Cornerstone Institute was founded in 1970 on the Cape Flats at a time when prospective black theologians were excluded from attending universities due to the oppressive laws of the former regime. As the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute, it provided theological education for unqualified pastors on the Cape Flats.
The institute is historically grounded in a highly ethical ethos, emphasising the relationship between leadership and professional integrity. It embraces students from all walks of life, and focuses on the development of leaders. Cornerstone is a non-profit, fully accredited Private Higher Education Institution offering undergraduate programmes (certificates, short courses and degrees) and postgraduate programmes (higher certificate and honours degrees) across various disciplines in the Faculty of Humanities, and the  Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Economic Transformation. Most of our programmes are offered online as well as on campus, making it easy for students to study from all over the world.
  • Short Course: TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Higher Certificates: Community Counselling; Business Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts: Media Studies, Psychology, Sociology/Community Development, Theology
  • Bachelors of Theology and Community Leadership: Christian Ministry, Psychology and Sociology
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology – Academic
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology – BPsych Equivalent
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Community Development
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Intermediate Phase
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Foundation Phase
Learn more about all our programmes here.
To expand our offering, and add value for students across all walks of life, the Fundamentals Training Centre has been incorporated into the Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Economic Transformation of Cornerstone Institute. FTC offers leadership and management training programmes to corporates, government and communities. They have an outstanding track record in delivering responsive, high-quality training programmes and courses to all sectors, both locally and internationally. All our courses and training programmes are customised to meet the client’s needs, time frames and budget. Read here for more information:
In August 2015 Cornerstone Institute gained a benefactor who saw the potential for Cornerstone to address educational challenges faced in Africa, particularly in South Africa, and globally. The serious shortage of accessible high quality and effective learning programmes available to adults (young and old) are factored into our planning. Cornerstone Institute makes a difference by providing an opportunity for all South Africans and members of the global community to acquire perspective, skills and knowledge that can serve their needs and that of our society on every level, and in every sphere that matters. While recognising and acknowledging that Cornerstone Institute cannot serve the entire spectrum of education and training needed to transform society, we can indeed provide a cornerstone and foundation to redress the shortcomings of our mainstream schooling system. We offer a coherent and strategic set of programmes with which our students find paths to personal mastery, advancement, and fulfillment. Our model, built on social relevance, ethical and academic integrity, plurality, as well as financial sustainability, are important pillars to make the impact that we all seek in creating a prosperous, just and equitable society.
The Board and Management of Cornerstone Institute have great plans for its future. These plans will be premised on robust research and will initially be driven through a Research Incubator which will be established in our Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Economic Transformation. Some of the areas that we intend to explore include:
  • The Green Economy;
  • Business Trends;
  • Applied Science for a Sustainable World;
  • Media and Technology Convergence; and
  • Arts and Culture
The outcomes of the research we conduct will inform new programmes and faculties, schools and departments at Cornerstone Institute.
We recognise that values are not just what we talk about and teach, but are core to identity formation. Cornerstone is committed to building a highly ethical and principled worldview in all our students.  We promote the values of inclusivity, excellence, integrity, unity, respect and creativity to produce dynamic ethical leaders prepared to act as responsible citizens in a global society.
At Cornerstone Institute we source the best faculty, ensuring that the students who graduate from our institution are able to make a difference in all fields of study that we provide; including Psychology, Ethics, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Business, Education, Sociology and Community Development.  We seek to share a compelling story, underpinned by a philosophy of education where we convey, transfer and embed the core values of our institution.
What sets us apart from the rest is that we:
  • Have a signature approach where we offer a fundamental foundational set of courses, referred to as the ‘Cornerstone Core’. These include Intercultural Communication, Economics, Leadership Studies, Worldviews, South African History and Society, and Ethics.
  • Designed a ‘Four Year Solution’, where students who do not achieve a bachelor’s pass in Grade 12 will be able to access our certificate programmes across all the disciplines we offer, to bridge them into a degree programme, leading to post-graduate studies if desired.
  • Create access to a university education in a caring and competent community.
  • Provide a productive and stimulating environment in which learning and teaching can take place, on our campuses and through our online learning environments.
  • Are committed to community development in all its various forms.
  • Have an ethically grounded ethos.
  • Focus on effective career preparation and pathways.
  • Offer competitive fees and financial support for qualifying students.
Cornerstone Institute is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997, Registration Certificate No 2001/HE08/006. We attract students from all over the world and particularly target students from the African continent. We operate within the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Those who join the Cornerstone family do so because the institution offers the finest thought and practice, exceptional service, teaching excellence, affordability and ease of access. We create vibrant learning environments where students are exposed to a total learning experience, irrespective of whether they are on campus or studying online. Its diverse student population, ranging in age from 17 to 70 and originating from more than 20 countries, contribute to an eclectic atmosphere filled with fun and the opportunity to make new friends in a warm and inviting family environment.
Cornerstone is increasing its footprint in South Africa, the rest of Africa and indeed the world.  With its continued focus on service excellence, high-quality learning programmes, innovation, and responsiveness to social imperatives, it plans to take a leading role in developing our society into one that is prosperous, just and equitable – in addition to developing the technical and social skills to confront the numerous challenges we face. Cornerstone Institute is ready and invites you to join us as we Learn to Change the World together!
A university is a place where students from different backgrounds come to acquire knowledge of different natures; a place for the communication and circulation of thought by means of personal engagement and interaction; a place in which thousands of schools of thought make contributions, and in which the intellect may safely range and speculate; and a place where inquiry is pushed forward, discoveries verified and perfected, and errors exposed by collision of mind with mind, and knowledge with knowledge.
John Henry Newman (1852)