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Cornerstone University
Cornerstone University is a Christ-centered university with a passion for global influence through the...

Cornerstone University

Grand Rapids, Michigan



At Cornerstone University, academic excellence and faith are intertwined. At the university, one can discover what they want to do and strengthen who they want to be. Each student is bolstered in a supportive community that is committed to loving God both intellectually and spiritually, embracing Jesus Christ.


Academic excellence, accessible resources, and a culturally rich community are the building blocks for a rewarding education, fulfilling career, and a meaningful life. This Christ-centered learning community inspires students to think beyond their careers, embrace their callings, and build lives that matter.



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,912 undergraduate students
78% of undergrad students are full time
40% male — 60% female
24% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
69 full-time faculty
337 part-time faculty
15 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
88% of first year students live on campus
60% of all students live on campus

School Location

Cornerstone is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, home to over 130 international companies as well as an annual gathering for the world’s largest art prize. It’s also one of CU’s best resources that prepares students for a career upon graduation through required internships and volunteering.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

76% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate 2015

61% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 14%
White 77%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%


NAIA, WHAC Conference

Men’s (JV/Varsity): Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Track & Field, Tennis
Women’s (JV/Varsity): Basketball, Bowling, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball
Intramural Sports: Basketball, Dodgeball, Flag Football, Indoor Soccer, Slow-pitch Softball, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball

Mascot: Golden Eagles
Colors: Blue and Gold

Other Information

Cornerstone University is a four-year, Christian, liberal arts university founded in 1941.

More Distinctions

  • Recognizing the importance of safety for its students, Cornerstone has been ranked as the #1 Safest College Campus in Michigan (Niche, 2016).

  • U.S. News and World Report ranks Cornerstone as a best value college.

  • 100% of Cornerstone students gain hands-on experience in internships and student practicums.

  • CU students participate in over 5,000 hours of service-learning projects in the Grand Rapids community.

  • 93% of graduates receive employment or graduate school acceptance upon graduation.

  • Professional academic advisors meet at least twice with 100% of freshmen students, ensuring a successful transition to college.

  • Cornerstone employs 34% of students in order to provide them with additional options to afford their college investment.


Cornerstone University believes in the kind of cross-cultural exploration that opens eyes and hearts. Memories made and lessons learned from studying or serving abroad are some of the most profound one can carry in life. Students are called in different ways: whether they serve in Haiti, study in Ireland, or both, their experiences are invaluable. Students experience the world, connect with Christians on a global level, and share the CU community’s passion for service learning. This is God’s world. That is why students study, explore, and love it.  

Go Study

With over 30 study abroad programs in places like Australia, China, Oxford and Dubai, Cornerstone scholars experience cultural immersion while developing in their field and influencing the world for Christ. Students study at a number of worldwide Christian academic institutions, all of which share the Cornerstone passion for Jesus, but in entirely different environments. A few options of study include:

  • Australia
  • China
  • Dubai
  • France
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Latin America: Costa Rica/Nicaragua
  • Oxford, England
  • Uganda
  • United States: Los Angeles, Tennessee, Washington D.C.

Go Serve

Mission agencies and ministries partner with CU to create opportunities for students to serve Jesus Christ on a global scale. Here are just a few international ministry programs offered this academic year:

  • Chicago, IL – Sunshine Gospel Ministries
  • Dominican Republic – Students International
  • France – Greater Europe Mission
  • Guatemala – Kids Alive
  • Haiti – Haiti Foundation Against Poverty
  • Kosovo – English Language Camp
  • Zambia – Jubilee Ministries

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Pep band X
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper  
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  

Relational Learning

Cornerstone professors are actively involved in the lives of CU students. With low student-to-faculty ratios, faculty get to know their students. In fact, students often share meals with their professors – whether in the homes of the professor or in the dining commons, eating together builds a sense of community. Cornerstone is intentional about creating space for relationships to grow, which often results in deep mentoring friendships.


LifePath is a framework of providing purpose-guided academic and career planning for students. Those at Cornerstone believe that God has gifted and equipped each person with unique skills, abilities, and passions that are going to have a significant impact on the world. The LifePath program provides a pathway to building a life that matters. Elements of the LifePath program include:

  • Center for Career & Life Calling – Staff members help students make meaning of their talents, interests, values, skills and personality to intentionally craft an individualized plan for future success. Additional services such as employer networking, resume development, graduate school preparation, internship and job search strategies are also offered.
  • Peer Advisors – Peer mentors from each academic division serve students while promoting the value of academic advising and career preparation. They facilitate student events focused on academic and career success while providing 1:1 peer coaching.
  • Center for Student Success – Provides academic advisors to assist first-year students with academic planning as well as tutoring, academic coaching and services for students with disabilities. After their first year, students will have completed an individualized 4-year plan and will be assigned a faculty advisor within their chosen academic division.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: First-Year Experience, Creativity Course, Old Testament, New Testament, Christian Beliefs & History

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 78 98 79 46 7 5 0 313

With over 1,200 passionate young adults from around the globe, Cornerstone students know how to make an impact and have a good time with annual traditions like Mudbowl, Mock Rock and Late Night Breakfast.


