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.

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.

Unfolding the Wonders of the Gospel in the Book of Romans

Dr. J. Stephen Yuille, Vice President of Academics and Academic Dean of the College, is convinced that today we need hope more than anything else. As we enter the first months of a new year in the midst of an on-going pandemic, it is evident that many people are struggling with despair and disappointment. Yuille is convinced that we would do well to focus on the central message of hope found in Paul’s letter to the Romans.

“The only remedy is to abound in hope – the life-changing certainty that someday we’ll have all that God has promised,” says Yuille. “Paul focuses our attention on the gospel – God’s goodness toward us in Christ. And he encourages us to fix our eyes on Him. As the anchor steadies the ship in the midst of the storm, so hope keeps us steady in the storms of life.”

In The Obedience of Faith Yuille guides readers to the wonder of God’s gospel. He explains how Paul’s letter to the Romans unlocks the depths of God’s Word, unfolds the wonders of Christian theology, and establishes the pillars of Evangelical piety unlike any other book in the Bible.

Yuille mentions that it has been his privilege to preach through Paul’s epistle on three occasions while ministering in churches in Portugal, Ontario, and Texas. As he has done so, God has used it to impact his own life and ministry. “I think Martin Luther said it best: ‘This epistle can never be read or pondered too much, and the more it is dealt with the more precious it becomes, and the better it tastes,’” explains Yuille.

To learn more about The Obedience of Faith: Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, please visit the publisher’s website here.

A Heart for the Local Church and Equipping its Leaders

Looking back, Dr. Michael Pawelke believes that his heart for training and equipping leaders came from his experiences in the local church. The current President of Briercrest College and Seminary and this year’s speaker for Ministry Leadership Day with Heritage Theological Seminary, says that he finds himself often reflecting on his sense of call into ministry.

One past experience that he says has shaped the way he leads today was the valuable discipleship he received when he was young from one Sunday School teacher at his local church in Toronto, Ontario. For Pawelke, it was how this teacher took the time to teach him the Scriptures and freely give of his own time to walk with him that continues to form the way he leads and teaches others to lead.

“While he never used the words “disciple” or “reproduction”, this relationship shaped my values and practices such that I have always sought to build into the lives of a handful of others in a more significant way,” explains Pawelke.

He also recalls a time while church planting where he says he hit a wall and began a year of reflection, learning, and healing that brought clarity to his call to “love, lead, feed, and seed” disciples through his ministry.

“It was then that I began to own the responsibility of not only reproducing disciples but also of developing leaders,” says Pawelke. “And, because I love the local church so much, I wanted to produce leaders for the local church and Christ’s kingdom work.”

As he continues to serve and equip leaders in the local church, Pawelke has had the opportunity to walk alongside pastors and church leaders as they face the challenges that have come from the COVID-19 pandemic. He states that this unique time has not only impacted the way leaders shepherd the local church but has also impacted the leaders themselves.

Pawelke says that though he has watched some church leaders creatively serve their people and communities in these times, he has also witnessed leaders respond in a variety of ways that reflect the struggles of leading a church during times of turbulence and crisis.

From the emotional toll of the additional work that is depleting leaders to the preoccupation of working with government restrictions while watching important, routine ministry be displaced – Pawelke says that it has all left church leaders exhausted and discouraged with not much left give to their people at the end of their days.

“This takes different forms and is likely due to a number of factors – inability to gather, difficulty knowing how their flock is doing, challenges in maintaining a sense of community, or fear for the wellbeing of their most vulnerable,” he explains. “Many leaders feel deeply for their people, but simultaneously feel limited in their ability to engage.”

As church leaders continue to serve in light of the pandemic, Pawelke points leaders to the hope for all pastors when they reset their focus on God’s call on the Church and His promises to be faithful through whatever the Church faces.

“The Great Commandment and the Great Commission are paramount. The mission of the Church should come first,” says Pawelke. “We also see from history that Christianity’s message and efficacy transcends politics, culture, and natural disasters.”

“It has worked, and can work in every imaginable political context, during war, in times of famine, and during times of peace. Let’s stay the course.”

As he prepares for Ministry Leadership Day 2021, Pawelke says that he is looking forward to not only teaching fellow leaders, but also the opportunity to connect with people during the question-and-answer times.

