Undergraduate

At Cornerstone University, you’ll get the full college experience with a Christ-centered worldview. Learn more about the undergraduate experience below.

Transform + Achieve

Persevere in what you know you’re capable of. Our programs for adults provide a creative approach to learning anchored in Christ-centered virtues as you follow your unwavering purpose.

Transform + Achieve

Go further as an influencer in your work and community. Our graduate programs prepare you to open new doors as you reach your God-given potential.

Grand Rapids
Theological Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we're dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.

Create Without Ceasing

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University Outcomes

At Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we’re committed to helping students succeed, whatever that may look like for them. We take seriously our role to equip students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions they’ll need to thrive both in their present and future vocation.

Student and
Academic Learning Outcomes

In our desire to express the value of a Cornerstone education, CU is committed to publishing data regarding retention rates, graduation rates, placement rates, licensure rates and other relevant information related to student and academic learning outcomes of the university at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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Traditional Undergraduate Outcomes

Retention and Graduation Rates

Cohort Year Freshman Retention Rate* Four-Year Graduation Rate Six-Year Graduation Rate
2006 70% 44%
2007 69% 48%
2008 64% 45.4%
2009 82% 60.3%
2010 74% 36.2% 52.5%
2011 76% 36.6% 52.1%
2012 74.24% 43.9% 55.8%
2013 75.65% 49.6% 60.29%
2014 76.49% 53% 64.9%
2015 75.16% 51.86%
2016 73.5% 49.82%
2017 79.57%
2018 78.52%
2019 83.85%

*One-year retention rates reflect first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen who returned their second year. Six-year graduation rates reflect full-time, degree-seeking students who graduated within six years.

Persistence Rates

Year Fall to Spring Rate** Spring to Fall Rate**
2015-16 90% 78%
2016-17 91% 81%
2017-18 92% 80%
2018-19 92% 87%
2019-20 93% 84%
2020-21 90%

**These rates are based on the total number of individuals who returned the following semester divided by the total number of possible individuals who could have returned (i.e., excludes those who graduated).

Employment and Graduate School Placement Rates

Graduation Year Rate***
2016 94%
2017 94%
2018 94%
2019 96%
2020 95%

***This number reflects the percentage of traditional undergraduate graduates who were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.

Academic Learning Outcomes

Cornerstone University equips students to excel as flourishing influencers in the world for Christ and His kingdom. Here, we define vocational preparation as the faithful stewardship of one’s God-given talents and opportunities throughout his or her professional, personal and civic life. As a result, our Christ-centered, student-focused learning community supports the development of intellectual curiosity, character-based virtues and creative habits.

Comprised of multiple principal academic units, Cornerstone awards associate (A.A., A.S.); bachelor’s (B.A., B.Mus., B.S., B.S.W.); master’s (M.A., M.B.A., M.Div., M.S.); and doctoral (Ed.D.) degrees.

Educational Outcomes

Our graduates enter career fields, ministry roles and graduate programs with essential knowledge and skills in five distinct areas or learning domains, all of which help produce well-rounded individuals who are prepared to influence the world for Christ. Our five university-wide learning outcomes include specialized knowledge; applied knowledge and collaborative learning; intellectual skills; civic and global learning and biblical worldview integration.

  1. Specialized Knowledge: Cornerstone students will demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency in the terminology, theories, concepts, practices and skills specific to their field of study.
  2. Applied Knowledge and Collaborative Learning: Cornerstone students will exhibit competency in applying their knowledge to address real-life problems through both individual and group effort.
  3. Intellectual Skills: Cornerstone students will demonstrate their ability to integrate both traditional and non-traditional cognitive skills, including analytical inquiry, information literacy, quantitative fluency and communicative fluency.
  4. Civic and Global Engagement: Cornerstone students will demonstrate intercultural competence in addressing civic, social, environmental and economic issues.
  5. Biblical Worldview Integration: Cornerstone students will be able to articulate a Christ-centered worldview and its personal, professional and communal embodiment through Christian virtues.

Program-Specific Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate Program Learning Outcomes

Professional & Graduate Studies Outcomes

Retention Rates

Cornerstone University employs a readmission and retention specialist, a full-time role dedicated to the retention and readmission of Professional & Graduate Studies students.

Cornerstone University tracks attendance and students’ successful completion of the first and second classes in each cohort with a goal of a 95% student retention rate in each course. To calculate data, the Professional & Graduate Studies division looks at whether or not students have persisted in a given cohort. A student is considered retained when they receive a grade for a course or take a leave of absence. In addition, the university also tracks student retention by degree level.

