Academic Catalog

Institutional Distinctives

Identity, Mission and Vision

Who We Are

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

Why We Exist

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.

What We Aspire To

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 and Purpose

Cornerstone Theological Seminary is a graduate school that prepares biblically and culturally informed ministry leaders for service through Christ’s church.

The seminary exists to achieve the following six purposes:

  1. To advance biblical, theological and ministry knowledge and skill.
  2. To nurture theological, spiritual and leadership formation.
  3. To encourage the development of critical thinking and worldview formation governed by biblical teaching.
  4. To nurture a global ministry perspective.
  5. To enhance the cultural relevance of ministry practice within the bounds of a distinctively Christian theological framework.
  6. To encourage lifelong and collaborative learning.

Core Values

Cornerstone Theological Seminary enacts its mission based on eight core values.

  1. Biblical worldview: We engage theological education from a high view of biblical authority, with appreciation for the flow of the biblical story and with a commitment to exegete the whole Bible in its original languages.
  2. Spiritual transformation: We understand and pursue ongoing spiritual transformation as a communal redemptive process of growth in faith, a process fostered by knowledge of the Word of God and expressed in character development, ethical transformation and greater love for God and people.
  3. Critical thinking: We believe critical thinking requires a strong commitment to scholarship, engagement with diverse viewpoints and appreciation for the tension of ideas associated within the developmental process.
  4. Christ’s church: We exist to serve Christ and His worldwide church as partners in the development of ministry leaders through a variety of formal and non- formal means.
  5. Disciplinary integration: We nurture skillful integration of the theological disciplines to foster holistic growth in theory and practice, while affirming the value of specialization in the theological disciplines.
  6. Lifelong collaborative learning: We foster a disciplined approach to lifelong learning and view it as a shared journey with others.
  7. Cross-cultural understanding: We affirm cross- cultural interdependence with the diverse cultures and perspectives of the world and recognize the importance of cultural exegesis and sensitivity for effective service.
  8. Diverse community: We value an academic community which includes men and women of diverse ethnic, socioeconomic and Christian theological traditions.

CTS Motto

The motto of Cornerstone Theological Seminary is “Learning, Serving, Leading.” 


Student learning is central to the mission, values and overall culture of Cornerstone Theological Seminary. Through a disciplined and rigorous learning environment, faculty members temper the challenge with grace and support. The core curriculum is designed to enable students to conduct disciplined interpretation and application of the Bible; articulate a coherent understanding of Christian theology; and demonstrate basic knowledge, values and competencies associated with spiritual, worldview and leadership formation. In addition to the core curriculum, the various degrees include areas of specialization, equipping students for a wide range of ministry and human services vocations.

CTS conceives of learning in holistic terms, seeking to foster growth of the whole person. Traditional classroom teaching, interaction with faculty scholars, a battery of student assessments and an extended field education experience combine to foster cognitive, affective and behavioral learning. Since ministry and other forms of human service are always engaged as whole persons, the preparation must foster holistic learning and growth. CTS understands this and structures a diverse set of learning experiences that foster maturation of the whole person.


In addition to working with faculty scholars to develop exegetical skills and theological understanding within traditional classroom settings, CTS offers students the opportunity to work with seasoned ministry and human services professionals to refine their gifts, confirm their calling and mature in character within the context of authentic service and/or practice.

Through Ministry Residency, and as part of the degree program requirements, students serve side by side with experienced ministry leaders and professional counselors within local church, parachurch and other vocational contexts. The sustained nature of the Ministry Residency experience, throughout the duration of the degree program, enables students to establish a life pattern of learning and serving, the necessary foundation for mature and effective vocational service.


At CTS, we believe that ministry leadership emerges from the mastery of learning and serving.

Leadership, or influence, in ministry is not inherent to a position or established by exerting authority but by the authentic confession of faith, affirmation of gifts, demonstration of commitment and competence, expression of care and credibility of character.

At CTS, we believe that ministry leadership is best understood as stewardship, consisting of a stewardship of truth, of persons and of organizations. Ministry leaders, regardless of position, are responsible to accurately represent God and His Word, nurture the faith and contribution of others and foster a mature and responsive faith community.

Effectiveness and influence in life and ministry require a sustained commitment and engagement in learning and serving. Leadership flows from the expertise and credibility derived from such commitments and actions. CTS understands itself and its mission in these terms, endeavoring to nurture life patterns of learning, serving and leading.

Educational Effectiveness

Assessment of student learning is highly valued at Cornerstone Theological Seminary. We take seriously our responsibility to deliver on the promise to provide excellence in graduate theological education. At CTS, assessment of student outcomes is not an externally imposed burden. Rather, assessment of student learning and the disclosure of educational effectiveness is a task of stewardship, a process for organizational learning and a matter of accountability.

The effectiveness of our educational programs is assessed in a disciplined and routine manner. Through a variety of instruments and processes, we assess the achievement of the intended student learning outcomes of our curriculum, student and alumni satisfaction, readiness for vocational service of our students and vocational achievement of our graduates.

Accreditation, Authorization and Academic Standing

Cornerstone Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in the United States and Canada, and the following degree programs are approved:

  • M.Div.
  • M.A. in biblical exegesis (new and old testament).
  • M.A. in biblical studies.
  • M.A. in ministry leadership.
  • Master of Theology.

The commission contact information is:

The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive

Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA
Phone: 412.788.6505
Fax: 412.788.6510

We are also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission:
230 South LaSalle Street
Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Phone:  800.621.7440

Our programs are offered by the Michigan State Board of Education to grant the B.D. degree in 1948, the M.Div. degree in 1968, the M.R.E. degree in 1969, the Th.M. degree in 1977, the M.T.S. degree in 1985 and the M.A. degree in 1996.

The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force accept M.Div. graduates as candidates for chaplaincy. The United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service has approved the seminary for education of international students.

The U.S. Office of Education Directory lists CTS as an approved graduate theological institution.