An Oasis of Hope in The Realm of Education

How one Pastor, Master Educator, and Headmaster uses his Possibilistic methodologies and philosophies to develop, nurture , educate, possibilize, and unlock the potential of his students.

An Oasis of Hope in The Realm of Education
A portrait of Dr. Oscar J. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood

In 1977, Dr. Oscar Nelson Dowdell-Underwood made history as the first African American Indiana Teacher of the Year and Nominee for National Teacher of the Year.  He is a pastor, master educator, activist, author, motivational speaker, and educational consultant. He is also affectionately known as the "Father of Possibility Education" and "The Father of Possiblelogy."  He is committed to developing and unlocking the personal inherent power of all individuals in both the academic realm and the spiritual realm.

Dr. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood is the founder and Senior Pastor of The Destiny Dome Embassy at Cathedral of Praise Ministries International in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is also the founder and Superintendent of Cornerstone Christian College Preparatory Day and High School International (C-Prep), as well as the founder and President of Cornerstone Christian Bible College International-Global. Dr. Underwood has written over 35 books which includes, "I Am Possible," "Assassination of Human  Potential," "Bumblebees Can Fly" and his latest book, "Possibilized! Coming Alive On The Inside: It's Time to Become Who GOD Said You Are!.”

His anointing and gifts allow him to serve and teach on many platforms beyond the educational and church sectors. He has a distinguished career of teaching in schools, colleges, conferences, and churches. His commitment to excellence and dedication to help humanity is documented in history. In 1982, he left a successful career in suburban education to become Principal at Ralph J. Bunche Elementary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bunche Elementary was  a low-income, 98-percent African-American, inner-city school. In the following two years after implementing the Underwood Model, the test scores of the students rose to unprecedented heights at every grade level. This was the first time in the history of the school to have successful scores in every grade level. In 1990, he left his position as principal at Ralph J. Bunche Elementary to initiate and operate the first Christian College Preparatory School in the state of Indiana, known as Cornerstone Christian College Prep Day and High School International (C-Prep) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In his role as founder, headmaster, and superintendent of this school, Dr. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood has built it on the premise that all students can learn, and achieve success in education regardless of race, gender, or economic status which is predicated on the perception of mattering. Therefore, if students are aware and believe that they matter not only to GOD, but to their teachers, their parents and most importantly to themselves it will open the doors to academic achievement and success. Furthermore, C-Prep was designed to unlock the deepest depth of students' inherent power that would cause them to see the possibilities within, and to see themselves as effective global leaders in their generation. This belief will give them a cutting-edge advantage in society as well as being the solutions to the problems in the world.

Some notable accomplishments of C-Prep over its 32 years of existence, in spite of the predictions of many stating the school would only last 6 months. Those accomplishments are as follows: 0 percent of the students are involved in the judicial system, acts of violence, or drugs. It has a 99 percent graduation rate, and 100 percent of the graduates have been accepted to a college or university with a 70.1 percent college retention rate.

Moreover, As the "Father of Possibility Education Awareness" and "The Father of the science and study of Possibleology," Dr. Nelson Dowdell- Underwood’s teaching methods and philosophies are predicated on what he calls GOD'S Law of Possibility, "That all things are possible to Him who believes" (Mark 9:23). Thus, whether it is in the classroom, the church, or any other setting that deals with human potential, his Possibilistic methods encourage people to imagine and see the possibilities that God has given them. This is known first from within oneself, then seeing themselves possible in every area of their life.  In this way, each person develops a sense of "mattering" through believing that "All things are possible (Mark 9:23)" this enables him or her to unlock their dormant potential and discover limitless possibilities not only in the academic realm but in every sphere of life, and discovering their GOD-given purpose in life.

Dr. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood's work has resulted in many honors, achievements, and recognitions: including being named the first African American Indiana Teacher of The Year, Indiana State Businessman of the Year in 1998. Dr. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood also testified before the United States Congressional Committee on Small Businesses, regarding his Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award from the National Society of High School Scholars.

 Dr. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood 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, and a Ph.D. in Human Potential Coaching from Cornerstone Christian Bible College International along with several prestigious certificates. His educational experiences as well as the teachings of His Spiritual Father, Dr. Myles Munroe, have contributed to the development of his philosophies, methodologies, and work. 

In addition to teaching GOD’S Word, Dr. Oscar J. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood continues to teach at every grade level from pre-kindergarten at C-Prep to the collegiate and graduate level at CCBCI-Global. Dr. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood's voice, works, and  methodologies symbolizes hope for education, just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. embodied hope for social justice, and Dr. Myles Munroe embodied hope for fulfillment of  purpose. As a master educator, Dr. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood has employed his knowledge as a coach, teacher, and educator in every area of life. His possibilistic methods has revolutionized and possibilized the way education is taught, thus providing streams of hope in the realm of education. To learn more about Dr. Oscar J. Nelson Dowdell-Underwood, Cornerstone Christian Prep Day and High School International, or Cathedral of Praise International @ The Destiny Dome Embassy, please click the links

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Written By: Leticia M. Starks-Underwood