CTS does not maintain its own residence hall or provide housing for students. Each student is responsible for finding her/his own housing. However, we can help! Our central location in Hyde Park’s university community and the historic neighborhood of Woodlawn is rich with diverse housing options.
Rental rates are around $900 a month and up for a 1-bedroom; shared living may be significantly less expensive—closer to $500 or $600 per month. In addition, landlords typically require certain payments like first and last month’s rent, security deposit, application fees, or move-in fees. Some of these are refundable; others are not. Please be sure to ask what the total cost of moving in will include.
Many local residences are serviced by public transportation such as CTA buses, Metra commuter rail and FREE University campus buses. For maps, routes, and schedules, see: www.transitchicago.com and http://bus.uchicago.edu. Parking can be challenging in the area, so if you are planning to have a car, be sure to inquire about available parking. Much street parking in Woodlawn and some streets in Hyde Park are “permit-only,” but the streets immediately surrounding CTS generally do not require a permit. Google Maps can be very helpful for navigating the city.
Finally, if you are moving here from another state or country, you may consider arriving 5-10 days early and staying in temporary housing while you look for an apartment. Longer-distance commuters (i.e., from the tri-state area) may also want to consider temporary housing options for weekly overnight stays. Housing options on this list that offer temporary and/or guest housing (usually for less than the price of a hotel room) are starred with an asterisk (*).
University of Chicago housing
Residential Services – Graduate Student Housing Various locations
The University of Chicago’s Graduate Student Housing is available to CTS students, through an agreement between CTS and University of Chicago Residential Services. Apartments ranging from studio to 2 bedrooms are typically available. Individuals, families, and students wanting to share an apartment are welcome. A significant benefit to this housing is that it does not require the typical sizable deposits or fees besides the refundable $300 application deposit. For more information about how to apply for this housing, see CTS & University of Chicago Graduate Student Housing.
The International House at the University of Chicago* 1414 E. 59th St.
Just across a wide parkway from CTS is the International House (I-House). I-House is a program center and residence that’s part of a national network dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and relationship. It is not a part of the University’s Graduate Student Housing, but is open to CTS students. I-House has dorm-style single rooms, with shared bathroom accommodations and other communal amenities. I-House has its own application process, which can be accessed through their website: http://ihouse.uchicago.edu/residency/. It is important to note that housing at I-House operates on a quarterly schedule (as does the University of Chicago) instead of on semesters (as CTS does), and likewise prices its rooms on a quarterly basis. Please be sure to inquire about the process for applying to move in during the summer quarter (during which our school year begins), and any special costs or requirements for moving in on your particular move-in date.
CTS & University of Chicago Graduate Student Housing
One of your many options for housing in the area around Chicago Theological Seminary is the University of Chicago’s Residential Services. CTS has a lease agreement with the University of Chicago (U of C) that allows CTS students to apply for its graduate student housing. Through this agreement with the U of C, CTS students are considered for university housing alongside U of C students. The main difference is that the application process for CTS students goes through the CTS Finance Office and is thus different from the process explained on the U of C Residential Services website: http://rs.uchicago.edu. Below is more information about applying for U of C housing.
Here are the steps CTS students should follow to apply for U of C housing:
- Download, print, and fill out the application, listing your housing preferences.* The application can be found at http://rs.uchicago.edu/pdf/Printable_Application.pdf. You can also get a hard copy from Ayanna by fax, mail, or in person. Please do not fill out the online application on the University of Chicago website.(In order for CTS students to be eligible for housing, the applications need to come through the CTS Finance Office.) Where the application asks for your graduate school or department, write in “CTS”; you may do the same where it asks for a student ID#.
*Note: The application does not ask for the address of the property you would prefer; instead, it asks for the qualities you are looking for in a property, i.e. # of bedrooms, pet-friendly, parking needs, etc. You are then matched to an apartment based on your stated preferences (see step #5) and availability.
- Return the application and $300 deposit to CTS. Although the application asks that the check be made out to the U of C, please make the deposit check payable to Chicago Theological Seminary.
- We will submit your application to the U of C. Once your application is received by the U of C, you should receive a confirmation email from the Residential Services Office of the U of C.
- The U of C will then assign you an apartment, and communicate that assignment to you by email. Attached to the email will be an offer letter, a lease, and other relevant documents. If pictures of the apartment are available online, a link will be sent to those pictures as well.
- You have 5-7 days to look over the offer and come to a decision. (The due date will be stated in the email/offer letter.) You may request from the U of C an in-person appointment to see the apartment. If you are not able to visit it yourself within the stated timeframe, a CTS staffperson may be able to visit the apartment for you and provide pictures and notes. Please contact Ayanna to make these arrangements.
- You will then accept or decline the assigned apartment. If you decline the apartment, you may request that they assign you a different apartment. (However, there is no guarantee the new assignment will be more in line with your preferences.) If you decline the assigned apartment and decline the opportunity to be reassigned, you may request the return of your $300 check. If you decide to accept the assigned apartment, please follow the remaining steps. (The $300 will be applied to your first month’s rent.)