Degree Level Academic Year 1st Course Retention Rate Average 2nd Course Retention Rate Average
Associate 2018-19 98.27% 93.61%
Associate 2019-20 96.9% 93.34%
Associate 2020-21 96.43% 90.56%
Bachelor’s 2018-19 98.18% 93.05%
Bachelor’s 2019-20 96.98% 93.72%
Bachelor’s 2020-21 97.29% 91.59%
Master’s 2018-19 98.17% 93.28%
Master’s 2019-20 97.06% 93.56%
Master’s 2020-21 97.15% 90.61%

Graduation Rates

Cornerstone University calculates four-year and six-year graduation rates at end of each academic year for the following degree levels: B.S., M.A. and Ed.D.; in addition, the university tracks the six-year graduation rate for A.S. degrees.

To calculate graduation rates, the Professional & Graduate Studies division looks at all students whose initial start date at a given degree level (i.e., associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate) falls within the date parameters in question. The university then looks at students’ current academic status (i.e., active, withdrawn, graduate). The ratio of graduates to the total number of students gives Cornerstone its graduation rate for the academic year in question.

Established benchmark graduation rates are based on the percentage of those who start programs and have graduated from Cornerstone within six years. The recent data indicated the following benchmark figures: associates 45%, bachelor’s 70% and master’s 80%.

Degree Level Academic Year Six-Year Graduation Rate
Associate 2008/2009 36%
Associate 2009/2010 47%
Associate 2010/2011 43%
Associate 2011/2012 39%
Associate 2012/2013 33%
Associate 2013/2014 37%
Associate 2014/2015
Bachelor’s 2008/2009 66%
Bachelor’s 2009/2010 70%
Bachelor’s 2010/2011 68%
Bachelor’s 2011/2012 75%
Bachelor’s 2012/2013 66%
Bachelor’s 2013/2014 73%
Bachelor’s 2014/2015 66%
Master’s 2008/2009 75%
Master’s 2009/2010 76%
Master’s 2010/2011 74%
Master’s 2011/2012 76%
Master’s 2012/2013 80%
Master’s 2013/2014 81%
Master’s 2014/2015 73%
Doctorate 2015/2016 15.4% (four-year grad rate)

Student Outcomes

At Cornerstone University, faculty and staff take seriously their responsibility to provide an excellent education designed for working adults. From program learning outcomes to surveys, the Professional & Graduate Studies division uses a variety of evaluative instruments to measure the progress, accomplishments and transformation of enrolled students and recent graduates.

We strive to be transparent regarding the assessment of student outcomes and the disclosure of educational effectiveness data. Cornerstone values such reviews for our stewardship, critical feedback in the process of organizational learning and as a matter of integrity with our students. The following percentages are five-year averages from various PGS surveys.

Graduation Rates

With a commitment to student success, our team of faculty and staff help empower you to cross the finish line of graduation with your degree. These graduation rates demonstrate how many of our students complete their program on average.

  • Associate Programs: 43%
  • Bachelor’s Programs: 70%
  • Master’s Programs: 78%

Employment Rates

Whether your next career move is a step up or a transition into a new field, the practical experience gained through a degree program can help you achieve that goal. These employment rates show the percentage of students that are employed after they complete their degree program.

  • Associate Programs: 94%
  • Bachelor’s Programs: 95%
  • Master’s Programs: 93%

Academic Learning Outcomes

Cornerstone University equips students to excel as flourishing influencers in the world for Christ and His kingdom. Here, we define vocational preparation as the faithful stewardship of one’s God-given talents and opportunities throughout his or her professional, personal and civic life. As a result, our Christ-centered, student-focused learning community supports the development of intellectual curiosity, character-based virtues and creative habits.

Comprised of multiple principal academic units, Cornerstone awards associate (A.A., A.S.); bachelor’s (B.A., B.Mus., B.S., B.S.W.); master’s (M.A., M.B.A., M.Div., M.S.); and doctoral (Ed.D.) degrees.

Educational Outcomes

Our graduates enter career fields, ministry roles and graduate programs with essential knowledge and skills in five distinct areas or learning domains, all of which help produce well-rounded individuals who are prepared to influence the world for Christ. Our five university-wide learning outcomes include specialized knowledge; applied knowledge and collaborative learning; intellectual skills; civic and global learning and biblical worldview integration.

  1. Specialized Knowledge: Cornerstone students will demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency in the terminology, theories, concepts, practices and skills specific to their field of study.
  2. Applied Knowledge and Collaborative Learning: Cornerstone students will exhibit competency in applying their knowledge to address real-life problems through both individual and group effort.
  3. Intellectual Skills: Cornerstone students will demonstrate their ability to integrate both traditional and non-traditional cognitive skills, including analytical inquiry, information literacy, quantitative fluency and communicative fluency.
  4. Civic and Global Engagement: Cornerstone students will demonstrate intercultural competence in addressing civic, social, environmental and economic issues.
  5. Biblical Worldview Integration: Cornerstone students will be able to articulate a Christ-centered worldview and its personal, professional and communal embodiment through Christian virtues.

