Celebrating Online Graduation 2021

Heritage College & Seminary celebrated the accomplishments of its graduating class of 2021 on April 30 and May 1 during its special Online Graduation 2021.

Graduates gathered online from their homes across the province along with the faculty of Heritage to recognize the diligent work and study of the Class of 2021 and commission them into life and ministry. Friends and family were able to join this year’s ceremonies by watching the event live on YouTube and hear each name of the graduating class read and recognized during each ceremony.

At this year’s college ceremony, President of Heritage College & Seminary Dr. Rick Reed shared a message from John 1:6-8, commissioning the students to know they have been sent to live as witnesses to the true light, Jesus Christ. Graduates also had the opportunity to hear an encouraging word from this year’s Valedictorian Joehelen Ravelo.

Dr. J. Stephen Yuille, Vice President of Academics, presented the Graduation Address to the graduates of Heritage Theological Seminary sharing truths from Galatians 4:19 that each should remember as they leave Heritage to serve Christ in ministry. This year’s Jack Scott Award winners Beverly Boyd and Parker Arnold were also recognized and shared their addresses to the seminary graduates.

Each ceremony also provided music and worship recorded by current students and graduates of both the college and seminary.

For a list of college and seminary award winners announced at each ceremony, please see below:

Heritage College – 2021 Graduation Awards

Academic Awards

The Certificate Program Academic Proficiency Award

Emily Cooper

The Fourth Year Academic Proficency Award

Joehelen Ravelo

The Zondervan Hebrew Award

Nathan Kapteyn

The Zondervan Greek Award

Brett Harris

The Wilson Banks Music Award

Mackenzie Cline

The ABWE Missions Award

Rebecca Johnson

Delta Epsilon Chi, Honour Society of ABHE

Nadime Ayoub & Joehelen Ravelo

Field Education Awards

The Gerry Benn Award for Christian Education

Jake Van Noggeren

The Pastoral Ministry Award

Marshall Morden

Other Awards

The Elsie M. Lawson Awards

Nadime Ayoub & Mackenzie Cline

 

Heritage Theological Seminary – 2021 Graduation Awards

Academic Awards

The Graduating Academic Proficiency Award

Parker Arnold and Jacob Tomc

The Harold Stainton Hebrew Award

Jacob Tomc

The Zondervan Greek Award

Parker Arnold

The Charles & Olive Tipp Church History Award

Phoebe Heng

The William & Leila Whitcombe Theology Award

Jacob Tomc

Field Education Awards

The Jack H. Watt Pastoral Ministry Award

Sean Sheeran and Jaye Rice

Other Awards

The Jack Scott Award

Parker Arnold and Beverly Boyd

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.

Growing a Deeper Heart for Prayer

When only days into the beginning of the winter semester, college students living in residence received the news that the province would be entering a stay-at-home order in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As for many across the province, this announcement led to many changes to daily life. For students living on campus this meant classes would continue to be delivered online, indoor community spaces would be temporarily closed during the order, and efforts to serve in the community were not able to happen.

Though at times this was a discouraging situation, many students looking back now see how God used the circumstances surrounding the stay-at-home order to grow their heart for prayer.

With guidelines allowing the opportunity to meet outdoors, students coordinated opportunities to continue meeting for prayer during the stay-at-home order outside, physically distanced, and in groups of five in the parking lot every morning and evening.

In the mornings, groups would focus on different topics like unreached people groups, government leaders, and the staff and faculty at Heritage. While in the evenings, their prayers were always centered around a Bible passage, which would be read and prayed through.

“It was so encouraging to see more and more students coming out and being part of this amazing ministry,” says Shannon Jabs, a Bachelor of Religious Education student who helped coordinate these prayer meetings. “It brought us together in a time when there wasn’t really much we could do ministry wise, while also being helpful in raising our spirits and encouraging us to discipline ourselves to pray in a time of great need.”

Bachelor of Religious Education student Ethan Skinner explains that these prayer meetings have become a such a large part of community life at Heritage not only because of how they have positively impacted the mental health of the students, but how he has seen the students grow in their belief in the power of prayer.

“There are many students who believe that God is literally changing the world through the prayers of His people; that God’s hand is not shortened by the amount of people who are praying (Matt. 18:19-20),” explains Skinner. “Coming together to pray over each other and intercede on behalf of the community has brought us together in a very special way.”

As much as these times of prayer have had a deep effect on the spiritual health of the student community, they have also greatly impacted individual students in how they have strengthened their faith and given them a new opportunity to treasure prayer more.

Tori Lesniara, a Bachelor of Religious Education – Intercultural Studies student, explains that as a student learning and growing in her love for God, that her heart has found great comfort by sharing what she has learned in the classroom in praise and petition through prayer with her brothers and sisters on campus.

“While we haven’t been able to worship together as frequently as we’d like, together we are learning the discipline and delight of drawing close to the One who continues to hold us,” says Lesniara. “We come together as children of God, weary because of the circumstances, to pray to our Father who has been faithful to give us rest in Him.”

For Jabs, these times of prayer provided a reminder of the importance of prayer in the lives of believers, while being a source of personal peace in the midst of the stay-at-home order.

