Cornerstone Bible Institute was founded as a result of prayer. Joe and Michele Charles, Dick and Edith LeBar, Marsden and Marlys Peterson, Alvin and Holly Gwin, Dave and Kathy Trimble, Stan and Barb Aman, and Jon and Laurie LeBar had sought the Lord’s direction for several months. The Lord clearly lead to the establishment of CBI. A property was located in Hot Springs, SD, where the Wesleyan Methodists had previously had a school for Native Americans. The owners were delighted to have a Christian organization interested in purchasing the property, which included six buildings and seven acres. They were asking $240,000 for the property but sold it to CBI for $150,000; they accepted a down payment of $60,000 – gifts from God’s people for the establishment of CBI (leaving $38,00 for initial operating expenses) – and agreed to carry the balance interest free for a year and a half. The Lord began supplying financially for the remaining purchase price of the property. The final amount came in on the last day of our second missions conference, a check of $7,000. We rejoiced together in seeing God’s hand supply the $90,000 yet needed; the property was paid for in full and on time. Cornerstone has operated in the black ever since through God’s gracious provision.

Cornerstone Bible Institute was founded in 1993 with the goal of training men and women for ministry. All students major in Bible and select an area of ministry emphasis: pastoral ministries, missions, Christian education, or Biblical Discipleship/Counseling. The heart-beat of the first president of the school, Joe Charles, was missions, sending Christian workers into the far corners of the world to lead people to Christ and to see Biblical local churches established. Subsequent presidents Jim Steel, Jon LeBar, and Howard Friesen have also carried this same desire. Cornerstone Bible Institute has adopted the philosophy that it is a school of applied Biblical ministries. Our graduates are serving in pastorates in the U.S., in foreign and home missions, and as lay people in local churches.

#1 Goal: It is, therefore, the goal of Cornerstone Bible Institute to provide the student with:

  1. Accurate instruction in the Word of God

  2. An academic environment compatible with gaining a thorough knowledge of the Word of God

  3. Guidelines for a standard of conduct to foster personal discipline

  4. A social atmosphere that encourages spiritual growth

  5. The opportunity for Christian service on a practical level

#2 Goal: It is the goal of Cornerstone Bible Institute to prepare students to:

  1. Exegetically interpret the Scriptures by the application of fundamental dispensational hermeneutical principles

  2. Make appropriate personal application of God’s Word to their own lives in order to become totally dependent upon Christ

  3. Be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them (I Peter 3:15)

  4. Effectively communicate God’s Truth in both word and deed

  5. Participate in the Great Commission by evangelizing and discipling

  6. Fully comprehend the high priority of the local church in God’s program during this dispensation and the importance of ministry in the church

#3 Goal: It is the goal of Cornerstone Bible Institute to teach the importance of incorporating the principles of the Word of God into life, which will be manifest in spiritual growth and submission to the Lord. This attitude will result in an evangelistic and missionary spirit.

It is the conviction of Cornerstone Bible Institute that Jesus Christ is sufficient for every spiritual need of man, and CBI is committed to the premise that the best answer to the needs of a decaying civilization is the knowledge of application of biblical truth. The training at CBI is designed to equip students for ministry. It is our conviction that a graduate from CBI who has diligently applied himself or herself and has practically assimilated God’s truth is prepared to serve in the place of the Lord’s calling.