officials and to show love for our neighbour.

The Heritage Community Centre will be restricted until further notice.

  • Effective Thursday, January 14, the Student Centre, Bean, Study Spaces overlooking the Gym and Chapel will be closed to student access.
  • Heritage will continue to re-evaluate how the Community Centre is used throughout the semester.

The Heritage Library will suspend in-person services and move to full pick-up service.

  • Books can be ordered from Heather Okrafka: hokrafka@heritagecs.edu and you will be notified when they are available for pickup.
  • All book requests will need to be made the day before pick-up, and books will be made available for pick-up from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.
  • The book drop will be open all the time for returns.
  • Scanning of material can also be arranged by contacting Heather Okrafka.

The Cafeteria will move to a take-out model.

  • All meals will need to be picked up in the Cafeteria and taken back to your residence rooms to enjoy.

Gatherings will be limited to five people outdoors.

  • Under the provincial guidelines, social gatherings can still occur outdoors with a maximum of 5 people, while maintaining physical distancing.

Bookstore and Counselling Services will still operate.

  • The Bookstore will still provide pick-up options for students. Please contact the Bookstore for more details.
  • Counselling services will still operate at Heritage following the provincial guidelines.

Off-Campus Students may only come on campus for essential services.

  • Essential services include: Library Pick-Up, Take-Out Food Services, Counselling Services.
  • Seminary Students will be able to utilize the Heritage Library using the new pick-up format.

 Ice Rink

  • Weather permitting, the Ice Rink at Heritage will have a maximum capacity of 5 skaters.
  • Recreational skating and skills practice are permitted.
  • Hockey or Shinny will not be allowed under provincial guidelines.

Residence Students will be provided with a discounted fee for the Winter 2021 Semester.

  • Given the changes to living on campus, Heritage will be providing all on-campus, residence students with a 25% discount on this semester’s fees – equalling $525.
  • If you feel like you are unable to stay, there will be a partial refund of 75% provided.
  • Students who decide to leave will be making the decision to leave for the remainder of the semester.
  • Residence students will have until the morning of Thursday, January 14 to inform Student Services on their decision.

 Staff and Faculty of Heritage are required to work from home.

  • In light of the stay-at-home order, all staff and faculty of Heritage will be required to work from home, unless they are given permission from their supervisor.

We continue to look forward to seeing how God will work in the lives of our entire Heritage community as we begin the winter semester at the college and seminary.