Longing to Find Rest in Christ

Dr. Carolyn Weber, Professor of English Studies at Heritage College & Seminary, believes that we all are defined by longing. This universal human condition is something that she has not only experienced personally but is also something that she sees continually in culture as people search for fulfillment all the wrong places – especially when it comes to relationships, intimacy, and sex.

Out of a desire to remind readers that there is another way, Weber was inspired to write her latest memoir, Sex and the City of God: A Memoir of Love and Longing.

Weber explains that her interest in the topic of longing began after her own conversion. as she began to see in retrospect how much of her own aches, desire, or, as C.S. Lewis termed it, “sehnsucht” was pointing her to something bigger. This was God.

This fascination with longing was what led her to focus academically on the Romantic writers of the 18th and 19th century who were defined by this “infinite longing”. However – through her study of authors like Goethe, Wordsworth, Blake, Coleridge, and the Shelleys – she began to see a deeper longing in all people.

“I began to see how this longing very much characterized just about everything we searched for in life: companionship, achievement, belonging, safety, refuge, peace,” says Weber. “Augustine’s famous claim then took on a very personal and relevant meaning for me: ’You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.’”

Looking back on years of conversations with friends, students, participants at women’s events, and her own children, Weber says that she began to see how culture has been looking to everything else but God to meet this sense of longing.  When it came to relationships, marriage, and sex, she has become increasingly concerned that people are bombarded with sexual information yet no relational wisdom and no way to think bigger about love and how best to love.

“As my children grew older, I wanted them to see more than the world shows them: I wanted them to understand marriage as a place that is not immune to the fallen world – nowhere on this side of heaven is – but that it can be a safe place to grow, and to forgive and be forgiven, and to taste grace intimately,” says Weber. “And that regardless of our worldly relationship status, we are married first to Christ, and therefore should be thinking of responding to him first, looking to him first.”

Through reflecting on her own life after studying at Oxford University and her personal faith journey, Weber seeks to explore what our lives can look like when we choose to love God first in this new memoir.

Weber states that her hopes for this new work are to see those who are looking at anyone or anything other than God to meet their deepest needs to be lovingly encouraged to revisit the First Commandment and find relief and peace. Rather than fulfilling needs in people or actions at the cost of hurting or exploiting other people, she desires that readers of this book may discover the truth that finding our identity in Christ ultimately means we live in relationship, and so in responsibility, to other people.

“God has to be our First Love, or else the bottom of everything really does fall out; the bucket has an endless hole,” says Weber. “We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper, and a keeper of our hearts as well, and that’s an immense privilege that relationship reminds us of and points us to with our heart’s homecoming in God.”

To learn more about Sex and the City of God, click here.

Cassandra and Jon Talabis Awarded the 2020 Elsie M. Lawson Awards

Cassandra and Jon Talabis have been awarded this year’s Elsie M. Lawson Awards.

Named in honour of long-time secretary of London Baptist Bible College and Seminary, the Elsie M. Lawson Awards are the highest awards given by the college in recognition of the male and female students who exhibit a balanced godly life and character. The award has been donated by Mary Ellen Bloomfield.

Franklin Vander Meulen, Assistant Professor and Director of Intercultural Studies at Heritage College & Seminary, explains that since Cassandra began her studies at Heritage as a part of The SERVE.experience Japan team, she has continued to bless others – locally, globally and here at Heritage as a long-time member and President of Student Council.

“Cassie has a wonderful balance of stability and steadfastness together with joyful enthusiasm for life and ministry,” explains Mr. Vander Meulen. “She loves the Lord and has a heart for people, particularly those living without knowledge of the gospel.”

“She has contributed much to the life and community at Heritage, has been successful academically, and is held in high regard by faculty and students alike, and is well-deserving of this award.”

Dr. Doug Thomson, Director of Music & Worship Studies at Heritage College & Seminary, sees Jon as an excellent recipient of the award and wanted to encourage him to continue to live a life trusting in God’s presence wherever he goes. (Joshua 1:9)

“Jon has proven himself to be a man of God, a good example and encouragement to others, a fine musician, and a hard worker,” says Dr. Thomson. “Hold fast to God and to the truth and I am sure that God will lead you into an exciting future and use you mightily for the Kingdom.”

“I am so proud of you for the man you have become and for winning the highest award at Heritage. I know you will go on to do great things.”

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020 – to watch Online Graduation 2020 ceremony click here.

Heritage Celebrates Welcome Day 2020

There was a feeling of excitement on campus at Heritage College & Seminary on Monday, September 7 as staff, faculty, and student leaders greeted new and returning students and their families for Welcome Day 2020.

After months of praying and planning for this upcoming year, Welcome Day marked the beginning of an academic year that the Heritage community desires will be a time of spiritual impact and physical safety.

With the help of student leaders, both new and incoming students moved into our limited capacity residence to begin their studies at the college for the upcoming academic year starting on Thursday, September 10.

