Dr. Rick Ostrander

Dr. Rick Ostrander is Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

He holds a doctorate in American History from the University of Notre Dame. He also holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Notre Dame, a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in theology from Moody Bible Institute.

As provost, Dr. Ostrander is responsible for the overall academic vision of the university and for ensuring the accomplishment of that vision. He does this primarily by equipping and empowering the faculty to achieve excellence in their roles as Christian teachers, mentors, and scholars. Dr. Ostrander’s vision for Cornerstone University is that it continues to build excellence in the liberal arts and professional programs as it prepares students to effectively engage the cultures of their world for Christ.

As a scholar of American religion and an academic administrator, Dr. Ostrander maintains an active interest in Christian higher education. His publications include The Life of Prayer in a World of Science (Oxford, 2001), Head, Heart, Hand: John Brown University and Evangelical Higher Education (University of Arkansas, 2003), and “Spirituality and the Discipline of History,” in Searching for Spirituality in Higher Education (Peter Lang, 2007). 

Dr. Ostrander’s book, Why College Matters to God: Academic Faithfulness and Christian Higher Education, was published in 2009 by Abilene Christian University Press. It is currently being used by several Christian colleges and universities for their first-year seminars. His sequel, Reconsidering College:  Christian Higher Education for Working Adults was published in January 2014 by Abilene Christian University Press.

A Fulbright Scholar to Germany in 2004, Dr. Ostrander complements his interest in American higher education with an active interest in global affairs and international education. He serves as a board member for the Michigan Chapter of the Fulbright Association, as well as a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities' Commission for Chief Academic Officers.

Rick and his wife Lonnie have four children, Ryan, Tyler, Rachel and Anna. He is an avid cyclist who logs thousands of miles a year on his road bike.

Recent Events

Dr. Rick Ostrander was involved in various professional activities in Fall 2014:

  • On September 29, Dr. Ostrander addressed first-year students at Spring Arbor University on various topics in his book, Why College Matters to God.
  • On October 20-26, Dr. Ostrander gave a series of talks on the purpose and value of Christian higher education at churches and schools in Hong Kong and Beijing.
  • On November 2, Dr. Ostrander participated in a panel presentation on “Sustainable Models of Campus Internationalization” at the Council for Independent Colleges annual conference in Portland, Oregon.
  • In November, Dr. Ostrander’s chapter, “The Southernization of the Evangelical Mind” was published in American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the State of American Religious History (University of Notre Dame Press, 2014).