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Redeemer University Bookstore Hopes to Serve All of Hamilton

With enrollment at an all time high, Ancaster’s Redeemer University (formerly Redeemer University College) has re-branded their campus bookstore and hopes to be able offer services to the broader Christian community of greater Hamilton.

The store is named 21Five, which is “a reference to Revelation 21:5: “He who is seated at the throne said, ‘I am making all things new.’””

In a story in Resound, the university’s quarterly magazine, store manager Kristel Forcier said,

As a university store, we’re the place to find textbooks but also items such as apparel, diploma frames and giftware. At the same time, we’re also a Christian bookstore where our customers can purchase Bibles, Bible studies, devotionals, books on Christian living and Christian storybooks for children. This will help us build relationships with local churches and schools by giving them a place to buy books and other products for their students and congregants.

That would be an ideal worth pursuing, especially after Hamilton’s only remaining Christian bookstore, a Gospel Lighthouse store, closed a few years ago, and the much larger Family Christian store in Burlington closed more recently.

However, having visited many times before the renovation, space is limited and school supplies, campus branded merchandise and course textbooks will always dominate.

Would remaining space intended to appeal to the broader Christian market resonate with all of them? The interim president, Dr. David Zietsma, is quite clear on this: “At a university anchored in the Reformed Christian tradition, 21Five will reflect the depth and riches of Reformed Christian theology and philosophy as well as scholarship from a Reformed Christian perspective across many disciplines…”

To this end, in a separate story, it was also announced the store would feature a shelving section dedicated to past and current faculty.

A look at the store website points to a selection with a bent toward scholarly and academic titles.

Over time, the store will need to evolve policies and procedures determining its willingness to serve the broader Christian populace, especially when special order requests are born out of a desire to support the school, or avoid purchasing from large corporations.

With over 1,000 students current registered, and factoring in friends and family, the store’s long-term success is assured at a time when other Christian retailers are struggling.


based on articles originally reported by