- If possible, print and bring the lease to the CTS Finance Office.* You will complete and sign the attached lease for the apartment as the “Tenant” only; a CTS administrator will sign the lease as the primary leaseholder. (Be sure to complete any Resident Information forms with your own email address and the phone number you will use in Chicago; future communications will come to that contact information.) The Finance Office will submit the signed lease forms to the U of C for you.
- You will then sign a sub-lease agreement with CTS.* (see above note in step #8)
- Once the U of C receives the signed lease documents, they will send you an email with your copy of the signed documents as well as the amount of rent owed for the current month. This amount should account for the $300 deposit. Please see Michele with any questions about this amount; she will have received a copy of the same email.
- The U of C will send an additional email that will include instructions on moving into your apartment as well as the amount of rent due based on the number of days in the first month you will live in the apartment. (This amount will NOT reflect the $300 deposit.)
- Once you move in to your apartment, you will send your rent payments directly to CTS. You may receive an automatically generated email inviting you to pay your rent online through Net Pay. Please do not use this online system; per our lease agreement, CTS students must pay their rent directly to CTS. Michele will issue monthly bills that will show the amount of rent due; payments may be made in the Finance Office. (Failure to pay rent on time will result in the same consequences as late tuition payments, i.e. late fees, inability to register for next semester’s classes, etc.)
- The University of Chicago will contact both you and CTS in May of next year, giving continuing students the option to renew their leases for the next school year. See Michele in the Finance Office to renew your lease.
If you have questions about this process, please contact the Director of Community Life, Ayanna Johnson, or the Controller, Michele Carr, at the contact information below:
Ayanna Johnson, Director of Community Life
Michele Carr, Controller
Area Seminary & Denominational Housing
The Disciples Divinity House* 1156 E. 57th St.
The Disciples Divinity House (DDH) is a scholarship foundation and residence affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination. In cooperation with the University of Chicago, it provides housing for Disciples students. However, any remaining housing is open to community members, including CTS students. DDH has dorm-style single rooms, with shared bathrooms and other communal amenities. Rent is charged on a quarterly basis, and rooms are available primarily for the academic year only. To inquire about living at DDH, please call 773-643-4411 or apply through their website: http://ddh.uchicago.edu/resources/ecumenical.shtml.
The Lutheran School of Chicago Various locations, near 54th & University
LSTC housing, after offering priority to its own students, is available to any ACTS (Association of Chicago Theological Schools) student, including CTS students. Located in the northwest part of Hyde Park, LSTC has 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments available, and many students share apartments. (You are responsible for finding your own roommate; LSTC does not assign roommates.) For rental rates and more information, please contact Paul Knutson, Facilities Operations Manager, at 773-256-0771 or see their website: http://www.lstc.edu/life/community/housing/.
Brent House* 5540 S. Woodlawn Ave.
While individual housing options may work for some, others may want to try communal living opportunities. These are much like DDH or I-House, but are typically run by independent housing cooperatives. In addition to having shared living spaces, they often share communal meals, create communal rules, and make decisions as a community. See these options below:
Qumbya Housing Cooperative Various locations
Qumbya is a cooperative with three houses, Bowers, Concord, and Haymarket, all located in Hyde Park. You must apply to each house separately, but you may apply to all three. Generally, residents have individual bedrooms and share common bathroom, kitchen, and living spaces. For more information or to apply, see: http://qumbya.com/.
Covenantal Community Housing Cooperative 6101 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Marketplace, a classified ads website run by the Student Government at the University of Chicago. Has postings offering apartments, cars, furniture, and other items and services.
Internet apartment search engines such as: www.apartments.com, www.craigslist.com, etc. Remember to pay more attention to street address than stated neighborhood on these sites; neighborhood names are often used loosely. Be sure to get a street address to get the best idea of an apartment’s location in relation to CTS.
And finally, Moodle: Be sure to use the “Housing” forum on the Orientation Moodle site to discuss housing options and finds with other incoming students. Word of mouth still works.
Guest Housing Options: Bed & Breakfasts
Hyde Park and Woodlawn do not have many traditional hotels. However, there are several bed and breakfasts in the area, offering sleeping accommodations and at least one daily meal. These can be helpful for family or friends coming to help you move in or for your guests anytime during the year. Listed below are a few options.
Abode House: A Hyde Park Bed & Breakfast
5412 S Blackstone Ave
$200/night per suite; $600/night for Main House.
Each will sleep 2 to 6.
Beadle Inn: A Hyde Park Bed & Breakfast
5140 South Kenwood Avenue
Regular rates: $145-265
15% discounts for clergy; discounts for stays of 7+ days
Welcome Inn Manor: A Bronzeville Bed & Breakfast
4563 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653
5% clergy discount; 10% student discount