In January 2012, Chicago Theological Seminary moved into its new, state-of-the-art building at 60th and Dorchester Ave., bordering the University of Chicago. This environmentally-friendly, architectural marvel is the centerpiece of our campus.
Building Design and Features
Our LEED-Gold certified facility was designed with staunch commitments to environmental sustainability. In step with the forward-looking mission of the seminary, the building has also been designed with an eye to accessibility and flexibility, academic excellence and mutual learning, and engagement with the world beyond our walls.
The Seminary’s new building is located at 1407 E. 60th Street. It is LEED Gold-certified and fully ADA accessible. Its features include:
- Four floors and 80,000 square feet of floor space
- Technologically-enhanced classrooms, including 4 classrooms seating between 30 and 130, 6 seminar/breakout rooms, and a learning commons and library
- Glass-enclosed chapel with seating for 300
- Small chapel and Meditation room
- Kitchen and dining area
- Student and faculty reading rooms
- 5,000-square-foot green roof
- Faculty and Administrative offices, with a Student Services cluster
The new building has been designed to meet LEED Gold-Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED-Gold certified buildings are intended to:
- Reduce waste sent to landfills.
- Conserve energy and water.
- Be healthier and safer for occupants.
- Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
- Lower operating costs and increase asset value. (from usgbc.org)
Among the building’s sustainability features is its 5,000-square-foot green roof, which will reduce the building’s heat island effect and reduce storm water runoff while providing a vegetated outdoor landscape for students. It absorbs both heat and carbon dioxide, reducing the building’s environmental footprint. Just as important, however, is the green roof ’s symbolic presence and its communication of the Seminary’s commitment to sustainable technologies.
Construction of the new CTS facility is a partnership between the University of Chicago and Chicago Theological Seminary. In May 2008, University of Chicago Board of Trustees Executive Committee authorized the purchase of two Chicago Theological Seminary buildings and an adjacent parking lot. Additionally, the University of Chicago agreed to construct a new seminary building at 60th Street and Dorchester Avenue.
The guiding principles of design were as follows:
- Express CTS as a religious institution rooted in its past and forward-thinking in its mission
- Assimilate iconic elements of CTS’ past within the framework of the Next
- Claim an independent presence while being a good neighbor on the Midway
- Express a sense of rootedness, yet also a light and transparent character that is welcoming and engaging with its community
- Feature sustainable design with a goal of LEED Gold-Certification
The building has a concrete core with brick and metal siding facings. While generally rectangular in shape, the building is energized by a series of circles that cut across each floor. The circle becomes visible on the fourth floor as the glass curtainwall in which the main chapel and dining room are housed. The warmth of wood and solidity of stone enhance these crucial public spaces as ceiling and floor, respectively.
New Building Initiative
The New Building Initiative is a special campaign to celebrate our new home and to position the Seminary for a bold and transformative role at the forefront of theological education. We continue to need your support.
Gifts given to CTS’s New Building Initiative support:
-Religious leadership. Your gift supports the education of courageous, visionary and compassionate religious leaders who will seed hope, challenge hypocrisy, and transform the world toward greater justice and mercy.
-Leading edge scholarship. Donations support an outstanding faculty, five CTS Centers, and continuing education programs that encourage interpreting the church’s traditions for relevance in today’s world.
-Responsive, innovative curriculum. CTS is aggressively expanding its online course offerings. Your gift supports programs that reach out to communities that lack educational opportunities.
-Progressive Christianity. Since its founding, CTS has helped expand the scope and widen the embrace of progressive Christianity. Our ecumenical community continues to cross disciplines, boundaries and interfaith borders.
You can support the New Building Initiative several ways:
- Online – Using our online donation form. Donations are processed through PayPal, but it is not necessary to have a PayPal account.
- By Mail or Fax – Print and complete this donation form and return it with your gift to:
Chicago Theological Seminary
1407 E. 60th St.
Chicago, Illinois 60637
- Call Us – Contact the Development staff at CTS by calling 773.896.2430 to discuss a gift.
Naming opportunities in the new building.
There are naming and recognition opportunities in the new building available to donors at multiple levels. We offer these opportunities so that all those who pass through our doors may bear witness and draw strength from your faith and support. Remember, all gifts matter and are appreciated. Please give as you are able.