“There were many times when I didn’t feel like going out in the cold and, even though there were many times when it was chilly and uncomfortable, it always encouraged me and made me feel peace and joy in the Lord’s presence,” explains Jabs. “I don’t know how we would have gotten through the lockdown without the Lord’s grace and faithfulness, and it was so wonderful to seek His face as a community and be reminded of our great need for Him.”

Looking Ahead to Fall 2021 at Heritage College & Seminary

Looking ahead to the start of a new academic year beginning this September, Heritage College & Seminary is pleased to announce that we are planning and preparing to offer on-campus, in-person classes for the Fall 2021 semester.

Plans for Course Delivery in the Fall of 2021

In September, Heritage is planning to have both college and seminary classes being offered on the campus while following active public health guidelines for our region and Ontario. 

Whether it be personal health concerns or distance from the school, Heritage understands that our students may face a number of different circumstances that may not allow them to come to campus for classes. In order to continue to serve our students, Heritage will be upgrading its technology on campus in order to offer a livestreaming, hybrid option for all in-class college and seminary courses starting this fall.

The college and seminary will also offer a number of classes throughout the Fall 2021 semester that will be held solely online, while a select few courses will be offered only on-campus.

Residence and Student Experience

The Student Services team continue to be committed both college and seminary students with a quality student experience and will be preparing ways to help foster a healthy community on campus for students to learn and grow within.

For both new and returning college students, plans are also being made to continue to keep our residence buildings open and operational this Fall while following any guidelines that will be in place at the beginning of the academic year. Applications for residence this fall are available here.

Planning within Guidelines and Protocols from Public Health and the Province

As we prepare for Fall 2021, Heritage acknowledges that there will likely still be a number of restrictions and guidelines set out by our provincial and regional public health officials that we will be required to follow in order to offer a safe learning environment. As a result, all plans for September will be made while following the requirements and precautions necessary to allow Heritage the opportunity to operate on-campus.

We are grateful for how God has allowed us the opportunity to continue on in our mission to train and equip men and women for life and ministry over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Now, as we prayerfully plan and prepare for the start of another academic year, we are looking forward to continuing this mission while offering a safe and welcoming learning environment on campus for both our college and seminary students.

Heritage will continue to share additional information and plans in the coming months leading up to the start of the Fall 2021 semester on our website.

Campus Operations During the Provincial Shutdown

Posted January 7, 2021

As we approach the beginning of the winter semester on Monday, January 11, Heritage College & Seminary wanted to provide more details surrounding campus operations, student services and how the school will operate while under the ongoing provincial shutdown.

Heritage continues to prioritize the safety and health of our community of as we continue to equip men and women for life and ministry. As a result, we have established new guidelines for the campus that will be in place for the remainder of the shutdown – scheduled to end on Saturday, January 23.

All winter semester classes will begin through online delivery

In keeping with the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, all college classes for the winter semester will start online until the scheduled end of the 28-day lockdown period. For more information, please see our update from December 21, 2020.

The Heritage Community Centre

The Heritage Community Centre will be open for regular hours starting January 10, 2021. During the time of the Shutdown, furniture has been rearranged and room capacities have been adjusted in order to provide a safe space for students to use as they begin their studies this semester.

Students are asked that all furniture within the Heritage Community Centre remain in the places they have been placed and are not to be moved.  

  • Student Centre: New Capacity – 10 People

    • This area will now include the main sitting area of the Student Centre and the seating located in the hallway leading to the Chapel.
    • The Pool Table will be available to use but will be limited to games between two people.
    • The Ping Pong Table has now been relocated to the Gym and will also be limited to games between two people.
  • Desks Overlooking the Gym – New Capacity – 6 People

    • Six, physically distanced spaces have been designated for studying purposes.
  • The Bean: New Capacity – 10 People

    • The Bean will remain open during the provincial shutdown.
    • The booths located in the Bean will be limited to two people, one person on each bench.
  • Chapel: New Capacity – 10 People

    • The space can be used for personal study and practice space for Music & Worship Studies students.
    • The Prayer Room will also remain open with a room capacity of 2 people.
  • Cafeteria & Gym

    • Seating options will be available for students in both the Cafeteria and the Gym.
    • When the Gym is being used for dining, the capacity of the space will be 30 people.
    • The Gym will have a maximum capacity of 10 people when not being used during meals. There will be no team sports in the Gym during the time of the Shutdown.
  • Fitness Centre

    • The Fitness Centre will continue to be closed during the shutdown.
  • Recording Studio – New Capacity – 6 People

    • There will be a limit of only two people inside each room in the Studio.
    • If you are singing, the vocalist must be the only one in the room and can only use one of the tracking rooms.

Academic Building

  • Bookstore

    • The Heritage Bookstore will be open for limited hours during the month of January and students are encouraged to order their textbooks through the online bookstore and select the “Pick-up at Bookstore” option.
  • Library

    • 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.

Off-Campus Students

  • Off-Campus College students are welcome to continue to use the Student Centre and Library over the course of the shutdown while abiding by all of the campus protocols and new room capacities.
  • Seminary students will still be allowed access to the Heritage Library with their provided Heritage access card. Students are encouraged to contact our Administrative Office to receive an access card at admin@heritagecs.edu.

 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.
    • Learn more about the Province-wide Shutdown at https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-provincewide-shutdown.

We are looking forward to welcoming our students back to Heritage for the winter semester. We are praying that as we begin this semester online that God will continue to teach and equip our college and seminary students through all they learn this semester.