John VerBerkmoes

Executive Vice President for Academics; Dean of GRTS; Professor of Adult Learning & Organizational Leadership

Staff Positions:

Grand Rapids Theological Seminary - Administration

Contact John VerBerkmoes


Dr. John VerBerkmoes has held various staff and administrative roles at Cornerstone University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In over 30 years at Cornerstone, John has served as a resident director (1986-88), director of student financial aid (1988-91), director of admissions and enrollment services at GRTS (1991-98), associate dean at GRTS (1998-02) and academic dean at GRTS (2002-present). In 2009, he was promoted to vice president and academic dean, and in July 2015 his role expanded to become the chief academic officer for the university. With a strong history of humble and excellent leadership, VerBerkmoes also seeks to enhance the PGS community through efficient and effective systems and programs.

John is a double graduate of Cornerstone, completing a Bachelor of Religious Education (BRE) in 1985 followed by a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) at GRTS with an emphasis in Systematic Theology in 1988. Subsequently, he completed the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Administration at Michigan State University in 2006. His research interest is focused in the areas of assessment and evaluation, particularly in assessment of student learning. He routinely teaches courses in organizational leadership and adult education at GRTS.

In addition to his work at Cornerstone, John serves member schools of The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) through workshop presentations and assessment coaching. He and his wife, Kelly, have two children, Jason and Leslie.

"Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is a community of learners—faculty, staff and students—who are working diligently to make a contribution to the advancement of God's kingdom in the world. It is a distinct honor to serve alongside those with who I share core values, calling and mission."

Professional Certifications

VerBerkmoes is licensed as a minister by Blythefield Hills Baptist Church in Rockford, Mich.


"Understanding and Fostering a Culture of Assessment: A Primer for Academic Deans." In Chaos Theory: A Handbook for Chief Academic Officers, edited by K. Billman and B. Birch (2011). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

"Student Outcomes Assessment: A Study of the Organizational Factors that Foster or Inhibit Progress in Establishing a Culture of Assessment within Graduate Theological Schools." Dissertation for Doctor of Philosophy, Michigan State University (2006).


  • "Outcomes Assessment" (June 2010): Presentation for The Association of Theological Schools biennial meeting of Presidents and Deans in Montreal
  • "Assessment and Accreditation" (June 2008): Presentation for The Association of Theological Schools- Chief Academic Officers (CHAOS) in Atlanta
  • "Assessment that Makes Sense" (March 2007): Presentation for The Association of Theological Schools- Chief Academic Officers (CHAOS) in British Columbia


  • Ph.D., Educational Administration, Michigan State University
  • M.T.S., Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
  • B.R.E., Cornerstone University


—Spending time with his family


—Adult learning
—Teaching and learning
—Assessment of student learning
—Organizational leadership