Dr. Joseph M. Stowell serves as the 11th President of Cornerstone University.
He loves students and desires to provide an educational experience in which they are intellectually and spiritually stimulated to engage their world with the love of Christ.
"Cornerstone University is not first and foremost about building a great university. Rather, we exist to build great people…people who can go into our world and bring the redemptive and transforming values of Christ’s Kingdom into the culture in which they find themselves. Which means that ultimately our greatness as a University will be defined through the character and contributions of our students and graduates as they influence the cultures of our world for Christ!
What excites me most about being at Cornerstone is the privilege of serving this generation by providing a student focused learning environment where our students thrive spiritually, intellectually, socially and relationally as they prepare to distinguish themselves personally and professionally in their callings and careers. I love our students and believe in the present worth and future potential of every one of them. I am proud to be known as their president!"
- Dr. Stowell
An internationally recognized conference speaker, President Stowell has written numerous books, including The Trouble with Jesus, Following Christ, Simply Jesus and You, The Upside of Down, and Redefining Leadership: Character-Driven Habits of Effective Leaders. His life is marked by a deep love for Jesus which is reflected in his desire to value people regardless of gender, race or class; to aid the poor and marginalized; to build a strong and vibrant community where the presence of Christ is evident, and; to govern and lead in ways that engender mutual confidence and trust.
Dr. Stowell has a distinguished career in higher education and church leadership. He served as senior pastor of Southgate Baptist Church (Southgate, Ohio, 1970-76), Bible Baptist Church (Kokomo, Ind., 1976-81), and Highland Park Baptist Church (Southfield, Mich., 1981-87). From 1987-2005, he served as the president of Moody Bible Institute, with oversight over the undergraduate and graduate schools, Moody Publishers, and the Moody Broadcasting Network. Following his time at MBI, Dr. Stowell served as a teaching pastor in suburban Chicago before he assumed the presidency at Cornerstone in early 2008.
“This is where my heart is,” Stowell said of Cornerstone. “I’m most excited about being around students in this generation. I want to continue the tradition of this university being a community where students are encouraged and nurtured by the environment and culture. I want students to thrive here. It excites me that God’s hand is in it.”
President Stowell is a graduate of Cedarville University and Dallas Theological Seminary, and was honored with doctor of divinity degrees from The Master’s College in 1987 and from Huntington University in 2011. He serves on the Board of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Wheaton College.
He also serves with RBC Ministries in Grand Rapids, partnering in media productions, including a web ministry, “Strength for the Journey” which features daily devotionals and weekly video messages. He has filmed documentaries with RBC’s Day of Discovery TV program, including The Dawning: Christianity in the Roman Empire, which offers insights into the similarities between the oppression of Christians then and now, and The Seven Churches of Revelation.
Dr. Stowell and his wife, Martie, are the parents of three adult children and ten grandchildren.