Families were then welcomed to join together to dedicate the upcoming year to the Lord with a special service with messages from President Dr. Rick Reed, Vice President of Academics Dr. J. Stephen Yuille, and Vice President of Student Life and Enrolment Chuck Schoenmaker.

Parents of college students who wish to receive more information about Heritage and watch messages from some of the staff and faculty are encouraged to visit our online Parent Orientation at DiscoverHeritage.ca/Parents.

Please continue to pray for our college students as they prepare for this upcoming year, as well as the students of Heritage Theological Seminary who will be starting their fall semester online this week.

To view the online Parent Orientation 2020 – visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/Parents

To view Heritage’s plans for Fall 2020 – visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/Fall2020.

Looking Ahead to Fall 2020

Heritage College & Seminary is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all its students, faculty, and staff. For this reason, we are establishing guidelines and reconfiguring the campus in anticipation of the fall semester.

Our goal is to create the best possible learning experience for all students, whether they are on campus or off campus. We want all members of the Heritage community to feel safe and secure as they begin, or continue, their studies this September. As always, our mission is to equip men and women for life and ministry, from coast to coast to coast, and around the world.

To learn more about Heritage’s plans for Fall 2020 and to stay updated on further details  – please visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/Fall2020.

A Statement from President Dr. Rick Reed from Heritage College & Seminary

Our Heritage faculty and staff join with many others around the world to pray for God’s mercy on our broken world during time of great sorrow and upheaval.  We lament the tragic, brutal death of George Floyd which has surfaced the injustice many Black brothers and sisters live with in an ongoing way.

It could be tempting for us in Canada to dismiss this as a problem largely beyond our borders.  But as we listen to the voices of Black Canadians and other minorities around us, we quickly discover that racial prejudice adversely affects Canadians too.  This is a time to humble ourselves before God, asking for His grace and guidance to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matthew 22:39).

As Christians we reject racism as contrary to God’s heart and His revealed will.  The Bible affirms all humans are created in God’s image and possess equal worth and dignity (Genesis 1:27).  Although hostility and division have characterized human history, God’s plan is to bring us together under Christ as part of His Church (Ephesians 1:10, 2:14).

When Linda and I served in a pastoral role in Ottawa, we loved the fact that over forty languages were spoken in the congregation.  We delighted in the diversity of languages and cultures represented in the church. It was for us a foretaste of heaven when people from every “tribe and language and people and nation” will unite to give glory to the Lord (Revelation 5:9).

Our commitment at Heritage College and Seminary is to be a place where all students are treated with Christ-like love.  To this end, we will actively listen and learn where we fall short and what actions we can take to be part of the solution.  We recognize our responsibility to educate and equip spiritual leaders who understand the implications of the gospel and embrace the racial diversity God intended for the body of Christ (Ephesians 3:6) and the absolute equality and value of all.  We do this as an expression of our devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who laid down his life to reconcile us to God and to unite all who trust in him as equal members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).

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 DiscoverHeritage.ca/OnlineLectureSeries.

 

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 DiscoverHeritage.ca/OnlineLectureSeries.

Heritage Theological Seminary Announces the New Master of Theological Studies – Online

Heritage Theological Seminary is excited to announce the Master of Theological Studies – Online degree. Be equipped for life and ministry from wherever you currently live and serve.

With many followers of Christ continuing to serve faithfully in fruitful ministries across the province, country, and beyond, the opportunity to pursue a Master of Theological Studies degree can be a challenge and commuting to campus or relocating closer to the seminary may not be viable options.

As a result, Heritage is introducing a flexible, fully online degree program that will offer students the opportunity to receive ministry training and earn a master’s degree from the place God has them living and serving him.

“The Master of Theological Studies – Online allows Heritage to make high-quality theological training and ministry preparation available across Canada and around the world,” says Dr. Rick Reed, President of Heritage College & Seminary.

Heritage’s MTS Online is:

  • Comprehensive: a robust biblical and theological program that equips you for life and ministry
  • Christ-Centred: learn from pastor-scholars whose lives and teaching revolve around the gospel
  • Interactive: an online study environment where you will engage with professors and other students
  • Flexible: study full-time or part-time, fully online or partially on-campus; shape your degree as your ministry situation allows

“The MTS Online is not meant to replace our on-campus residential degrees. In fact, online students are allowed and even encouraged to come to campus for courses as they are able,” explains Dr. Ian Vaillancourt, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Heritage Theological Seminary and Heritage’s Director of Distance Learning. “However, since many people are unable to relocate for Seminary, the MTS Online exists to equip them to know God and make him known, as they stay in their current context. It is exciting to be able to serve God’s people from coast to coast with this new degree.”

Registration is now open for the Master of Theological Studies – Online program at Heritage Theological Seminary. To begin your application, visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/Apply.

Or, for more information on the program, please contact Heritage’s Admissions team at admissions@heritagecs.edu.

A Graduation Day Message from Heritage College & Seminary

“God has invested much in you, now he wants to do much through you.”

Today, students would have been celebrating together with friends and family for Graduation Day. Though we have had to postpone our ceremony, we still want to celebrate the hard work of our students and graduates at the end of the academic year.

