Telling the Story of The Fellowship in Canada

For Jordan Senécal, the study of church history has grabbed his heart in recent years. Over his time studying at Heritage Theological Seminary, he has come to appreciate and value the many stories of how God has been at work in his people and in the world.

Now, Senécal has the opportunity to be a part of telling one of those stories in the history of the Church in Canada.

Working with Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin, Professor of Church History at Heritage Theological Seminary, Senécal will be serving as a research assistant on a project that will recount the story of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada to mark the denomination’s upcoming 70th anniversary in 2023. This work will be a revision and expansion of the 2003 publication, A Glorious Fellowship of Churches, edited by Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin and Robert B. Lockey.

“I am looking forward to uncovering all that God has done through the Fellowship over the past 70 years, not only in Canada but internationally,” says Senécal. “I am especially looking forward to hearing the remarkable stories of God’s grace in the lives of his people.”

He says that, Lord willing, this project will see him travelling across Canada in order to visit different districts and institutions connected with the Fellowship in order to tell the history of this denomination starting with the Particular Baptists in England in the 17th Century and following the storyline through the Fellowship up to the present day.

As he begins to undertake this extensive project, Senécal has the understanding of just how important chronicling the history of the Fellowship is. He explains that it is not only valuable as a contribution to Canadian history in general, but it is especially beneficial for the Fellowship and other churches in Canada to look back into their history to be encouraged and learn as they carry the blazing torch of the gospel today and into the future.

“I think that by knowing our history, we can learn not only how God worked in the past, but also see the struggles and, in some cases, pitfalls of our forebears and learn from them today,” he explains. “Knowing our story helps us to understand, appreciate, and maintain our identity while at the same time seeking to work with other believers in bringing the gospel to the nations.”

Since his conversion at nineteen, Senécal says that he has had the sense that his place in the world would be in Christian scholarship. Since beginning his studies at Heritage, he says that he has not only been gripped by the study of church history but has also had the opportunity to gain a broad perspective on the past 2000 years of God’s work in the world through a diversity of history courses.

However, what has stood out prominently from his time at Heritage has been the opportunity to receive valuable mentorship from the professors at the Seminary, especially Dr. Haykin.

“He has become a great source of encouragement to me and has been investing in me and my growth both as a Christian and a historian,” says Senécal. “I cannot see how this opportunity would have been possible apart from my being at Heritage.”

Awarding Excellence in Specific Subjects

This September, Heritage College & Seminary will be celebrating the accomplishments of the graduating class of 2020 online leading up to our Online Graduation 2020 ceremony.

Each year, Heritage recognizes the academic accomplishments of college and seminary students in specific subject areas of study. Each of these students have not only excelled academically while studying at Heritage but have also exhibited outstanding work in each of these subjects while showing godly character.

Congratulations to the following subject award recipients from the class of 2020:

  • Field Education Awards – outstanding work by non-graduating college students in the area of field education this year.
    • Awarded to: Emily Smallegange and Peter Lambert.
  • Gerry Benn Christian Education Award – outstanding work by a graduating college student in the field of Christian Education.
    • Awarded to: Jordan Vanderkooy.
  • Irene Robertson Loveday Christian Education Award – a non-graduating seminary student who shows significant academic ability and involvement in a Christian education ministry.
    • Awarded to: Beverly Boyd.
  • Wilson Banks Music Award – college students who have excelled in the music program, who plan to have a career in music ministry, who have exhibited godly character and demonstrated outstanding effort and academic achievement.
    • Awarded to: Ian and Josh Cushnie.
  • Charles & Olive Tipp Church History Award (seminary) – awarded to: Jordan Senecal.
  • Denzil E. Raymer Old Testament Award (seminary) – awarded to: Kathleen Hill.
  • Gordon Brown New Testament Award (seminary) – awarded to: Braden Slessor.
  • William & Leila Whitcombe Theology Award (seminary) – awarded to: Thomas Fisher.
  • Greek and Hebrew awards, sponsored by Zondervan: these students have excelled in language studies.
    • Awarded to: Scott Hogeveen and Nicolas Crowe in the college & Thomas Fisher in the seminary for Greek.
  • Harold Stainton Hebrew Award: excelling in Hebrew language studies in the seminary.
    • Awarded to: Randy Lieuwen.

