Getting Started at Columbia
The new semester is almost here! You must have questions. Start by checking out the O-Week Schedules and our brand-new How-To Video Series starring our friend Joseph Schmo. See you on campus!
Ask any of our students about their experience living on-campus, they will likely share how residence was the place where they met some of their closest friends. Living on-campus puts you right in the heart of Columbia's community. We believe strongly that living in community is an important part of your time at Columbia, which is why we require all first year students to live in dorms for one year.
Columbia offers two full-service residences each complete with laundry facilities, lounges, kitchenettes and fully-furnished rooms. Junior Housing is available to any student at Columbia Bible College. Students entering college who are 20+ years of age have the option to apply for Senior Housing located on the 1st and 4th floor of Redekop Hall, which include single and double occupancy rooms with access to a full kitchen (reduced meal plan required).
Click on the icons below for more photos of each residence.
Redekop Hall is the newest building on Columbia's campus. Opened in 2011, this four-storey building offers Junior Housing "pods" with 5 person occupancy and Senior Housing suites with 3- to 4-person occupancy. Two lounges on each floor offer students a common area to hangout as well as kitchenettes for late night study snacks. Senior Housing suites offer a full kitchen allowing students to choose a reduced meal plan.
Junior Housing Floor Plan | Senior Housing Floor Plan
| Senior Housing Floor Plan - Double
Columbia Hall is a three-storey, traditional style dormitory with double occupancy rooms and shared bathrooms. Full laundry facilities are included as well as large lounges on the 2nd and 3rd floors complete with kitchenettes. A prayer room is available on the second floor, as well as a study room on the first floor.
Columbia Hall Floor Plan
Junior Housing or Senior Housing?
Is Junior Housing for You?
Junior housing is community-oriented, with the majority of students having roommates. It’s a great option for someone who’s never lived on their own or if you’re coming to Columbia not knowing anyone else. Junior housing students range in age 17-22 with a mix of first- to fourth-year students. Often junior housing students are highly engaged in campus events, with weekly unit meetings, led by a Resident Leader, as a focal point for connection. You’ll be able to select from three different meal plan options and you’ll eat meals with a larger community in the cafeteria. There’s also a communal fridge in each lounge on every floor. There are room options of single, double and triple rooms which are assigned based on supply and demand. Men’s junior housing is located in Columbia Hall, women’s junior housing is located in Redekop Hall on floors 2 & 3.
Is Senior Housing for You?
Most senior housing students are in their middle to late twenties, often in their 3rd, 4th, or 5th year of study. They are more independent, with studies being the focus. Many senior housing students live busy lives off-campus involving internship, part-time jobs, and established friendships, which makes it challenging to be really engaged in the general student body and campus events. The ability to cook for yourself in a shared kitchen with option for a smaller meal plan is a draw for most senior housing students. Senior housing has an adult feel and is an appealing option for students who have lived a couple years in junior housing or lived on their own for several years. There are single and double room options which are assigned based on supply & demand. All senior housing rooms (male or female) are located in Redekop Hall on floors 1 & 4.
Senior Housing Policy
To be considered for Senior Housing a student needs to meet the following criteria:
- The student must make a formal request via Student Development to live in Sr. Housing
- The student must be 20 years of age or older as of September 1st.
- The student needs to have made a room deposit.
How housing placements are made
Preference is granted based on the following priority sequencing:
- Priority is given to 3rd, 4th, and 5th year students.
- Next, it is given to mature older first year students coming into residence
- Finally, any 2nd year student that is eligible may be placed in Senior Housing if there is room remaining after the first two criteria are met.
- Note: Room Deposit – The date that the student’s room deposit is made will also determine priority if the need arises. For example, if it comes down to two 2nd year students and one spot in senior housing then the person who got their room deposit in first will receive priority.
Good to Know
Resident Leaders (RLs)
Each student living in dorms will be assigned a Resident Leader. Resident Leaders are current students who are responsible for a unit (typically 10-15 resident students) and help to establish a community environment that is conducive to academic, spiritual, and social development. Each week, the RL will plan a unit meeting that facilitates community building within their unit.
What to Bring
For many students, this is the first time living away from home. To help with the move, here is a list of items resident students should consider bringing along with them.
Things to Bring Checklist
- Bedding for a twin/single bed
- Laundry hamper/bag
- Laundry detergent and fabric softener
- Computer/Laptop/Tablet (optional - computers are available in the library)
- Printer (optional - printing available in the library at $0.10 per copy)
- 1 semi-formal outfit for Christmas Banquet
- Workout clothes (all students have access to the on-campus fitness facility)
- Electric kettle (for late night tea/Kraft Dinner!)
