Build your foundation in community.

Arrival Day marks the beginning of your college journey! Your first week at Cornerstone University, you'll participate in Terra Firma so that you can meet the small group of students who you will grow alongside throughout the academic year. You'll celebrate orientation weekend together, meet in your small group for discussion after weekly seminar presentations and serve together in the Grand Rapids community.

CU Foundations

Terra Firma serves as your introduction to CU Foundations, our first-year program for new freshmen students. CU Foundations includes a year-long course and a single-semester service project. You will meet in a weekly seminar on a range of topics, including academics at CU, biblical worldview formation and application and civic and global engagement. These ideas will be expanded upon in your courses throughout your time at CU.

The service-learning component of CU Foundations offers students an opportunity to compassionately care for the broader Grand Rapids community through work and relationships. Each week for one semester of your first year, your small group will serve with one of our partner organizations. CU students participate in mentoring, tutoring and social activities with local non-profit organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs and Base Camp Urban Ministries.

Core Values

The CU Foundations experience is built upon four things we believe God cares deeply about in Scripture. These key ideas will serve as the major curriculum concepts you will learn about during your freshman year.

  • Christ matters. Jesus Christ is the most compelling figure in human history and longs for you to be a devoted follower of Him as a disciple and member of His church body.
  • Community matters. You are designed by God to be in community where you experience deep and meaningful relationships with other followers of Jesus.
  • Character matters. You are called to be a person of character who models integrity and godliness as you live out your faith for the world to see.
  • Culture matters. You are desperately needed in our culture to be a force for good. We are called to be fully engaged with the lives and communities that need to experience the redemption and restoration Jesus longs to bring to them.

You'll grow and change as you examine these ideas in the academic and experiential realms. Ultimately, you'll use them as a launching point into your college experience.

Student Leadership Cohort

For in-depth leadership training and development, apply to join the Student Leadership Cohort. You'll join a section of students passionate about excelling as leaders on campus and in their respective fields of study. Using selected readings to supplement the Terra Firma course work and being mentored by staff members, you'll grow as a leader in community with other incoming students.

Terra Firma Photos