Join us for Online Graduation 2020 on Saturday, September 26th at 10:30am for the premiere of the ceremony at YouTube.com/heritagecs.

Heritage Preaching Lectures 2020 Welcomes Ray Ortlund

Join us online for this year’s Heritage Preaching Lectures – register at DiscoverHeritage.ca/HPL.

If there is one thing that many people are seeking in today’s world it is to find the wisdom in order to live well in a broken world. As a result, understanding how to preach and teach the wisdom literature of the Old Testament has become a valuable skill.

Ray Ortlund will be teaching on the topic of preaching Old Testament wisdom literature during this year’s Heritage Preaching Lectures hosted by Heritage Theological Seminary being held on Thursday, October 8th.

This year, the Heritage Preaching Lectures will be broadcasted in churches, homes, and offices as the event will be livestreamed online for participants.

Dr. Ortlund currently serves as the President of Renewal Ministries and has served 28 years in pastoral roles in California, Oregon, Georgia and, most recently, at Immanuel Nashville in Tennessee. He has also taught Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois and serves as a Council Member of The Gospel Coalition.

In addition to numerous essays, Ortlund has also published eight books including his most recent, Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel. He has also served as an Old Testament translator for The New Living Translation and The English Standard Version and contributed the introduction and study notes in the ESV Study Bible to the book of Isaiah.

Dr. Wayne Baxter, Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek at Heritage Theological Seminary, explains that Ortlund’s experience and perspective is valuable in guiding the preachers who will attend this year’s Preaching Lectures to effectively teach wisdom literature.

“As pastors and teachers, we desire to offer our people wisdom from God’s Word. Very often, however, our take on God’s wisdom amounts to little more than simplistic, Christian clichés,” says Dr. Baxter. “As an Old Testament scholar Ray Ortlund understands how Old Testament wisdom works; and as a pastor, he knows how to impart God’s wisdom to his people.”

Though the format of the Preaching Lectures has moved online for this year, the event continues to be focused on helping pastors and ministry leaders by encouraging and equipping them in order to continue serving their churches well.

“Heritage believes that preaching is the primary focus of any pastor’s ministry, “says Dr. Barry Howson, Academic Dean of Heritage Theological Seminary. “Consequently, any help we can receive to improve this task is much appreciated, not only by us who labour in preaching the Word but also the churches we serve.”

To learn more about the Heritage Preaching Lectures and to register for this online event, please visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/HPL.

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.

Sending the Joy of Camp Home

The news that overnight camps would not be running this summer left many people devastated. This was a feeling shared by Heritage students Ethan Skinner and Julia Martin.

When they heard that their camp – Camp Widjiitiwin – would not operate normally this summer due to the pandemic, it was a challenge. Which was why the news that camp would continue in a different format was not only great news, but also something they were excited to be a part of.

Camp Widjiitiwin, like other overnight camps, will be hosting Camp in a Box – a special program that seeks to bring the joy of a week at camp to campers’ homes across Ontario. Now, after working hard to prepare this unique camp experience, Martin and Skinner are currently part of leading this special program.

For Martin, the excitement for being a part of Camp in a Box comes from a heart for the impact camp ministry has had on her own life and the hearts and lives of campers she has connected with at Widjiitiwin.

She explains that, for her, God has used her time as a camper and now a leader to push her into a deeper trust in Him.

“I believe that camp has increased my passion for ministry and when I am able to see the countless miracles He has done at this camp, my love for Him strengthens as well as my confidence in knowing that he is a good God,” says Martin. “Every summer I come back and there are always campers I can see God working in and there is no other explanation than Jesus’ grace in those times.”

In Skinner’s life, he looks back and sees his own experiences at camp as formative – providing him with deep friendships, a stronger relationship with God and a passion to serve in ministry. However, he says that it is also what He does in the lives of campers each summer that continues to be a testimony to the power of God.

“Last summer we saw fifty campers make personal decisions to turn and trust Christ and over 100 Bibles go out,” says Skinner. “It is the place where I’ve seen God use the camp pastors, the cabin leaders, and even myself to preach and live out the gospel before campers.”

Now, both are playing important roles in bringing the joy and hope of camp through this new program that will allow campers to experience Widjiitiwin from where they live through a special online platform and boxes filled with items from the camp. For Martin and Skinner and the rest of the team, this has involved doing everything from packing boxes with games, activities, and tuck candies to filming and preparing content for the online camp portal.

