They are teachers, mentors, and colleagues and most recently they received their Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Covenant College. We are so fortunate that they have chosen to use their talents and giftings right here at Cornerstone! Today, we are delighted and honored to spotlight our very own Landon Cunningham and Brandon Nolan.
Landon Cunningham- Director of IT
Road to Cornerstone
I chose to get a BA in Music Business from Asbury University, a Christian liberal arts university where I could combine the disciplines of creativity, artistic, organized and detail-oriented work. In 2015, I was looking for a job change. My unique combination of giftings (IT, AV, and worship) was attractive to Cornerstone. This is my 7th year and I’m so thankful to be an employee here.
Managing a Master’s Program, Family, and Work
Covenant's coursework is broken down into three distinct categories: pre-campus work, on-campus work, and post-campus work. Everything at Covenant is built upon a biblical foundation which is evident in every interaction with their staff. I did not originally think I needed a program that was focused on Christ first and education second, but it proved to be very beneficial to my growth as a follower of Jesus which directly influences my administrative leadership at Cornerstone.
Throughout this process, the largest sacrifices were made by my wife, Katelyn. For me, learning is fun, and her responsibilities were to take care of the kids and our home while I read books and wrote papers. Before I even applied to Covenant, Katelyn and I discussed how this degree would be a family effort and would require all of us to work together. Her willingness to take care of our small children allowed me to have enough margin to complete my assignments at a high level and on time.
My most successful moments occurred when I planned out the entire course timeline and stuck to it. To succeed in this program, you cannot procrastinate - there’s simply too much work. Creating a plan and chipping away, bit by bit, every day was the best way to manage the workload of graduate school, my work at Cornerstone, and my responsibilities as a husband and father.
More Than Just A Degree
I have been able to use my graduate school work to advise the administration and the board on topics such as legal matters, organizational strategies, and staff supervision. But more than that, this masters program has opened my eyes to new perspectives and given me an opportunity to reflect on and adapt my ideals and lifestyle within a biblical context. My qualifiers for beginning the program were twofold. First, do I have support from my family? Second, is this degree a field in which I’m deeply interested? My encouragement would be to ask the same questions and then make a decision if continuing your education at this time is right. The best thing to keep in mind is, however, that being a lifelong learner does not require masters program acceptance. Learning can - and should - take many forms throughout your life.
Brandon Nolan-Director of Christian Discipleship and Family Ministries
Road to Cornerstone
After two years of seminary, I enrolled at the University of South Florida to get a degree in Psychology. I so loved the counseling part of ministry and desired to better understand the human mind and how it works. I finished my Bachelor’s in Psychology at USF in the summer of 2008 and knew God’s plan involved me working with students. After graduation, God opened the door for our family to move to Georgia. I immediately had an interview with Jeanne Borders and Alison Luke. I’ll never forget that day with Jeanne and Alison because we all just kind of clicked. A few months later Mrs. Borders called me and told me she wanted me on staff. I started working at Cornerstone in November of 2009 and have been here ever since!
Managing a Master’s Program, Family and Work
The Lord had put the idea of grad school on my heart, but I wasn’t sure when or how. When the door opened to attend Covenant College, I knew it was the Lord’s provision. Knowing He had provided the opportunity, I had confidence that I could manage work, school, and a family. Once the work actually started there is one person that deserves most of the credit….my wife! I can’t express enough how much Sarah is to thank. My family missed some summer trips and some vacation weeks due to my school work schedule but we made sure to squeeze in fun times when we could. Sarah made it all work by taking care of our family while I read, wrote, studied, and spent weeks on campus during the summer without them. Sarah never complained or questioned the process and she was always supportive and believed I could do it. I’m so thankful for her help. It was truly a team effort!
More Than Just A Degree
The professors focused on material that was meaningful to Christian school leadership and prioritized what would bring value to me as the student and the school where I serve. One major theme throughout my time studying was the focus on the student as an image bearer of Christ. Each student, specifically created to reflect Jesus, is special and has individual giftings and abilities. A good school notices the individual student as God’s unique creation and desires to reach the student on every level of development. For those who love to learn, I would encourage you to take that class, go to that seminar, sign up for that conference, read that book, and if the opportunity comes about, pursue that degree.
Recipient of The Norman Harper Scholarship from Covenant College
Each year the faculty of the Master of Education selects a third-year student to receive the Norman Harper Scholarship. The scholarship is bestowed on a MEd student who exemplifies the mission of the college relative to scholarly work in the program. Dr. Harper understood the importance of the person of the teacher and saw education as a process of making disciples.
It was an honor to receive this recognition. I would like to thank Jeanne Borders for encouraging me from the start, Marsha Robbins for her encouragement and support and grace as I worked through certain assignments on campus, and the rest of the staff for encouragement and support. Thank you Jesus for being there every step of the way!
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Summer is a great time to pursue new interests. Whether it’s for academic or personal growth, Cornerstone encourages everyone to continue learning!
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”