Time is set aside for the entire community to gather together in Cornerstone’s brand new Christ Chapel, doing what is most important to them: worshiping Jesus Christ. With world-renowned speakers joining the community for teaching and worship, there is always room for inspiration that captivates the soul of each and every student.


Every Sunday evening, away from faculty and staff, students come together in honest, connected worship.


Meaning “firm foundation” in Latin, Terra Firma is about providing a strong foundation for academic and spiritual growth. All students come into college with the foundation of a dynamic first-week orientation, a small group with an adult and student mentor, and a service learning initiative in the Grand Rapids community. Additionally, they are bolstered by an academic curriculum that challenges them to think critically about their futures.


With its rich offering of student organizations and campus events, the Cornerstone community becomes family. Whether students live out Jesus Christ’s heart of justice through a fundraiser for malaria or break naan with new friends at the “Taste of the World” event, participating in campus life is one of best decisions they make at CU.

Music, comedy, theater, parties, dance, food, and sports are all part of the mix on campus throughout the year. All one needs to do at CU is step outside their door and into the fun.

Dorm Life

With both suite and community style halls, Cornerstone’s seven dorms are outfitted for student comfort; kitchens, student lounges, and laundry facilities make it easy for students to feel at home and connected in their space.


  • 737 – Open Mic Nights.
  • Swingtime – Student-led swing dancing.
  • Mu Kappa – Society for “Missionary Kids.”
  • Multicultural Organization – This group strives to bring to campus a Biblical awareness, acceptance, and appreciation for other cultures.
  • ACT:s – This Christian humanitarian organization brings awareness of the world’s needs onto the CU campus.
  • English Society – Readers and writers gather to commit to the engagement of students with literature.
  • Student Government – Students can take on roles to bridge the gap between themselves and the administration.
  • Enactus – The CU chapter is a competitive team with a regional championship in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016.

For a full list of student organizations, visit CU Student Organizations.


Coed dorms  
Men’s dorms X
Women’s dorms X
Apartments for married students X
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students X
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

Cornerstone University students are highly sought-after graduates in all areas of employment. CU grads are smart, confident, and strong in their education. People respect this university and the students it graduates.

A 2016 graduate survey reports that, of respondents:

  • 93% obtained employment within 6 months of graduation or started a graduate program.
  • 86% obtained full-time employment related to their interests.
  • 77% obtained full-time employment related to their major.
  • Graduates seeking further education enrolled in programs such as Clinical Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Medicine, Master of Divinity, and Master of Speech-Language pathology, among others.


With a campus located just minutes from downtown Grand Rapids—the second largest city in Michigan—internship opportunities are plentiful. On-the-job learning is part of what makes a CU degree so appealing to employers. 100% of students and alumni have one or more internships or hands-on practicum experience on their resumes.

Internships are at the core of the academic experience. Cornerstone works with large and small businesses, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and others to provide students with hands-on learning.

Fulfillment in Life and Careers

CU desires to equip students to influence the world through Christ and graduate students with a high ability to communicate and network with diverse populations. Cornerstone graduates take their careers and callings across the world.

“Being a student at Cornerstone was an extremely influential time due to the Christian role models I met there who took time to make a difference. I wouldn’t change a thing if I could go back because I felt I received a top-notch education paired with valuable relationships with professors, staff and other students who influenced me to be more Christ-like. I am ready to enter the next chapter of life.” Rex Pickar CU ’16

“CU prepared me well. My professors poured into me and really readied me for medical school [at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine]. The academics were challenging. I would love to be on the frontlines of helping those who are hurting. I would love to do overseas medical missions, serving those in underserved areas and share the love of Christ with them and see the world. It’s hard for people to hear the gospel if they are hurting physically.” Ian Drobish CU ’14 (Doctor of Medicine student at Michigan State University)


Admissions Fall 2015

 2,618 Total Applicants
1,910 Total Admissions
284 Total Freshmen Enrollment

72.96% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? Yes

Priority date: Aug 15

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores
Application Essay
Religious affiliation/commitment

Class rank

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 482 588
SAT Math 472 588
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 25
ACT Math 18 25
ACT English 20 26
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $26,490
Fees $370
Total $26,860
Room and Board (on campus) $8,810
Estimated Total On Campus $35,670


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-16 estimated

$20,646 First year students
$16,175 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-16 estimated

69% on average, the percentage of need that was met
14% of financial need students that had need fully met

$16,175 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,220 Average need-based loan

Cornerstone Confession

The Cornerstone Confession is the foundational doctrinal statement of Cornerstone University, reaffirmed annually by Cornerstone trustees, faculty, and staff. The Confession expresses our commitment to the key teachings of Scriptures as interpreted through the ecumenical...

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