Cornerstone University is a four-year, private, not for profit university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cornerstone University began as Evening Bible Institute in January of 1941 and has grown to become an independent, Evangelical Christian institution. In its beginnings, the school offered students classes aimed at helping individuals develop into effective and efficient lay people in local churches in the Grand Rapids area. By 1944, the school offered two and three-year programs of study. Eventually, the school was commissioned as a seminary as well as a functioning degree granting undergraduate institution and, specifically, a Bible College. As a Bible College it acquired membership with the American Association of Bible Colleges, which it still retains to this day. When the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music joined, the institution changed its name to Cornerstone College and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary. In 1999, Cornerstone College and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary officially became Cornerstone University. In 2003, the graduate theological school became Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. The Asia Biblical Theological School is also affiliated with Cornerstone University. This institution offers students degree programs in 2-week modules in select cities all over the continent of Asia.
The official mission statement of Cornerstone University is “We exist to empower men and women to excel as influencers in our world for Christ by offering a student-focused community where Jesus Christ is central”. Cornerstone University aims to create a community of Christians via offering students what they deem a spiritually dynamic resource filled and culturally diverse setting wherein academics are emphasized. The Theological Seminary has a similar mission: “Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is a graduate school that prepares biblically and culturally informed ministry leaders for service through Christ’s Church”. The Grand Rapids Theological Seminary aims to achieve the following six “purposes”:
- To advance biblical, theological and ministry knowledge and skill
- To nurture theological, spiritual and leadership formation
- To encourage the development of critical thinking and worldview formation governed by Biblical Thinking
- To nurture a global ministry perspective
- To enhance the cultural relevance of ministry practice within the bounds of a distinctively Christian theological framework
- To encourage lifelong and collaborative learning.
It is important to note that though Cornerstone University grew out of a Baptist Church setting, it has a multi denominational affiliation and affirms an Evangelical worldview.
Cornerstone University is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The seminary is accredited by the following organizations: Association of Theological Schools, Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC), and the Michigan State Board of Education. In addition, some of Cornerstone University’s individual programs are accredited by specific organizations. The Social Work programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), for example. Cornerstone University has also received recognition as a Michigan College of Distinction by the Michigan Department of Education.
Cornerstone University offers prospective students programs, certificates, and degrees. This includes certificate programs that range from one year to two years of study all the way up to Master’s level degree programs. This institution also offers teacher certification, study abroad programs, an Honors College, weekend and evening college, as well as distance education opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students are offered programs and degrees in an online learning environment. The programs include: Associate of Science in Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Education: Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Arts in Education: Educational Leadership, Master of Arts in Education: Education Technology, Master of Arts in TESOL, Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership, and a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies. In addition to the degree programs, students may also take a variety of graduate courses in Education as well as many undergraduate courses. Cornerstone University also offers its students services such as: remedial services, academic and career counseling services, employment services for students, and placement services for graduates of this institution.
Along with academic programs and opportunities, students enrolled in Cornerstone University are offered many extracurricular choices as well. Cornerstone University athletics are part of the NAIA Division II. Sports include: Basketball, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, as well as Track and Field Cross Country. Students can participate in intramural sports, as well. Students enrolled at Cornerstone University may take part in other kinds of organizations and clubs such as: 737 (a music related organization), ACT:s (a social justice organization), Kappa Theta Gamma (theater), English Society, Swing Dance Club, Film Society, Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), and the Institute for Christian Cultural Engagement.
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
Sector Of Institution:4-year, Private not-for-profit
Highest Level Of Offering:Master's degree
Adult Age Enrollments:1,393
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