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Cornerstone University is a fundie school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They teach creationism as fact and the university may or may not be homophobic; to be fair, the quality of the programs are not as bad as Bob Jones University or Pensacola Christian College.
Founded in 1941, Cornerstone University started out as Baptist Bible Institute and classes were run out of the Wealthy Street Baptist Church. In 1944 the school built a campus offering two- and three-year degree programs in ministry. In 1945, seminary educated faculty were employed and the Pastoral Ministries program was formed. To be accepted into the program, a student had to have a two-year education including classes in Greek and philosophy. In 1955 the Institute required a bachelor's degree for admission to the Pastoral Ministry program; in 1963, the State of Michigan allowed the Institute to offer Bachelors' degrees in Religious Education and Music. Soon the school became a legal undergraduate degree-granting school, and in 1972 the school began to offer degrees in sciences and arts, and was recognized by the State of Michigan. By 1977 the school gained regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. In 1993 the Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music merged with Grand Rapids Baptist College and Seminary (the new name of Baptist Bible Institute) which would be named Cornerstone College. In 1993 the school of Professional and Graduate school was formed with programs in Bible, Ministry, Business and Accounting. In 1999 Cornerstone College and the separate Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary merged to form the current Cornerstone University In 2003 the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary was formed as a ministry graduate school.
|Doctrine statement excerpts||Rationalist translation|
|"We believe in one sovereign, omnipotent, and fully omniscient God who eternally exists in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who in love and for his glory created all things out of nothing and pronounced them good."||God is all knowing and somehow turned into three persons|
|"We believe that God has revealed himself in the sixty-six canonical books of Scripture, which are verbally inspired, truth without error, and serve as our final authority in faith and life. They lead us to Jesus Christ, who shows us the Father, and rightly interpreted, they enable us to understand God's revelation in humanity, nature, and history."||The Bible is literal and there is no questioning allowed (critical thinking is a no-no)|
|"We believe that God directly created Adam and Eve, the historical parents of the human race, distinct from the rest of creation in their bearing of God's image and their stewardship over creation. Their union as man and woman models God's design for marriage and perpetually stands as God's loving and righteous will for all sexual intimacy."||i.e Creationism is scientific fact, and none of that non-straight stuff is to be tolerated.|
This doctrine is known as the "University Confession".
Cornerstone's stance on gay rights is a little confusing; the university states that "union as man and woman models God's design for marriage and perpetually stands as God's loving and righteous will for all sexual intimacy" which implies that marriage is between one man and woman yet in a 2015 article responding to the Supreme Court ruling, they state that everyone is loved by Jesus and people should be respected. According to the syllabus for the seminary class "1 THE550 Theology for Counseling I: Christian Worldview", it allows students to choose to support gay rights or be outright homophobic. At least that is what the description implies and is open for interpretation.
The campus includes Halls for classrooms, a dining hall, a student union, two chapels and administrative offices. Minus the chapels, the campus is like any other college and or university.
The university is divided into undergraduate education, graduate education and seminary. This section lists degrees by education level and will only have a few examples.
- Bachelor of Arts in Biology
- Bachelor of Science in Biology: only pre-professional programs that include: Pre-Medicine, Pre-Veterinary, and Pre-Pharmacy
- Bachelor of Science in Pre-Physical Therapy
- Bachelor of Social Work
- Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Spanish
- Bachelor of Music with several concentrations
- Master of Arts in Education (Concentrations in Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Leadership)
- Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership and Development
- Master of Divinity
- Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
- Master of Arts in Christian Formation
- Master of Arts in Counseling
- Master of Theology
Accreditation is through the the Higher Learning Commission to award Associates to Doctoral degrees. The seminary is accredited through the Association of Theological Schools (A national accreditation agency for seminaries and is the gold standard for seminary accreditation), the Social Work program is accredited through the Council on Social Work Education (an accreditation agency that accredits social work programs and is professional in nature) and the National Association of Schools of Music which provide accreditation for music programs.
- Statement of Accreditation Status as of December 18, 2016: Cornerstone University Higher Learning Commission