Cornell College hosts School for Lay Ministry classes that develop leaders for service to the church and world as ambassadors for Christ.
Originally known as the Iowa Conference Seminary, Cornell College was founded in 1853 by George Bryant Bowman, a Methodist minister from North Carolina with a passionate belief in higher education. Its mission today is to offer an innovative and rigorous learning community where faculty and staff collaborate with students to develop the intellectual curiosity, creativity, and moral courage necessary for a lifetime of learning and engaged citizenship.
They express this mission through their core values: (1) a liberal education that celebrates discovery and embraces the integration and application of knowledge; (2) intellectual, moral, and personal growth; (3) civic and social responsibility; and (4) the dignity and worth of each individual in a diverse community.
The Iowa School for Lay Ministry in its 20 year history has trained lay people throughout the state for Christian service in and beyond local churches. The Cornell campus was selected for expansion a few years ago when the demand for lay ministry classes became too great for one location to maintain alone. The partnership between the two organizations has been a fruitful way to support continuous learning among leaders in the church.