- For Senior Housing: a set of dishes/cutlery, basic cooking utensils, spices, oven mitt, tea towel, etc. There are great thrift shops nearby to pick up the basics if you'd rather wait until you get to campus. Also - your suite-mates will be able to pitch in, so it's not a bad idea to wait until you arrive and pool your resources for things like a coffee-maker or blender (if you're into smoothies!)
Each residence building includes a laundry room equipped with card-activate washers and dryers. Students will be required to load money onto their student card to use the laundry facilities. Rates are $1.50/wash and $1.50/dry. Students are required to bring their own detergent and fabric softener.
With over half of the student body population commuting to school, Columbia works hard to ensure the campus is commuter-friendly. Whether you are commuting in from another city or living in one of the surrounding homes, commuter life at Columbia will help you feel at home and a part of the larger community.
The Commuter Lounge is located on the 2nd floor of the Student Centre. It is designed to be a "home away from home" for commuter students; a place to connect with other commuters, make new friends, and build community. All commuter students will have access to the Commuter Lounge via their student card. The lounge includes a kitchen, dining area, computer work stations, lockers and lounge area complete with TV.
Commuter Hosts (CHs)
All commuter students will be assigned a Commuter Host. Commuter Hosts are current students responsible for a group of commuters (their "parish") keeping them updated about events and information. Twice a month, on Wednesdays, Commuter Hosts put on a free Commuter Lunch available to all commuter students. In addition, the Commuter Host team plans various other events each semester specifically for commuter students. If you have any ideas for events, contact your Commuter Host!
Columbia is located right in the heart of Abbotsford with plenty of grocery stores, coffee shops and shopping all within walking distance. Surrounded by condo buildings, single family residences, and basement suites, our location makes it easy for a large portion of our commuting students to live a short distance from campus. If you are looking for a place to live while studying, Columbia offers a housing binder available at the front office where local landlords can post rental listings. In addition to searching Craigslist and Kijiji, we recommend contacting local churches who may also offer housing boards.
Northview Community Church Classifieds (Housing Available)
Students at Columbia come from a wide range of life experience. In order for this community to find and respect the common ground of our life together, it is necessary for the College to set guidelines and expectations for its members. These guidelines are designed to encourage the spiritual, social and academic growth of all community members.
Each student is required to read and sign the Responsibilities of Membership. By attending Columbia Bible College, students agree to live within the community expectations and participate in the life, studies, activities and ministries of the College. For full details on community standards, please refer to the Student Handbook.
Students who wish to park on campus must purchase a parking pass for the whole academic year beginning in September. If a parking pass is no longer needed, students must return the pass and complete a parking pass cancellation form available at the front office. The prorated amount will be refunded to the student's account. Daily parking is available, please see reception for rates.
Parking Permits and Violations
To register your vehicle for a parking permit or to appeal a parking violation, please login to MY CBC.
With a creative young chef behind the scenes, Columbia's food offerings are seriously good: delicious, fresh, fun and healthy. Jordan has great connections with farmers and vendors and incorporates local produce and ingredients into his menu whenever possible. The results will make you smile and give you the energy for juggling everything you have going on.
To stay in the know about Chef Jordan's Daily Features and Specials,
follow his Facebook page:
This Fall's Menus (click to enlarge)
Chef Jordan Rempel
(aka Food Genius)
Hours of Operation
|Monday - Friday
||7:30am - 6:15pm (Closed between 3:45pm - 4:15pm)
||8:30am - 1:00pm; 5:00pm - 6:15pm
||8:30am - 1:30pm; 5:00pm - 6:15pm
The Dining Hall accepts cash, debit, MasterCard, VISA and the CBC Meal Card (student card).
All resident students are required to purchase a meal plan. Students living in Senior Housing have the option to purchase the Senior Housing meal plan in place of the standard meal plan. Commuters may add money to their meal card at any point during the year ($5.00 minimum plus GST).
Meal plans work like a debit card. Money is loaded onto a student's 1Card and has a declining balance throughout the semester. Students can view their balance each time they make a purchase in the Dining Hall. They may also ask the cashier for a printed receipt. At any point during the year, a student may add money to their 1Card (cash, debit and credit card are accepted at the front office).
Meal Plans (per semester)
Junior Housing Meal Plans
(All Junior Housing students are required to purchase a Jr. Housing Meal Plan)
Standard Meal Plan
Light Meal Plan
Bearcat Meal Plan
|Senior Housing Meal Plan
HOW MUCH SHOULD I HAVE LEFT?
A declining meal plan chart is available at the cashier, where you can see how much money you should have left at any point in the semester.
