Cornerstone University

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/26/2020. To update the information in this column, please email:


CU is a Christ-centered university with a passion for global influence through the transforming power of the gospel. We aspire to create a thriving community of fully devoted followers of Jesus in a spiritually contagious, academically excellent, richly resourced, and culturally diverse learning environment that attracts outstanding students, faculty, and staff who influence our world for Christ, his church, and his kingdom.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Cornerstone University
1001 East Beltline Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525


Phone: 616-949-5300


Organization details

EIN: 381443369

CEO/President: Joseph Stowell


Board size: 15

Founder: David Otis Fuller

Year founded: 1994

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 05/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


We aspire to create a thriving community of fully devoted followers of Jesus in a spiritually contagious, academically excellent, richly resourced and culturally diverse learning environment that attracts outstanding students, faculty and staff who influence our world for Christ, His church and His kingdom.

Mission statement

Cornerstone University exists 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.

Statement of faith

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.

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.

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.

We believe that our first parents forfeited their original righteousness when they succumbed to Satan's temptation and rebelled against God's revealed will. As a result, every human is born in sin, leaving us totally depraved, alienated from God and destined to spiritual and physical death. As such, our sinful ways have corrupted God's creation, resulting in discord to society and nature.

We believe that God's plan to redeem fallen humanity and renew creation flows through His promises to the Jewish people. God's promises to Abraham and David are fulfilled in Jesus, the mediator of the New Covenant.

We believe that the Son of God, while fully divine, became fully human through the virgin birth to save the world from sin. Living a sinless life in perfect obedience to His Father, Jesus proclaimed God's reign in word and deed. In His mercy, He atoned for our sins by dying in our place. Having satisfied the just wrath of God on our behalf, He rose bodily and triumphantly over sin, death and Satan. He then ascended to heaven, sent his Spirit to lead and empower His church and is seated at the Father's right hand where He reigns and intercedes for His people.

We believe that the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost to establish the church; that He uses the Word of God to give new life to those who repent of their sin and believe in Christ; and that all who by faith alone receive Christ's finished work are by God's grace united with Christ, justified by His shed blood, adopted into the family of God, forgiven of all their sin, indwelt and gifted by the Spirit and added to the church.

We believe that the one, holy and universal church is the body and bride of Christ. The church gathers in local assemblies to worship God and celebrate the gospel through the preaching of the Word, baptism, the Lord's Supper, prayer and fellowship. It disperses to proclaim the gospel to a sinful world which must hear the good news of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. The church makes disciples of Jesus who, through persevering faith, embody the kingdom values of righteousness, peace and joy. By loving God, serving others and caring for creation, they anticipate the redemption of all things at Christ's return.

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ will personally and gloriously return to deliver this world from Satan's rule and bring His reign to its ultimate fruition. Jesus will raise the dead to stand with the living before His judgment throne where He will determine the final state of humanity. The lost will experience everlasting conscious separation from God as the just punishment for their sin, and the redeemed will be welcomed into the unhindered joy of everlasting fellowship with Him.

Transparency grade


To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating261 of 85736 of 108
Fund acquisition rating114 of 85717 of 108
Resource allocation rating474 of 85761 of 108
Asset utilization rating431 of 85761 of 108

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$6,410,923$5,740,904$5,830,151$8,298,421$6,616,617
Short-term investments$12,705,003$12,546,847$12,683,501$12,615,235$11,757,667
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$31,499,483$32,951,765$36,514,544$37,138,832$32,809,771
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$69,495,391$66,097,017$58,506,438$54,274,678$55,786,786
Other long-term assets$652,134$829,960$1,092,239$1,224,319$1,212,973
Total long-term assets$70,147,525$66,926,977$59,598,677$55,498,997$56,999,759
Total assets$101,647,008$99,878,742$96,113,221$92,637,829$89,809,530
Payables and accrued expenses$3,108,788$3,420,392$4,019,660$2,817,147$2,605,006
Other current liabilities$2,306,696$2,716,557$2,642,392$2,751,108$3,471,620
Total current liabilities$5,415,484$6,136,949$6,662,052$5,568,255$6,076,626
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$527,610$496,658$505,007$1,029,714$1,328,768
Total long-term liabilities$8,918,993$10,610,148$8,504,309$15,289,190$18,781,116
Total liabilities$14,334,477$16,747,097$15,166,361$20,857,445$24,857,742
Net assets20202019201820172016
Temporarily restricted$0$35,439,406$22,016,053$15,114,233$10,743,124
Permanently restricted$0$4,426,784$4,317,279$3,547,482$3,504,183
Net assets$87,312,531$83,131,645$80,946,860$71,780,384$64,951,788
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$11,980,525$7,904,131$12,828,213$10,908,884$12,998,941
Program service revenue$42,782,789$45,511,450$48,834,020$50,087,163$52,671,903
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$586,897$664,448$2,029,071$1,838,504$242,354
Other revenue($8,751)($11,979)($88,125)($31,906)($280,798)
Total other revenue$43,360,935$46,163,919$50,774,966$51,893,761$52,633,459
Total revenue$55,341,460$54,068,050$63,603,179$62,802,645$65,632,400
Program services$42,395,657$42,256,720$44,899,791$44,148,946$46,113,838
Management and general$7,504,021$8,120,205$8,231,467$11,274,982$10,521,589
Total expenses$51,083,926$51,532,223$54,282,332$56,404,972$57,831,305
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)$4,257,534$2,535,827$9,320,847$6,397,673$7,801,095
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$4,257,534$2,535,827$9,320,847$6,397,673$7,801,095


Dr Joseph StowellPresident$265,816
John VerBerkmoesVP Dean of Seminary$201,745
Peter OsbornAssoc VP of Adult Lrng$175,727
Robert SackVP of Advancement$130,511
Scott StewartVP CFO$106,557
Dr Don DenyesTrustee, Vice Chair$7,493

Compensation data as of: 5/31/2020

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 10/26/2020. To update the information below, please email:


What began as an evening Bible seminar blossomed into Cornerstone University as we know it over the course of almost eight decades. Our commitment to thorough biblical training for each student, well-rounded education, and uncompromising values began when 221 students enrolled in the Baptist Bible Institute of Grand Rapids. Here, laypersons could study and strive to become effective ministry leaders. What began as an evening Bible study became two to three-year programs designed to cultivate these leaders further.

In 1963, the Bible Institute became a four-year Bible college and seminary. This included pre-seminary courses with 15 to 20-hour concentrations in the liberal arts. In 1964, Grand Rapids Baptist Bible College and Seminary moved to a 64-acre campus which has since expanded to 132 acres. In 1972, the college was approved by the State of Michigan as a degree-granting college of arts and sciences.

Over its rich history, Cornerstone has influenced students and graduates of all walks of life to be the light in a chaotic world. By doing so, we have cultivated generations of Christ-followers who have laid foundations for churches, ministries, families and more. Not only that, but our graduates have reached the ends of the earth through their missions and careers.

Program accomplishments