Though it is strange to be preparing for a summer of camp in this way, both would say that their time at Heritage has prepared them to trust God and that He will work in and through camp – even if it is experienced in a different way.

“One of the most important lessons that Heritage has taught me in preparation for serving in camp ministry is how God is able to work all things for the good of those who love Him,” explains Skinner. “That although ministry may not be what is expected or the normal, that God is able to take this new reality and work it for good.”

As both Skinner and Martin begin their ministry this summer with Widjiitiwin, their prayer is that God will make the most of this opportunity and continue to impact lives with the hope of the gospel through this camp experience.

“Our mission is to let each camper know how important and loved they are in the eyes of God, and that as we strive to impact each camper’s life that they will make a difference in their families as well,” says Martin.

Learn more about Camp in a Box at mycamp.ca/campinabox.

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).

Telling the Story of Jonathan Edwards and the Stockbridge Mohicans

It was during his time studying church history at Heritage Theological Seminary with Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin that Dr. Roy Paul says he became fascinated with the history surrounding Jonathan Edwards and his ministry to the Mohican Indians in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

This interest became the focus of Paul’s doctoral research that will be published in a forthcoming book – Jonathan Edwards and the Stockbridge Mohican Indians: His Mission and Sermons.

Dr. Paul, an alumnus of Heritage Theological Seminary, explains that the opportunity to study Edwards and his missionary work to the Mohican people was a valuable endeavour. Though the story of Edwards’ work in this area and the sermons he preached were known, he explains that many had not been previously published.

As a result, his doctoral research took him on a journey looking at archives in Stockbridge, spending time on the Mohican reservation in Bowler, Wisconsin, and travelling to Yale University to review some of the over 200 sermons that Edwards preached during his ministry in this area.

Paul’s research delves into Edwards’ involvement in continuing the gospel ministry that was within the Mohican community in Stockbridge. He explains that after European settlers began to settle in their area, this monotheistic group who acknowledged the “Great, Good Spirit” as the giver of all things became interested in both the lives and beliefs of these new residents.

“They took notice, particularly, of how prosperous the European settlers were and decided that they wanted to know more about their God,” says Paul. “To that end they agreed to have a missionary come to them and to teach them.”

After the passing of the first and long-serving missionary to the community, John Sergeant, Edwards came to take his position in 1752. Paul explains that though Edwards came into this position with a heart for missions and the Mohican people, he also began his preaching ministry without knowing their language. Though this would be a challenge for Edwards, with the help of a translator and thoughtful preaching, Paul says that he served in this role preaching two different sermons each Sunday – one to the English settlers and one to the Mohicans.

“His content and style to each group was quite different,” explains Paul. “Edwards was a master of rhetoric and so when preaching to the Mohicans he drew on their love of nature and gave many analogies from creation.”

One thing that was clear from his research was the deep care that Edwards had for the Mohicans that he served. Paul explains that, while preaching the word in Stockbridge, Edwards also fought for the rights of the Mohicans in the area. As the settlers continued efforts to swindle land from the Mohicans and not live up to their obligations to the boys learning in the community’s boarding school, Paul says that Edwards was their advocate through letter writing campaigns and other initiatives.

“He truly cared about them physically and spiritually, bringing many of them into his own home,” says Paul.

When looking at this chapter in Jonathan Edwards life, Paul says that there are a number of important lessons for the church today. He explains that in the life of Edwards in Stockbridge, readers will see not only his personal commitment to the study of God’s Word and the discipleship of his family, but also his great devotion to preaching the gospel and the mission to the Mohicans. A commitment that has left a lasting impact on the Stockbridge Mohicans today.

“When doing my research on the current state of Christianity within the tribe, one tribal member said to me, ‘If it were not for the ministry of Jonathan Edwards to my people; my ancestors, my grandmother, my mother, and I would not be Christians today.”

For more information on Dr. Paul’s new book, click here: https://bit.ly/EdwardsandtheStockbridgeMohicans

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 https://bit.ly/ZondervanExegeticalCommentaryOT

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 about Safety Protocols, Course Delivery, Schedules, and more at DiscoverHeritage.ca/Fall2020More info