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Finished High School but don’t have the answer to; What’s Next?
Redeemer University College May Have the Answer

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Picture 1

The pressure to figure out “What’s next?” gets pretty intense as high school comes to a close. A lot of young adults have a nagging uncertainty that can be overwhelming. You may have an idea, but something is holding you back. Or maybe you have no idea. You worry about falling behind or wasting a year, but the thought of jumping into a 3- or 4-year program doesn’t feel right.

BUT WHAT IF YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT?


Imagine if you had a chance to breathe, to explore… to do something different with your year.

And what if, as part of that year, you had space to ask big questions like:
  • Who am I?

  • What is going on in the world and where is God in all of it?

  • How does my faith apply to daily life? At work? In my neighbourhood?

  • What are my gifts and passions?

  • Where am I headed?

WHAT IS ACT FIVE?

Act Five is an 8 month Christian gap year program that offers you new experiences, time and support in a community that lives, eats, learns, travels and worships together. It is an invitation to join others like you on a journey, to find real answers you can put into practice. It’s not just ideas that form us. It’s what we do, who we spend time with, the places we hang out, and the habits we form. Act Five is about preparing for your future while growing as a disciple of Jesus right now.

The Act Five experience is an epic adventure like you’ve never known, visiting new places, meeting new people and trying new things – earning university credit along the way. Research suggests that students who participate are likely to be more successful in their postsecondary programs, more engaged in life beyond school, and working in more satisfying careers.

WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM?

A program of Redeemer University College formed in partnership with five Christian high schools, Act Five is rooted in the belief that the Bible is the true story of the whole world. The Christian life is about finding yourself IN that story.

It helps to break it down into six acts: the first four span creation through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The sixth and final act tells us how the story ends. We find ourselves in the fifth act, for which there is no script and in which we are called to live out our faith – to practice it – knowing what came before and looking forward to what comes next.

So pause for a moment. Take hold of your life by taking time. And consider ACT 5, as you write your next chapter in the Story.

THE PROGRAM

The 8-month program has been designed for you to be stretched with new experiences, new places, and new relationships within a Christian community. And out of this year, you will learn a whole lot about who you are and where you are heading.

Along with living in community and regular rhythms of recreation, study, mentorship, meals together, and worship, the following gives you an overview of Act Five’s 8-month program:

FIRST TERM

The goal for first term is to learn to listen well, to pay attention to our own stories and those of others, and to experience new things in new places. Students will be encouraged to ask, “What can I learn about who I am and how I am to live from other people in other places?”





HIGHLIGHTS

  • Coldwater Canada outtrip
    16 days in Muskoka in September, including a 9-day canoe trip through the Temagami.
  • Learning among First Nations community
    A week in October spent on the Six Nations reservation, learning from community members, in partnership with Ohsweken Baptist Church.
  • Service learning trip to Zambia with EduDeo Ministries
    4 weeks in November spent in Zambia, integrating elements of school construction, classroom interaction with local students, and opportunities to serve and learn from the larger host community.
  • Academic Courses
    The group will complete the course, “The Six Acts”, as well as part 1 of the courses, “Place, Home & Land” and “Stories of Faithfulness”.

SECOND TERM

The goal for second term is to put learning into practice in a Hamilton neighbourhood. We hope to send students away excited about what, how, and why they are going to do whatever it is that lies ahead of them after Act Five.


HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2 Coldwater Canada outtrips
    An orientation week at a cottage near the Kawarthas, including a 3-day winter “hot tent” camping trip, and a concluding backpacking trip in April.
  • Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh
    A weeklong trip to Pittsburgh, where the group will be hosted by Christian communities throughout the city, culminating with the Jubilee Conference.
  • Field Placements
    Two field placements over the course of 8-9 weeks with various local businesses, non-profit organizations, or tradespersons in Hamilton.
  • Home Tour
    In the final month of Act Five, the group will visit each other’s home communities, finding ways to share their stories with schools, churches and families.
  • Academic Courses
    The group will complete the course, “Vocation and Praxis”, as well as part 2 of the courses, “Place, Home & Land” and “Stories of Faithfulness”.

Students will be living with the Act Five Program and Life Coordinators (PLCs) in one or two Hamilton neighbourhood homes.

OTHER PROGRAM DETAILS:

HOUSING

Students will be living with the Act Five Program and Life Coordinators (PLCs) in one or two Hamilton neighbourhood homes.

GOING HOME

Students will have set times where they are encouraged to visit home. The most significant times are the following:
Thanksgiving break (a 4-5 day break)
Christmas break (3 weeks)
February reading break (a 4-5 day break)


FIELD PLACEMENTS

Students will work with Act Five staff and outside experts in determining where second-term field placements will be located. Some of these will be within community non-profits. Others will be in placements unique to each student’s interests such as music, business, architecture, healthcare, education, various trades, and more.


Matthew Gray, Director of Coldwater Canada had this to say to future Act Five students, “Be prepared for adventure, challenge, silence & solitude, gourmet food, real conversations, meaningful reflection, fall sunrises, winter sunsets, sun, rain, and yes snow. You will be stretched, you will grow, and you will thrive!”

Have more questions? Read the FAQs