Holy Grounds Coffee Shop
Holy Grounds is a student-run coffee shop located in the Rec Room (basement of the Student Centre). Specializing in fair-trade coffee, Holy Grounds is open to students throughout the academic year. Cash and 1Cards (general acccount) are accepted.
Columbia Student Discounts
As a current Columbia student, did you know you qualify for special discounts at local restaurants & businesses? Remember to bring your ID card and mention the discount.
Coffee Shops & Restaurants
Cafe Amarti | #320 3033 Immel St (by Choices Market)
A European café opened by a sister and brother after inspired by their travels. Features great coffee from Vancouver and delicious sandwiches and desserts. Show your card and get 15% off your purchase.
Afterthoughts | 32500 South Fraser Way
An award-winning dessert cafe. The best cheesecake this side of New York! Show your card and get 10% off your purchase.
New Saigon | 31935 South Fraser Way (by Dairy Queen)
Authentic, amazing Vietnamese food. Try the Henry Special! Show your card and get 10% off your purchase.
Pita Pit | #300 - 32500 South Fraser Way (by Safeway)
Pitas & wraps, just the way you like them. Show your card and get a free bag of chips or a small drink with purchase.
Sipp Chai | #201 - 31205 Maclure (near Petro-Canada)
Delicious tea, chai lattes, and live performances. Show your card and get 10% off your purchase. Bonus: Bring a new person and get 25% off.
Wok Box | #71 - 32500 South Fraser Way (by Safeway)
Made-to-order stir fries & noodle bowls. Yum. Show your card and get 10% off your purchase.
Boston Pizza | 32530 South Fraser Way (by Safeway)
Everything from classic pizza to club sandwiches to share plates. Show your card and get 10% off your purchase.
Menchies Frozen Yogurt | #180 - 32500 South Fraser Way (by Safeway)
Frozen yogurt, customized with a ridiculous array of toppings. Show your card and get 10% off your purchase.
Carl's Jr | #5 - 30770 Fraser Hwy (by Shoppers Drugmart)
Cheeseburgers, breakfast burgers, chili cheese fries - oh my! Show your card and get 10% off your purchase.
The Ball Joint | #2 31580 South Fraser Way (in the Clearbrook Industrial Park)
A family run business serving the Fraser Valley for more than 20 years. Show your card and receive 10% off all parts and labour on your vehicle’s maintenance.
Fort Physio | #203 - 23160 96 AVE, FORT LANGLEY
Physiotherapy for a wide spectrum of injuries, ages, and abilities. Show your card and receive 10% off per visit.
Hemingway's | 33765 Essedene Ave (in Old Abbotsford)
Incredible deals on books & music, with a huge selection. Show your card and get 10% off your purchase.
Value Village | 31970 South Fraser Way (off Clearbrook Rd)
Clothes, books, furniture, Halloween costumes - all without emptying your bank account. Show your card and get 30% off your purchase.
Blackwood Building Centre | 33050 South Fraser Way
Hardware, paint, everything for your dorm room, suite, or home. Show your card and get 10% off your purchase (alumni, staff/faculty and students!).
Student Council (StuCo)
Student Council (StuCo /'stu(y)oo-ko) is made up of current students who are elected at the end of the previous academic year. The purpose of the Student Council is to serve and lead the students of Columbia Bible College by being visible and visionary Christian leaders. StuCo members seek to demonstrate and encourage Christlike behavior and create an environment that fosters good friendship and community.
Get involved with any number of StuCo's committees. Drop by the StuCo office to find out how!
Leadership is part of our mission statement at Columbia. We believe in the leadership potential of our students, which is why we have several positions available for students. As a student leader, you will take part in leading the student body and help establish a positive, encouraging community. In addition to weekly leadership classes, student leaders also participate in one on one mentoring with a staff member. Click the links below to view the job descriptions for each position.
Each week our community participates in two corporate worship services, which are most often led by Columbia students. We encourage everyone to make it a habit to attend either Chapel, or Vespers, or both!
Vespers is a weekly worship gathering open to all students as well as people from the broader community. It is held every Tuesday evening, 9:00-10:00pm in the chapel. Vespers is primarily music-driven, although other elements of worship are also included such as scripture reading, silence, drama, dance and prayer.
The purpose of chapel is to encounter the living God in and through community - to be attentive and responsive to the active presence of the Spirit in our lives and in our world. Chapel is held every Thursday morning from 10:00-10:50am in the chapel. Similar to Vespers, worship is expressed through a variety of forms. Each year, student-led Chapel Teams plan and lead our community a few times each semester.
Interested in auditioning for the Chapel or Vespers worship teams?
Learn more about these opportunities on the Worship Arts page.