The five elements which make up the Cornerstone Work & Worldview “shield” logo symbolically capture multiple features of the Institute’s mission, values, and work.
First and foremost, the letter “C” located inside a solid block in the upper left hand corner of the logo, represents the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is described in Psalm 118:22 as the cornerstone of all creation and redemption: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (ESV). The letter also represents the name of the Institute itself, of course.
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:20 (ESV)
Second, in the upper right corner of the logo is the now iconic “on-off” sign associated with digital technologies. This represents the Institute’s use of the latest technologies in its teaching and curriculum. It also represents how the Institute can serve as the starting point for our students’ vocational training and worldview development for life-long service to the Lord Jesus Christ the Cornerstone.
Third, the wheat symbol in the lower left corner of the logo represents the communion and Eucharistic bond all Christ-followers share through the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus, which we commemorate every time we partake the Lord’s Supper together. The head of wheat also symbolizes the blessed fruitfulness of creation and the fruit of our labor–the work of our hands.
“16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” 1 Corinthians 10:16–17 (ESV)
“31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs 31:31 (ESV)
Fourth, the universally recognized symbol of the historic Christian faith is the Roman cross on which Jesus died. By his death on the cross, Jesus bore God’s just judgment on our sins. By his resurrection, Jesus defeated the power of sin and death, and restored new life to his people by faith and the power of his Holy Spirit. By his bodily ascension to the right hand of the Father in heaven, Jesus reconciled us to God our Father and was enthroned the Lord of lords and King of kings. Because he is now our Ascended King, we are called to commit all our vocations and labors to the advancement of his everlasting Kingdom with gratitude.
The “stained glass” design of this cross also represents the historic Christian church and the “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us. All our work “building Kingdom culture in the workplace” stands on their shoulders.
“5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5–11 (ESV)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1–2 (ESV)
Finally, the shield-and-cross outline of the logo itself has several historical and academic associations. The sign of the shield-and-cross have symbolized Christendom since, at least, Constantine, the first Christian emperor of the Roman Empire, who had his famous “conquer by this heavenly sign” vision in the early A.D. 300s.* Shields have also been commonly used by Christian higher education institutions since the Middle Ages and the founding of Europe’s earliest universities to identify with the “shield of faith” mentioned in Ephesians 6. The Institute’s shield reflects, in that same spirit, our goal of equipping students with “the whole armor of God” for the spiritual warfare they will face in all their vocations and all of life. The shape of the shield is taken from the logo of the Institute’s founding congregation, Cornerstone Reformed Church, in Carbondale, Illinois (cornerstonereformedcrec.org).
“13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Ephesians 6:13-18 (ESV)
*See Peter J. Leithart, Defending Constantine: The Twilight of an Empire and the Dawn of Christendom (IVP Academic, 2010), pp. 70-93, for a compelling discussion of Constantine’s vision and his conversion to Christ.