Division of Music


Musical skill and spiritual growth

Cornerstone's music degree programs are designed to:

  • establish a solid musical and theoretical foundation
  • challenge students’ creative and artistic sensibilities
  • hone instrumental and vocal skills

Our goal is not only to provide a rich musical education, but also to create an atmosphere for the spiritual growth of our students. Through skill acquisition, discipline, character development and building a strong work ethic, we prepare students for professional life as performers and educators. Music is ultimately a shared experience and a chance to communicate on the broadest level. Our desire is for students to leave the Division of Music not only as capable musicians, but as effective witnesses to the power of Christ’s love.

Cornerstone University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

Student Chapter of The National Association of Music Education (formerly MENC)


B.A. – Music

B.A. – Music: Worship Arts

B.Mus. – Music Education (K-12 Instrumental or Vocal)

B.Mus. – Performance

B.Mus. – Performance: Contemporary Christian Music



Student Opportunities:

Large Ensembles and Small Ensembles

Touring Groups


Music Events


Internships are an integral part of every music majors’ degree. Opportunities include:

  • Church music and worship recording or live sound work
  • Private teaching
  • Accompanying
  • Music business and management


The Division of Music is a dynamic part of Cornerstone University and possesses a team of talented and expert faculty who are:

  • devoted to the needs of their students
  • bringing real-world experience into the classroom
  • active in their respective fields

Full-Time Faculty

Michael Stockdale, DipRCM 
Division Chair, Director of Contemporary Christian Music

Peter Van Dessel, M.Mus. 
Director of Keyboard Studies

Joan Van Dessel, D.M. 
Director of Instrumental Studies

Kent Walters, D.W.S. 
Director of Choral Studies


Affiliate Artists

Kathleen Gomez, M.M. 
Applied Oboe

Corlyn Longer-Schreck, M.M. 
Applied Voice

Erich Peterson, M.M. 
Applied French Horn

Eric Phelps 
Applied Cello

Dan Ruggles, B.Mus 
Applied Woodwinds

Matthew Speck, B.Mus 
Applied Voice

Bill Vits, M.M. 
Applied Percussion


Contact Us

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Music Office: 616.222.1545

E-mail: music@cornerstone.edu

Adjunct Faculty

Phil Bajema, D.M.A. 
Applied Trumpet

Randall Burghart, M.M. 
Non-Western Music

Elizabeth Claar, D.M.A. 
Applied Organ, Counterpoint

David Gilman, B.A.
Music Business 

Jared Heddens, B.Mus 
Pep Band

Phil Holmes, M.M. 
Applied Voice, Director of Vocal Studies

Art Joslin, D.M.A.
Chancel Singers/Voice

Jonathan Marshall, M.M. 
Guitar Fundamentals/Applied Guitar

Randy Miller, B.Mus 
Introduction to Music Technology

Lonnie Ostrander, M.M. 
Class Piano/Applied Piano

Kristen Shoup, M.M. 
String Methods/Applied Violin/Viola

Aaron Tenney, M.M. 
Applied String Bass/Applied Bass Guitar/Music Methods

John Varineau, M.M. 

Brian Wagner, D.M.A. (candidate) 
CU Brass/Applied Low Brass

Forrest Wakeman, D.M.A. (candidate)
Orchestration & Arranging/Sequencing/Applied Piano

Matthew Westerholm, Ph. D. (candidate) 
Director of Worship Arts/CCM Ensemble

Jack Winn, Ph.D.
Elementary Music Methods