Naming Opportunities are also available for rooms and areas throughout the new building.
|Naming and Recognition Opportunities||Gift Level|
|Bench in Garden Area||$ 7,500|
|Painting/Artwork Space||$ 10,000|
|Third Floor Small Living Room (near kitchen)||$ 25,000|
|Meditation Area on Second Floor||$ 25,000|
|Small Second Floor Reading Room||$ 25,000|
|Large Third Floor Reading Room*||$ 50,000|
|Seminar Room Space||$ 50,000|
|Major Wall Space||$ 50,000|
|Medium Classroom Space||$ 75,000|
|Third Floor Study Area (with scenic view)||$ 120,000|
|Green Roof Garden South||$ 120,000|
|Green Roof Garden North||$ 120,000|
|Large Classroom Space||$ 100,000|
|East Garden||$ 500,000|
|First Floor North Lobby||$ 500,000|
|Fourth Floor Dining Area||$ 500,000|
|Fourth Floor Chapel||$1,500,000|
The Clark Gift
On Feb. 9, 2011, President Alice Hunt announced that Don and Ellen Clark have committed an unrestricted $1 million gift to Chicago Theological Seminary. It stands as the largest unrestricted cash gift in the 155-year history of the Seminary.
Don Clark, Chair of the Board of Trustees, spoke to the community about the decision to give. "We did not want to be content with CTS's past. And we did not want to take comfort in the mere notion of CTS's future. We decided that what we do today is very important. Actions taken today can have magnified meaning for CTS and the world....This is the day that the Lord has made."
President Hunt added, "I am truly humbled, as I know we all are, by Don and Ellen's tremendous generosity. I could not have asked for a better partner in leading this seminary at this time." The CTS community, gathered for Convocation, responded to the announcement with three standing ovations. After the ceremony, students, faculty, staff and visitors, led by Vice President of Development Chris Dorsey and Trustee Susan MacLean, toasted the Seminary's future.
The $1 million gift will kick off an additional $1 million fundraising initiative to help position CTS for a bold and transformative role at the forefront of theological education. Later this year, CTS will transition to a new, 80,000-square-foot-facility at the corner of 60th and Dorchester Avenue in Chicago’s Woodlawn-Hyde Park neighborhoods. CTS will dedicate the LEED Gold-certified facility in a multi-day celebration October 20-23, 2011.
Don Clark's Board leadership oversaw the appointment of Alice Hunt as CTS president, as well as the construction of the new building. He serves as Nationwide Special Counsel for the UCC. His wife, Ellen, is Director of the Wilmette Public Library and daughter of retired UCC minister the Rev. T. Thomas Boates, Jr. and his wife Barbara.
Read the press release.
News and Archive
"CTS Dedicates New, LEED-Certified Building" by Gregg Brekke, UCC News, Oct. 25, 2011
"New Building Dedication" Press Release, Chicago Theological Seminary, October 4, 2011
"New $30 million CTS building on course for October dedication", by Jeff Woodard, United Church of Christ News Service, May 2, 2011
“CTS gets green roof with stimulus funding: A $50,000 grant for a green roof will help the Chicago Theological Seminary earn its mandatory LEED certification”, by Ben Pokross, Chicago Maroon, February 22, 2011
"$50,000 ARRA grant will help fund green roof on new Seminary building", by Steve Koppes, The University of Chicago News Office, February 11, 2011
“UCC-related Chicago Theological Seminary receives $1 million gift from Don and Ellen Clark to inspire generosity to theological education”, United Church of Christ News Service, February 9, 2011
“New Opportunities, New Obligations”, by Brian Clarke, Tower News, Spring 2010 (PDF)
“A Single Garment of Destiny: Blessing the Grounds,” by Katherine Schofield, Tower News, Fall 2009 (PDF)
“Historic Chicago Theological Seminary Breaks New Ground”, CTS press release, October 9, 2009 (PDF)
“Carrying History into the Future,” by Paul Steinbrecher, Tower News, Spring 2009 (PDF)
“Moving Forward: CTS Plans New Facility” by Chris Marlin-Warfield, Tower News, Fall 2008 (PDF)