Cornerstone University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Cornerstone University
Cornerstone is more than a Christian University. At CU, students discover their unique callings,...

Cornerstone University

Grand Rapids, Michigan



At Cornerstone University, students are more. More than a major. More than a degree. Each student is a story. At Cornerstone, students are encouraged to discover their unique gifts and abilities, pushed to think outside their comfort zones, and ultimately equipped to graduate with the skills needed to make an impact on the world for Christ.


CU is a community of believers who are passionate about each individual’s story. Students are mentored and supported by faculty and staff, and they develop friendships that last a lifetime and compel them deeper into their faith. At Cornerstone University, every student builds a life that matters.



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 University calls Grand Rapids, Michigan, home. Grand Rapids is rated as one of the top mid-sized cities in America and is located just 10 minutes from campus. Downtown GR is a major artistic and cultural hub, providing CU students with prime internships, networking, and career opportunities. With over 700 churches and 90 restaurants, theaters, and museums, there are endless opportunities to explore.

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. Cornerstone is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

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 2016 graduates received employment or graduate school acceptance upon graduating.

  • 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’s global opportunities broaden the educational experience, deepen students’ cultural knowledge, and strengthen students’ Christian faith.

Go Study

Students can spend a semester pursuing their passions by studying in the beautiful landscapes of Ireland, or they can trek through the rugged terrain of Hawaii during the two-week J-term. With over 30 study abroad programs in places like Australia, China, Oxford, and Dubai, Cornerstone students have a whole bunch of opportunities to add new context to their studies, all while earning college credit. A few of CU’s study abroad options 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

Cornerstone sees the value in serving its community’s brothers and sisters around the globe by returning to the same towns and villages year after year. On an annual basis, students have the opportunity to serve abroad by witnessing to the homeless in Chicago, mentoring and caring for abused and needy children in Guatemala, and sharing their love and compassion of Christ with other hurting families. These students seek to make an impact in this world for Christ.

A few of Cornerstone’s Global Opportunities partners include:.

  • 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  

Mentorship Matters

At Cornerstone, every professor is actively involved in the lives of their students. They are more than happy to share a meal with their students in the dining commons or chat on the phone on Sunday evenings to discuss projects and papers. With a low student-to-faculty ratio, Cornerstone is led by mentors who desire to watch their students grow and succeed.


Cornerstone is enlivened by a team of people who are passionate about helping each other discover their calling. The University’s LifePath program provides purpose-guided academic and career planning to help students discover how God has gifted and equipped each of them with unique skills, abilities, and passions. Elements of the LifePath program include:

  • Center for Career & Life Calling: Staff members help students make meaning of their talents, interests, values, skills, and personalities to craft an intentional, individualized plan for future success. Additional services such as employer networking, resume development, graduate school preparation, and 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 one-on-one peer coaching.
  • Center for Student Success: Academic advisors assist first-year students with planning their schedules 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 have been 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

Community Matters

With over 1,200 students from around the globe, Cornerstone fosters a campus community that is vibrant and thriving. Exciting campus traditions include:

  • Dancing with the Sections
  • Late Night Breakfast
  • Mudbowl
  • Mock Rock
  • Night of Nets
  • Quincer SMASH
  • Slopfest
  • Thriftmas
  • And More!


At CU, students are supported and encouraged to grow in their faith. Cornerstone provides chapel services four times throughout the week for students to gather together in worship and learn from pastors and speakers from around the globe.


Meaning “firm foundation” in Latin, Cornerstone’s year-long Terra Firma orientation program provides new students a strong foundation for both academic and spiritual growth. Right when students move to campus, they are immediately connected with a small group of peers who walk alongside them throughout the entire first year at CU. Together, they enjoy off-campus outings, take part in a service-learning project in the Grand Rapids community, and learn about what it means to thrive in college.


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


Cornerstone’s student organizations include:

  • 737 – Open Mic Nights
  • Swingtime – Student-led swing dancing
  • Mu Kappa – Society for “Missionary Kids”
  • Multicultural Organization
  • ACT:s
  • English Society
  • Student Government
  • Enactus
  • 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 graduates are highly sought after in all areas of employment. CU grads are smart, confident, and strongly educated.

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.


Cornerstone believes that hands-on internship experiences not only bolster one’s resume, but also greatly prepares them for their career-field. With a campus located just minutes from downtown Grand Rapids—the second-largest city in Michigan—students are equipped to find an internship that fits their passions.

CU students have obtained internships in such businesses and organizations as:

  • American Red Cross
  • Crossroads Bible Church
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Kellogg Company
  • Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Meijer Corporation
  • Metro Health
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Samaritan’s Purse
  • Spectrum Health
  • Steelcase, Inc.
  • Universal Forest Products
  • WOOD TV8
  • YMCA

Fulfillment in Life and Careers

CU students learn to influence the world for Christ throughout their careers.

“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,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...