Program-Specific Learning Outcomes

Adult Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate Program Learning Outcomes

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary Outcomes

Student Outcomes

Assessment of student learning is highly valued at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. It is our responsibility to deliver on the promise to provide excellence in graduate theological education. At GRTS, 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 ministry of our students, and vocational achievement of our graduates.

The following provides a few highlights and demonstrates how GRTS is delivering on its promise to provide excellence in graduate theological education.

Readiness for Ministry

GRTS students are assessed for their readiness for ministry at the mid-point of their degree program and the end of their degree program. The process engages the student with the academic dean, associate dean, faculty adviser, practicum/internship supervisor or ministry residency mentor and the practicum/internship faculty supervisor or ministry residency director to assess student progress holistically as they prepare to serve in ministry. The potential outcomes of the process include the following: 1) The student is making good progress in readiness for ministry, 2) The student is making progress in readiness for ministry but with specific concerns (with reservation), or 3) the student is not making sufficient progress in readiness for ministry. The three-year average outcomes by degree are as follows:

  • 96% of Master of Divinity students achieved the highest outcome (i.e., making good progress in readiness for ministry) at the mid-point assessment and 100% at the exit assessment
  • 94% of Master of Arts in Counseling students achieved the highest outcome (i.e., making good progress in readiness for ministry) at the mid-point assessment and 97% at the exit assessment
  • 93% of Master of Arts in Christian Studies students achieved the highest outcome (i.e., making good progress in readiness for ministry) at the mid-point assessment and 89% at the exit assessment.
  • 100% of Master of Arts in Christian Formation students achieved the highest outcome (i.e., making good progress in readiness for ministry) at the mid-point assessment and 100% at the exit assessment.

Degree Completion

  • 64% of Master of Arts in Counseling students who begin a degree progress to degree completion
  • 72% of Master of Divinity students who begin a degree program progress to degree completion.

Vocational Outcomes

  • 74% of Master of Divinity alumni surveyed report being vocationally employed in a ministry context.
  • 67% of Master of Divinity alumni have achieved licensure and/or ordination as a minister.
  • 67% of Master of Arts in Christian Studies alumni surveyed report being vocationally employed in a ministry context.
  • 83% of Master of Arts in Counseling alumni have obtained their Limited License or Full License as a Professional Counselor (LLPC/LPC).

Please Note: Data above was taken from the results of a variety of surveys and other evaluative instruments administered in recent years at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

Graduation Rates

Year M.Div. Six-Year Graduation Rate M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Six-Year Graduation Rate Professional M.A. Degree Programs Six-Year Graduation Rate Academic M.A. Degree Programs Six-Year Graduation Rate
2015-16 60% 70% 42% 17%
2016-17 50% 55% 67% 25%
2017-18 47% 75% 43% 25%
2018-19 42% 56% 32% N/A
2019-20 62% 64% 44% N/A
2020-21 57% 51% 56% 75%

Academic Learning Outcomes

Cornerstone University equips students to excel as flourishing influencers in the world for Christ and His kingdom. Here, we define vocational preparation as the faithful stewardship of one’s God-given talents and opportunities throughout his or her professional, personal and civic life. As a result, our Christ-centered, student-focused learning community supports the development of intellectual curiosity, character-based virtues and creative habits.

Comprised of multiple principal academic units, Cornerstone awards associate (A.A., A.S.); bachelor’s (B.A., B.Mus., B.S., B.S.W.); master’s (M.A., M.B.A., M.Div., M.S.); and doctoral (Ed.D.) degrees.

Educational Outcomes

Our graduates enter career fields, ministry roles and graduate programs with essential knowledge and skills in five distinct areas or learning domains, all of which help produce well-rounded individuals who are prepared to influence the world for Christ. Our five university-wide learning outcomes include specialized knowledge; applied knowledge and collaborative learning; intellectual skills; civic and global learning and biblical worldview integration.

  1. Specialized Knowledge: Cornerstone students will demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency in the terminology, theories, concepts, practices and skills specific to their field of study.
  2. Applied Knowledge and Collaborative Learning: Cornerstone students will exhibit competency in applying their knowledge to address real-life problems through both individual and group effort.
  3. Intellectual Skills: Cornerstone students will demonstrate their ability to integrate both traditional and non-traditional cognitive skills, including analytical inquiry, information literacy, quantitative fluency and communicative fluency.
  4. Civic and Global Engagement: Cornerstone students will demonstrate intercultural competence in addressing civic, social, environmental and economic issues.
  5. Biblical Worldview Integration: Cornerstone students will be able to articulate a Christ-centered worldview and its personal, professional and communal embodiment through Christian virtues.

