Our Story

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 offers a 7.5-month Christian gap year program based out of a big community home in Hamilton. Together, you are invited to live, learn, work and worship while traveling and adventuring across Ontario and North America.  In this, Act Five is an invitation to join others like you on a journey to explore and discover who you are, who God is and how He is leading you. 

Act Five believes that we are shaped by more than just learning the “right ideas”. We are shaped by how we spend our days, who we spend them with, and where we spend them. We want to lead our students with this in mind, preparing our students for the future while growing as disciples of Jesus right now, right here.

Act Five was the best experience I have had. This program taught me how to rest, how to celebrate and how to love and care for people in a way I didn’t quite understand before. It became this place of growth in every single aspect of my life and I will be forever grateful for it.

JuliaAct Five Alumna ‘21

Research suggests that students who participate in a program such as ours are more likely to be successful in post-secondary programs, more satisfied in future career paths, and more engaged in lives of faith and service. We see this in our alumni already.

Where is this coming from? And what is with the name ‘Act Five’?

Act Five began as a program of Redeemer University in partnership with five Christian high schools. Upon the completion of its fourth year in the spring of 2023, Act Five will become an independent organization with excitement for all that lies ahead.

The name Act Five comes from our core belief that the Bible is the true story of the whole world, and that the Christian life is about finding our place 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 paints a picture of how the Story ends. We find ourselves in the Fifth Act, for which we are given a starting point but no script, and in which we are called to live out our faith – to practice it – in the light of the rest of the Story and God’s ongoing presence with us. 

If you want to hear more, we would love to hear from you.

Interested in being a student?

Pause for a moment. Take hold of your life by giving yourself this time. Consider joining us, as you write your next chapter in the Story.

Note on Gap Year Research

The Act Five gap year program is a response to the growing number of young adults who are looking for an extra year with new experiences to help them develop and bridge the gap from high school to post-secondary education or other pursuits.

Research suggests that students who participate are likely to be more successful in their post-secondary programs, more engaged in life beyond school, and working in more satisfying careers. Students who take a Christian gap year program are also more likely to stay committed to their faith and to a local church during their post-secondary years.

  • For more than four decades Harvard has recommended delaying college by a year
  • 2015 study concludes taking a gap year may help students succeed in college or university
  • God in the Gap Year: The benefits of taking time off before going to college or university
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