“I want to hear from others on what is occupying them. I know the phrase is overused by our political leaders, but we truly are in this together,” he says. “I derive such energy from simply being with other leaders of like passion and like challenges and only wish we were together in person.”

Join Dr. Pawelke online for this year’s Ministry Leadership Day – Click here to register today.

Ministry Leadership Day 2021 Welcomes Dr. Michael Pawelke

Click here to register today for Ministry Leadership Day 2021 

Heritage Theological Seminary will be welcoming Dr. Michael B. Pawelke to be this year’s guest speaker at its annual Ministry Leadership Day being held on Thursday, March 4th.

Each year, Ministry Leadership Day provides an opportunity for pastors and ministry leaders to be encouraged and equipped through relevant and practical teaching surrounding a wide variety of topics related to leading in a local church context.

To continue to support church leaders through this event during these unique times, Ministry Leadership Day will be livestreamed for all participants so that they can learn and grow from their homes.

Dr. Pawelke currently serves as the sixth president of Briercrest College and Seminary in Caronport, Saskatchewan, where he also teaches on leadership and pastoral ministry. During his sessions, he will be covering a number of topics including longevity in leadership and good judgment.

Dr. Rick Reed, President of Heritage College & Seminary, says that he is grateful to have Dr. Pawelke participate as our speaker for this year’s online Ministry Leadership Day.

“Dr. Pawelke is the kind of leader that I’d be happy to follow as I have watched the Lord use him to effectively lead a local church as well as Briercrest College and Seminary,” explains Dr. Reed. “He combines spiritual depth, relational warmth, and leadership wisdom.”

Dr. Barry Howson, Academic Dean of Heritage Theological Seminary, has watched Ministry Leadership Day become a yearly highlight for many pastors and ministry leaders as they come to the event to learn and grow from experienced pastors like Dr. Pawelke.

“Over the years we have had great pastoral insight and practical instruction from seasoned ministry leaders,” says Dr. Howson. “This is a great opportunity for pastors and church leaders to learn from those who have struggled, endured and born fruit for the kingdom of God.”

Ministry Leadership Day 2021 will be livestreamed on March 4th from 9:00am to 12:00pm and registration is $30 for each attendee. Dr. Pawelke will be leading two sessions throughout the morning, each followed by a question-and-answer period.

To register for this year’s Ministry Leadership Day and to learn more, please visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/MLD.

 

Announcing Ministry Leadership Day 2021

Join us online for this year’s Ministry Leadership Day 2021 on Thursday, March 4 from 9:00am to 12:00pm  presented by Heritage Theological Seminary.

Heritage is excited to welcome President of Briercrest College and Seminary Dr. Michael B. Pawelke to be this year’s guest speaker for this year’s event.

Dr. Michael B. Pawelke strives to honour the Lord in everything he does, including his role as Briercrest College and Seminary’s sixth president. With a vision of “educating disciples, equipping the Church, and engaging our world” Pawelke aims to continually grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ himself. Prior to stepping into his role as president, Michael served in pastoral roles in Manitoba and Ontario, including 19 years as senior pastor of Compass Point Bible Church in Burlington.

To learn more about this year’s event, please visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/MLD.

Click here to register for our online Ministry Leadership Day.

The What and the Why of Christmas

From the students, staff, and faculty of Heritage College & Seminary, we want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.

Watch as Drs. Rick and Linda Reed share the good news of what happened at Christmas and why it happened. We pray that you would both enjoy and share this video with others as we celebrate the joy of our Saviour, Christ, and Lord this Christmas.

“She will bear a son, and you will give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Bringing the Good News of Jesus This Christmas

Watch President Dr. Rick Reed’s Christmas update from Heritage College & Seminary and learn about how God continues to use Heritage to raise up a generation of gospel-hearted men and women with a passion to bring the good news of Jesus to neighbourhoods and to nations.

Also, our annual Christmas newsletter will be arriving in mailboxes soon. Inside, you will read stories from current students reflecting on the fall semester, a recent alumna on how Heritage has prepared her for her new role, and more.

This Christmas, Heritage is seeking to support the students who’ve come to Heritage to study God’s Word and prepare for ministry through providing scholarships. Help support Heritage students by donating to the Heritage Scholarship Fund.

Visit DiscoverHeritage.ca/Donate.

To read this year’s Christmas Newsletter, click here.