Program-Specific Learning Outcomes

Seminary Program Learning Outcomes

Asia Biblical Theological Seminary Outcomes

Retention and Graduation Rates

Year Accepted 1st Year Student Retention Rate* 5-Year Graduation Rate** Degree Program Graduation Rate***
2011 22% 44%
2012 10% 40%****
2013 42% 50%*****
2014 31% 46%******
2015 65% 42% 42%*******
2016 78%
2017 71%
2018 69%
2019 67%

*Students who enrolled in a course during the year following their year of acceptance into a degree program.
**Students who graduated within five years of acceptance into a degree program.
***Students who graduated from a degree program regardless of timeframe.
****An additional 10% are still active students.
*****An additional 8% are still active students.
******An additional 8% are still active students.
*******An additional 32% are still active students.

University Resources

Annual Assessment Reports

For Cornerstone, assessment is a matter of institutional integrity. In addition to providing an opportunity for organizational learning and a credible foundation for data-based decision making, we view assessment as an ongoing and cyclical process.

Purpose of Assessment

Because we understand assessment as having internal value and theological connections, Cornerstone engages in the work of assessment to achieve the following objectives:

  • To document an explicit plan and process for assessing student learning.
  • To clearly articulate a set of student learning outcomes for degree programs and individual courses.
  • To map intended student learning outcomes (SLOs) across the curriculum (e.g., mapping SLOs to select courses and student learning artifacts).
  • To enact assessment projects on a scheduled and routine basis which seek to measure the level of achievement of the intended student learning outcomes at the course and program level.
  • To identify needed changes to the curriculum (programs and courses) through the work of assessment.
  • To demonstrate the administrative will to enact the needed changes identified in the work of assessment.
  • To document the changes to curriculum resulting from the administration of the assessment plan and process.
  • To develop as educational professionals in the art and science of assessment of student learning.
  • To facilitate a culture of assessment that leads to continuous improvement of curriculum, personnel, programs and overall educational quality.

Assessment Reports

Our annual assessment reports reflect the work of the university in the area of assessment. The reports highlight some of the best practices observed in specific divisions or courses. In addition, the reports outline next steps we are taking to invest in the advancement of assessment at Cornerstone.

Annual Assessment Report for 2019-20

Annual Assessment Report for 2018-19

Annual Assessment Report for 2017-18

Annual Assessment Report for 2016-17

Annual Assessment Report for 2015-16

Annual Assessment Report for 2012-13

Annual Assessment Report for 2010-11

Annual Assessment Report for 2009-10

Annual Assessment Report for 2008-09

Annual Assessment Report for 2007-08

Annual Assessment Report for 2006-07

Annual Assessment Report for 2005-06

Self-Study

In conducting an evaluation of the university, the following items constituted the formal charge which guided the self-study process. The Cornerstone University community worked for two years in the evaluation of its practices and processes and moved forward following the contours of the “Accreditation Plan” submitted to the HLC for early review.

Specifically, the following goals guided this organizational evaluation:

  • To render a just and accurate evaluation of the condition of the university to the Higher Learning Commission in light of the five accreditation Criteria and four Themes of high-functioning organizations of higher education.
  • To invite the professionals employed by the university to appraise the organization, to reach conclusions about its strengths and weaknesses, and to show the institutional will and resolve to know what to do in order to improve the organization’s processes and behaviors as it meets the needs of its stakeholders.
  • To provide the university community with an evaluation of itself with the aspiration of internal ownership of the findings.
  • To allow the reaccreditation process to guide organizational development and provide a scheme for overall maturation as well as a set of specific “next steps” for the university.
  • To assist in the transition of the university to the Pathways accreditation system.

The campus-wide introspection fostered by this reaccreditation self-study is becoming a part of the campus ethos and organizational expectations. With the advent of the new accrediting process, this review will serve the university well as it moves into the future.

Self-Study Report | November 2011

Cornerstone University Self Study (234-page report)

Cornerstone University Self Study Executive Summary (20-page summary report)

Criteria for Accreditation

  • The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff and students.
  • The organization’s allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.
  • The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.
  • The organization promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice and social responsibility in ways consistent with its mission.
  • As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value.

Criteria are listed in the: Handbook of Accreditation, Third Edition.

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Undergraduate

At Cornerstone University, you’ll get the full college experience with a Christ-centered worldview. Learn more about the undergraduate experience below or explore campus with a virtual tour.

Adult

Persevere in what you know you’re capable of. Our programs for adults provide a creative approach to learning anchored in Christ-centered virtues as you follow your unwavering purpose.

Graduate

Go further as an influencer in your work and community. Our graduate programs prepare you to open new doors as you reach your God-given potential.

Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we’re dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.