Grant Inspires Vision for Campus Worship at Cornerstone University
by Jaleesa Stanford
Cornerstone University is the grateful recipient of an $18,000 grant, made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Mich., with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.
Every year the Institute awards multiple grants to various institutions that have a stake in global worship. A variety of schools, churches and other ministry organizations have been blessed with grants for the purpose of enhancing and expanding global worship.
Once selected, representatives from recipient organizations are invited to an annual conference held in the summer where they learn about how to best put the grants to work. Recipients are also invited to a follow-up event the next summer where they are given an opportunity to share on the progress and results of implementing the grant funds in their respective contexts.
Cornerstone University's Christ Chapel was also a recipient of a CICW grant that helped to design the chapel two years ago. This time around, a team comprised of Dr. Martin Spence, Dr. Pete Muir, Susan Burner, Dr. Kent Walters, Dr. Michael Stevens and Dr. Matt Bonzo have been tasked to answer the question of what worship can look like in an academic setting.
So far the grant funds, given in two equal installations, have been used to develop a Tuesday prayer series where the campus community is welcome to come to pray at Christ Chapel at 8 a.m., 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday prayers have been enriched by the book "The Divine Hours" by Phyllis Tickle, and copies of the book were purchased with grant funds.
Committee representative Dr. Matt Bonzo is excited to implement the grand funds to expand worship and prayer throughout the CU community in other ways. Bonzo was quick to note that this project is about so much more than chapel—that the grant is a broad investment in a campus culture of worship.
"This grant is very helpful as we continue to develop into a university that sees academics as worship and sees our community formed by practicing life in Christ together," Bonzo said.
The team is excited to explore how worship contributes to the overall health of an institution as well as how worship can become part of culture and what worship has to do with corporate and individual roles and purposes.
Stay tuned for more news on how these funds will be implemented as well as for opportunities to engage in the conversation about worship at Cornerstone University.