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Foundational DocumentsThe Cornerstone Academic Vision

The Cornerstone Academic Vision

The Cornerstone Academic Vision articulates the principles that we the people of Cornerstone University commit to embodying so that we, together and in unity, can educate our students to be influencers in our world for Jesus Christ.

*Affirmed by Cornerstone University Board of Trustees on September 21, 2022.

The Academic Vision Statement

1. Purpose Statement: The Cornerstone Academic Vision articulates the principles that we the people of Cornerstone University commit to embodying so that we, together and in unity, can educate our students to be influencers in our world for Jesus Christ.

2. The men and women of Cornerstone University seek to advance the University’s mission through teaching, mentoring, collaborating, researching, and performing all the operations that support this institution. It is our goal to help our students conform to the image of Christ through the many ways we influence them. It is our prayer that the Holy Spirit makes us increasingly effective at carrying out the university’s mission as each member of the CU community grows in faithfulness to Christ through God’s grace, the Word, and active participation in his or her own local church community. We desire both to bring glory to our Lord Jesus Christ and to serve as a witness for him through all the university’s activities. As a Christian university, we are committed to the biblical evaluation of all ideas, theories, technologies, and other cultural products. We will evaluate the claims of truth, goodness, and beauty of any cultural product on the basis of the Christian worldview and the following biblically grounded and historically accurate realities: God’s good creation of all that exists, the fall of humanity, the redemption of humanity and creation through Christ, and the future and ultimate realization of God’s kingdom and his purposes. We rely on the Holy Spirit, his work, and his Word as we organize our Academic Vision in the following areas, connecting each with a fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5.

3. Teaching: Teaching is the central method of developing students holistically in the image of Christ. This is emphatically the role of Cornerstone University professors and all other employees who help convey their expertise to students from the Christian worldview. Moreover, teaching is not isolated to the classroom. All university spaces – classrooms, athletic fields, dining tables, residence halls, walkways – are places where teaching can occur to bring about Christ-centered formation. Teaching is closely related to love, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

4. Scholarship and Research: We value the discerning engagement with the theory and practice of our academic disciplines through the lens of the Christian worldview. Good scholars and researchers carefully explore facts and theories, with a curious but discerning eye. They use sound scholarship and research to cultivate new knowledge, better teach and mentor in the classroom, and convey more winsome expressions of truths to a cynical world. All of this is most closely related to patience, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

5. Academic Freedom and Responsibility: Freedom and opportunity for scholars and teachers to speak, collaborate, research, write, and debate within and across their disciplinary boundaries is a central value in Cornerstone’s Academic Vision. All of this must be performed responsibly: done subordinate to Scripture and within the bounds of our theological confession and Christian worldview. The products of our labor are closely associated with joy, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

6. Collegiality and Constructive Disagreement: Collaboration and disagreement are inevitable parts of our mutual search for and affirmation of truth. We commit ourselves to respecting and loving each other in our collaboration and disagreement within and between disciplines and departments. This ties closely to gentleness, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

7. Diversity: The Lord God made everything with variety and difference. Because of the fall, these differences have often been the targets of bias, misunderstanding, hostility, and apathy. We seek to engage any continuing tensions proactively, charitably, and truthfully. We will do this by encouraging and embracing Christ-centered and biblically faithful conversations about actual and perceived differences as well as historical and sinful realities that have led to the wounding, exclusion, and hurt of any human being. In so doing, we hope to build a beautiful Christian community rooted in God’s redemptive vision of a diverse and holy people unified in Christ. We associate this with kindness, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

8. Justice: Though we are all deserving of God’s judgment because of sin, he has poured out his grace and mercy on us through the saving work of Christ. Now, as servants of God’s kingdom, we proclaim the gospel and do works of mercy and righteousness in the power of the Spirit. God’s kingdom vision of shalom, revealed in Scripture, compels us to care for the spiritually and physically poor, hurt, oppressed, and abandoned. We will challenge our students to proclaim the news of everlasting salvation to the world and, also, to tend to the hurt and weary. Together we can wisely pursue biblical justice in the world, knowing that its completion and perfection will not fully occur until Christ’s return and the enemy of our Lord is finally defeated. Justice is closely associated with peace, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

9. Centrality of Ideas: We seek to make this University a place where ideas are discussed, explored, and evaluated from the Christian worldview. Ideas have consequences. We will help students to think and affirm what is true, beautiful, and good from the Christian worldview. At the same time, we will maintain the most charitable understanding of the ideas of scholars. This disposition involves self-control, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

10. Rhythms of Work and Rest: We value the opportunity for work and labor in the educational calling we share, but we also value Sabbath rest as an essential component of our humanity and vocational labors. This is closely associated with goodness, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

11. Holistic Formation: The work of the Christian University needs to be deliberately holistic. Every area of our University—from the classroom and the chapel to the gym and the dining hall—should aspire to be holistically formative. This holistic approach has affinities with the fruit of faithfulness, a fruit of the Spirit that we desire and for which we pray.

12. As members of Cornerstone University, we commit ourselves to The Cornerstone Academic Vision. This commitment compels us to articulate a unified vision of God’s world, grounded in the Scriptures and in dialogue with the disciplines we are cultivating and redirecting to the glory of God. We strive to walk in the fear of the Lord and love him with our whole being, glorifying the holy Trinity through our labor, rest, relationships, gospel proclamation, and service for his Kingdom.

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