Watch and hear encouraging messages from President Dr. Rick Reed, Vice President of Academics and Academic Dean of the College Dr. J. Stephen Yuille, and Academic Dean of the Seminary Dr. Barry Howson.

Relationships Filled with Hope and Light

It’s amazing what God can do in the lives of people over playing a game of Uno or doing a puzzle with someone. For many of the men and women who come to Nightlight in Cambridge on a regular basis, these are more than simply fun ways to pass the time on an evening. For many, it is their one chance to find the joy of community and know that they are truly loved.

Students from Heritage College had the opportunity to become part of this community and share the love of Christ through their words and presence by serving on a regular basis at Nightlight.

For Emma Burns, a Bachelor of Religious Education student at Heritage, each night at Nightlight was an example of how we as Christians can show others they are loved by both presenting the truth of the gospel and being a caring, consistent presence.

“Nightlight was a perfect opportunity to simply spend time with people who are looking for relationships and showing them that there are people out there who do care for them,” says Burns. “We were there consistently because we care, and we wanted to show them the love that we experience every day.”

Nightlight is a ministry that operates a number of drop-in centres like the one in Cambridge, located in downtown Galt. The goal of the ministry is to provide safe places for the many people who live in the margins to find meaningful friendships and care.

Burns explains that by heading to Nightlight on a consistent basis, joining in on different games, students were able to build relationships with different people. It was in and through doing this each week that she says people began to open up to them about their lives, giving students the chance to do the same.

And often these discussions led to the students getting the chance to talk about the impact Christ has made in their daily lives, leading to hope-filled talks with those who came to the drop-in centre.

She recalls a conversation she had with one person about quitting smoking. Burns says that she had the chance to share with this person about her own journey, and how Christ has helped her in her own life which the person was open to hear about. One of the next times they saw each other, the person told her that they had quit smoking.

For her and the other students, serving at Nightlight has been a learning experience personally as they grew not just from stepping out and being open about sharing their faith, but they also learned the value of gratefulness and hope from the people that they met each night.

“People are hurting and broken and a lot of the time these people are looked down upon so much, yet they are the people I have found to be the most hopeful and open,” says Burns. “Serving at Nightlight has taught me to be more grateful for what I have, and more open to talk to anyone and everyone who will listen.”

As many of the students look ahead to the next academic year, the ones that served at Nightlight are especially looking forward to heading back to the drop-in centre to see their friends, build new relationships, and continue to share the hope of Christ.

For Burns, she’s excited for the opportunity to continue serving at Nightlight. She says she is excited to continue stepping out in faith and being challenged to be a Christian known by her love. Through her work at Nightlight, she explains that she has seen the importance of sharing the joy of the gospel and encourages others to do the same after seeing firsthand how much people want to hear this good news.

“People are willing to change, willing to listen the truth that Scripture brings,” says Burns. “I would encourage people to accept the journey that is sharing the gospel with others because there are people who want to hear it.”

Make the Most of Your Time : Heritage Spring & Summer Online Courses

Redeem your time this spring and summer by learning and growing with Heritage College & Seminary. Beginning in May, Heritage is once again offering a wide variety of online course options over the spring and summer months for you to discover.

Dr. Rick Reed, President of Heritage College & Seminary, says this is a unique time and an opportunity for you to take the time to stabilize your soul by studying God’s Word and learning from distinguished faculty at Heritage and other schools.

“One excellent way to do this is by taking an online course at Heritage this spring or summer with a great variety of courses available to you,” says Dr. Reed. “These classes are excellent opportunities to spend your time wisely by going deeper in God’s Word.”

Each year, Heritage not only provides a great selection of courses that help current students at make progress on their degrees, but also gives Christians the opportunity to be equipped and learn. Classes can be taken for credit or by lifelong students who want the opportunity to study the Bible, learn more about a topic, or want to discover what learning at Heritage is like through taking courses as non-credit students.

This year, Heritage will be offering a large number of seminary-level courses that can be completed fully online. From Philippians to the Pentateuch – students have the opportunity to learn or continue their studies at Heritage from wherever God has them serving and living for Him. This now includes the option for Heritage Theological Seminary students to complete either their Greek or Hebrew Elements courses online over the course of the spring and summer.

Dr. Ian Vaillancourt, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Heritage Theological Seminary and Heritage’s Director of Distance Learning, explains that though in-class offerings are at the core of what Heritage is about, the College and Seminary desires to serve students with more online courses to help better serve the church.

“The goal is to equip the saints for works of ministry, and since each saint has particular growth needs, we seek to serve as many of them as possible through these diverse course offerings,” says Dr. Vaillancourt.

Registration is now available for current students and interested non-credit students. The registration deadline has now been moved to April 10.

For a list of our online course options and our module and multi-modal classes that are available this Spring/Summer and to learn more about how to apply, visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/Summer.

Spring & Summer 2020 Update – In order to enable students to continue their training at Heritage this spring and summer, all multi-modal and module Spring/Summer courses will be offered through an online delivery format.