Cornerstone University

Cornerstone University
Cornerstone University
Established 1941
Type Private Christian College
Endowment $4.6 million[1]
President Joseph M. Stowell, III
Academic staff 118
Students 2,600[2]
Location Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Campus 119 acres (0.48 km²), suburban
Colors Royal Blue and Gold
Mascot Golden Eagles
Affiliations Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

Cornerstone University is an independent, non-denominational Christian university in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The university emphasises the trinitarian belief in the triune God and the literal interpretation of the Bible. The university states that its mission is "to empower men and women to excel as influencers in our world for Christ by offering a student-focused learning community where Jesus Christ is central."

Cornerstone University has undergraduate and graduate programs, two seminaries (Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and Asia Baptist Theological Seminary based in Chiang Mai, Thailand) and a radio division called Cornerstone University Radio (WCSG, WAYG, WAYK,, Mission Network News). It offers programs in the humanities, sciences, business, religion, education, and fine arts. The school colors are navy and "old gold." The mascot is The Golden Eagles.

In the 1990s and early 2000s Cornerstone University expanded and transformed, changing its name, becoming a university, increasing enrollment, adding facilities and improving the campus, introducing an adult program including the MBA and a leadership development experience, adding an Honors Program and "Civitas" Core Curriculum, changing its mascot, colors, and logo, and winning a men's national basketball championship. Tenure for new faculty was suspended in 2008 but reinstated[3] in 2010.

Students are required to abide by a "Lifestyle Statement" intended to reflect trinitarianism and the literal interpretation of the Bible. The university offers 60 academic programs in the arts, sciences, humanities, Bible, teacher education, computers and business and journalism.

Cornerstone University is nationally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools[4] , the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada[5] and the National Association of Schools of Music.[6] In sports, it is a member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Cornerstone's social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).[citation needed]

As of 2011 Cornerstone had an enrollment of 3,000 students including professional and graduate studies and both seminaries.



Cornerstone was founded in 1941 as the Baptist Bible Institute. It was accredited in 1972 as a degree-granting college. It merged with the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music in 1993.


January 1941–1944: Baptist Bible Institute of Grand Rapids, Michigan

1944–1948: Baptist Bible Institute and School of Theology of Grand Rapids, Michigan

1948–1963: Grand Rapids Baptist Theological Seminary and Bible Institute

  • first seminary graduating class of two students, Spring 1949, one of whom was Victor M. Matthews, who immediately began teaching at the school

1963–1972: Grand Rapids Baptist Bible College and Seminary

  • In Fall 1964, first students arrive at new campus at Leonard & East Beltline NE

1972–1994: Grand Rapids Baptist College and Seminary

  • January 1977, the new Leon J. Wood Seminary Building opened (dedicated the following month)

1994: merged with Grand Rapids School of the Bible & Music and renamed as Cornerstone College

1994–1999: Cornerstone College and Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary (28 March 1994); legally renamed as Cornerstone Baptist Educational Ministries (CBEM)

1999: Renamed Cornerstone University (8 April 1999)

2003: Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary became Grand Rapids Theological Seminary



The Welch Tower

On Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006 the W. Wilbert and Meryl Welch Tower was dedicated during Cornerstone's 2006 Homecoming. The clock tower has a four faced clock near its top. The tower stands 110 feet (34 m) tall, and also has a WOOD-TV traffic camera on the southeast side of the tower. The clock tower is located between the Gainey Conference Center and Bolthouse Hall on campus. It is visible from the East Beltline, Interstate 96 and Leonard Street.

Journalism at Cornerstone

Journalism Department

Beginning in autumn 2009, Cornerstone's Journalism Department offers a three year BS Degree in Journalism. There are three emphases: News-Editorial, Public Relations and Visual Communication. Students may also minor in journalism, public relations and photojournalism.

Campus newspaper

The Herald is Cornerstone's award-winning campus newspaper. It is a weekly broadsheet published during the school year. It has a weekly circulation of 2,000, which includes faculty, staff, students and numerous local businesses along Beltline and Leonard Avenues. Founded 10 October 1966, The Herald celebrated its 40 year anniversary as it began its online presence. An integral part of the school's journalism program, The Herald was named the Best College Newspaper in its division for 2008 in the Michigan Collegiate Press Association Newspaper Contest. It received a 1st place General Excellence award from the Michigan Press Collegiate Association, along with 13 additional awards in the state wide contest.

Cornerstone Journalism Institute

Founded in 2003, the Cornerstone Journalism Institute is an annual summer camp for high school students is held the last week of July at Cornerstone University. High school students live on campus for a week while receiving instruction from university professors as well as from guest instructors who are full-time newspaper reporters and editors from newspapers such as The Grand Rapids Press and the Indianapolis Star. The Cornerstone Journalism Institute is run by CJI Executive Director Alan D. Blanchard, associate professor of journalism.


A view of the Bernice Hansen Center

The Cornerstone University Golden Eagles compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and are members of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. CU competes in volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's cross country, women's cross country, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's track and field, women's track and field and softball.

National Championships:

  • 1999 - Men's Basketball - NAIA Division II
  • 2007- Women's Track and Field - Stephanie Allers - 200 Meter Dash
  • 2007 - Men's Track and Field - Derek Scott - 1500 Meters
  • 2010 - Men's Track and Field - Zach Ripley - Steeplechase
  • 2010 - Men's Track and Field - Joel Leong - 35 lb Weight Throw
  • 2011 - Men's Basketball - NAIA Division II

National Runners-up:

  • 2002 - Women's Basketball - NAIA Division II


External links

Coordinates: 42°58′46″N 85°35′35″W / 42.97944°N 85.59306°W / 42.97944; -85.59306

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