Our mission is to educate and inspire the next generation of religious leadership. As a historically Protestant and now multifaith seminary, our vision is to build the beloved community together.

To work toward this reality, we are guided by a series of intersected ethical and spiritual commitments. At the front of this list are our commitments to racial and social justice, to gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights, and to deep interreligious engagement.

Justice lives here.

Statement of Mission & Commitments

Approved by the CTS Board of Trustees, October 2017; revised February 2024

Chicago Theological Seminary, a graduate school affiliated with the United Church of Christ, serves God, diverse religious and spiritual communities, and the larger world by educating persons theologically and cultivating the intellectual, spiritual, and ethical capacities of lay and ordained religious leaders, scholars, activists, and others who contribute to the increase of justice and mercy.

Guided by the Spirit of the Divine, inspired by ancient and contemporary prophets, sages, and sacred texts, informed by numerous religious and philosophical traditions, and nurtured by faith and culture, we strive to create a sacred learning community that educates for public ministry, based upon the following interwoven commitments:

  • We are committed to a life of mutual teaching and learning, to academic excellence, to open inquiry, and to critical engagement of texts, contexts, and practices in all of our educational programs;
  • We are committed, in a world suffering from spiritual impoverishment, which is characterized by meaninglessness, lovelessness, and hopelessness, to proclaim a message of divine purpose, compassion, and promise;
  • We are committed, in a society structured by white supremacy and racism, to challenge white privilege, to combat the forces of racial division and domination, and to equip leaders who embrace and celebrate racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity;
  • We are committed, in a global context of religious conflicts and a society structured by Christian privilege, to joyous embrace of religious diversity, expanding our ground-breaking work in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Studies to advance understanding and collaboration among the rich multiplicity of spiritual traditions and lifestances;
  • We are committed, in a world governed by sex and gender binaries, to advocate gender justice, to nurture movements for women’s equality, and to liberate humanity from restrictive gender norms;
  • We are committed, in a world governed by the presumption of heterosexual expression, to challenge homophobia, to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other individuals within the spectrum of human sex and sexuality, and to develop leadership to encourage faith communities to become more open and affirming;
  • We are committed, in a world stratified by economic and social class, to challenge the structures that sustain poverty and economic disenfranchisement, and to join the struggle, as companions with the poor, for liberation of all from want, homelessness, hunger, and disease;
  • We are committed, on a fragile planet threatened by pollution and exploitation, to interrogate ecological policies, theologies, and practices, and to challenge materialism and the devaluation of creation; and,
  • We are committed, in recognition that social divisions are local, national, and global, to international collaboration among individuals and institutions with similar commitments to our own.

In all these ways, we embrace not only the rhetoric but the reality of diversity, and recognize the vital intersectionality of our commitments, working together to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. We invite others to join us.