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Dr.Oscar J. Dowdell-Underwood


"Once in a generation of educational leaders emerges one who naturally but passionately

motivates fellow teachers to lead their students to achievement levels never realized.

That person is Dr. Oscar Underwood." – [Dr. Lowell Madden, Former Director of Elementary Education; Indiana-Purdue University]


Dr. Oscar Dowdell-Underwood is an educator, author, motivational speaker, activist and pastor. He holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Indiana University, an M.S. in Educational Administration and Curriculum Development from Indiana University, a Ph.D. and Ed.S in Higher Education Leadership, Administration and Foundations from Indiana State University. He was named the first African American Indiana Teacher of the Year and his life’s work is centered on educating students and eradicating educational inequalities and disenfranchisement, particularly young African-American men.  


This determination and passion has resulted in many distinctions, including being a sought-after conference speaker and education consultant. He is also politically active – challenging educational policies that marginalize students, particularly poor and minority students. He believes that all children deserve the dignity of an excellent education.


Dr. Dowdell-Underwood is headmaster of Cornerstone Christian College Preparatory Day & High School International, founded in 1991. The school is an accredited, K-12 independent, co-educational, Christian Day and High School. Cornerstone Prep prepares its students for global competitiveness in all academic spheres, with the student body being 94% African-American. The student body holds an internationally recognized legacy of academic and leadership excellence. Cornerstone Prep’s stats speak for themselves – 99.8% graduation and college acceptance; 0% acts of violence or involvement with the judicial system; 0% drugs and alcohol involvement at school. The school is operated under the “Underwood Model” – learning via the power of environments of self-image and self-esteem.


As an acclaimed author, Dr. Dowdell-Underwood testified before the United States Congressional Committee regarding his education strategies for maximizing achievement among K-12 students. His proven pedagogy is outlined in his first book, Assassination of Human Potential, Vindication of Broken Women Who Possess Deep Wells: The Samaritan Woman Principle, and one of his newest books, Bumblebees Can Fly: Empowering Young Men of Color, where he challenges post-secondary institutions to maximize the scholastic achievement of collegiate Black males by engaging their inherent power, need and desire to succeed, rather than relating to them from a deficit perspective.


In 2002, he founded Cornerstone Christian Bible College International, a continuing education adult learning institution affiliated with Destiny Dome Embassy church, where he co-pastors.  

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