Dr. Tom Cornman came to Corban in 2019 after serving in previous roles as Vice President and Dean of the Undergraduate School at Moody Bible Institute (2001–2009), Vice President for Academics and Chief Academic Officer at Cedarville University (2009–2015), and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Dean of Trinity College and Graduate School at Trinity International University (2015–2019).
How did you become involved in Christian higher education?
“I grew up near Philadelphia in an area that was central to the first Great Awakening. At one end of my street was the oldest Quaker meeting house in the county, and at the other end was the oldest Dutch Reformed Church. As I grew up and put my faith in Christ, I was intrigued by the religious history of the area and felt God’s leading to prepare to teach church history in a Bible college or seminary. God graciously honored that goal, allowing me to begin teaching at Moody Bible Institute almost ten years to the day from when I first shared that dream with my then future wife as a 15-year-old.”
What brought you to Corban?
“I was impressed by the quality of the faculty, and felt that Corban presented a great opportunity to use my gifts in a new setting. I view the uniqueness of Christian higher education as essential to the future of the church and our ability to engage a needy world. Students need a solid biblical framework to develop a Christian worldview that will allow them to impact that world for Christ.”
What do you hope to accomplish as interim president?
“My job is to work closely with the Board of Trustees to prepare Corban for its next president. That means that we are not sitting around and waiting, but rather driving to strengthen the
University in every dimension so that we can attract a highly qualified president who is fully in sync with our mission.”
What does the timeline for a presidential selection look like?
“Presidential searches that are done well take time. The Board will be looking at the options for academic search firms to engage in a national search to be launched later this year. If all goes well, the process might be wrapped up by next summer. We pray to that end!”
What challenges do you see in Corban’s future?
“All colleges and universities are seeing fewer prospective students as high school graduation numbers drop. That will be felt significantly here in the Pacific Northwest, an area of the country which might be less churched than other regions. We will continue to face the challenges of a changing culture which is less tolerant of our biblical worldview and standards. While these are challenges, they are not beyond God’s capacity to overcome.”
What opportunities are ahead for Corban?
“If you start at the Canadian border and travel south on I-5, you will not find another Christian liberal arts university that requires a written testimony of faith from its applicants until you reach southern California. Corban is unique in our region, enrolling Christians who want to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ. This is an unparalleled opportunity to advance God’s work in the world!”