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University Announcements April 10, 2023

Cornerstone University has announced that the name of the university’s seminary—Grand Rapids Theological Seminary—is changing to Cornerstone Theological Seminary, effective July 1, 2023.

The new name allows Cornerstone Theological Seminary to benefit from the Cornerstone University brand recognition and reputation that currently exists and continues to expand. Furthermore, the strategic marketing growth investments planned over the coming months and years for Cornerstone University will now yield exponentially larger results for Cornerstone Theological Seminary given the symbiotic brand relationship that has now been created between the university and its seminary.

The new name is a continuation of the 1993 name change of Grand Rapids Baptist College to Cornerstone College, and later, Cornerstone University. Most importantly, this new name further cements the seminary’s uncompromised commitment to CU’s mission and statement of faith—The Cornerstone Confession.

“Cornerstone’s proven history of educating and training church leaders has been possible because of Cornerstone’s willingness to embrace change,” said Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, president of Cornerstone University. “To ensure that Cornerstone and its mission thrive well into the future, it is necessary that we together continue to exhibit and model this same willingness to live into the needed change that can propel Cornerstone and its seminary well into the future. By God’s grace and our diligence, Cornerstone Theological Seminary is and will remain ever faithful to our Triune God; to the verbally-inspired, inerrant and completely authoritative Holy Scriptures—the Holy Bible; and to the Biblical gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Feedback from alumni mirrored the sentiments of Dr. Moreno-Riaño. This change goes beyond the name to reflect a new focus for the future.

“The decision to bring alignment to the name of the seminary reflects more than pragmatism,” Keoni Hughes (M.Div. ’17), an alumnus of the seminary, shared. “It reflects thoughtful leadership that desires unity of vision, mission and values between the undergraduate program and the seminary. This shows a desire for a spirit of unity, which is the heart of Jesus: our true Cornerstone.”

Along with the name change, Cornerstone University is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Jeff Halsted as the new dean for the seminary. Dr. Halsted brings over 30 years of pastoral and administrative leadership experience to the role and is a two-time graduate of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. Halsted is currently the senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids—a position he will maintain along with his new role at Cornerstone Theological Seminary.

“Dr. Halsted emerged as the top candidate after a lengthy and exhaustive national search that included a large pool of applicants and numerous rounds of multi-level interviews and campus visits with several possible finalists,” explained Dr. Moreno-Riano. “We look forward to all that Cornerstone Theological Seminary will accomplish as Dr. Halsted leads the great faculty and staff of our seminary in developing in our seminarians—male and female—the competencies, character and compassion that befit ministry leaders.”

Dr. Halsted is no stranger to the seminary and university. He has a 27-year affiliation with Cornerstone through various roles and responsibilities, including his participation in providing insight and counsel to our Ministry Residency program, serving as an adjunct and affiliate faculty member and, most recently, serving as one of the pastors in the seminary’s pastor-in-residence program.


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