Costs & Financial Aid

As you consider theological education, a couple of common questions are “How much is it going to cost?” and “How am I going to pay for it?” CTS is delighted to provide financial support to many qualified students. A variety of scholarships, fellowships, and grants are available, as well as federal student loans. This page will help you answer some of the most common questions regarding cost and financial aid here at CTS. For more specific questions, please contact Elder LaJeanne Grinnage, our Student Success Specialist, at lajeanne.grinnage@ctschicago.edu or 773.896.2412.

APPLICATION FEE:

A non-refundable $50 application fee is required of all online applicants. Persons serving as volunteers, team members, Corp members, staff and alums of the AmeriCorps, City Year, Peace Corps, and VISTA are eligible for an application fee waiver. Applicants must provide proof of affiliation in order to utilize the fee waiver option.

SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS & AWARDS:

CTS provides significant financial support to qualified students thanks to the generosity of donors. To be considered for financial aid, students must complete and submit the appropriate CTS Scholarship Application no later than the priority deadline (February 15th). U.S. citizens and permanent residents must also file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by March 1st.  The CTS school code for the FAFSA submittal is G01661.

  • Need-Based Grants: Tuition assistance is available to master’s level students and international students on a yearly basis. The amount of the award is based upon financial need as assessed by the FAFSA and the CTS Scholarship Application. Students must re-apply for need-based grants each year.
  • Merit Scholarships: Each year competitive scholarships are awarded to entering students with outstanding educational preparation as well as promise for transformative leadership. Merit Scholarships range from 50% to 100% of the cost of tuition and extend through the completion of the degree program.
  • Named Scholarships: CTS donors fund a number of scholarships that provide substantial financial support to students across degree programs. Scholarships include:
    • The Reverend Abraham Kahikina Akaka Scholarship: Recognizing Rev. Akaka’s religious leadership and community involvement, this scholarship provides significant tuition assistance to a Hawaiian student or a student from Asia.
    • American Baptist College Scholarship: This scholarship offers 30% tuition assistance for all ABC students admitted to a master’s degree program. Additional Merit Scholarship may also be awarded.
    • InterFaith Youth Core Scholarship: Each year this scholarship provides full tuition assistance to one IFYC alumnus/a and guaranteed 50% tuition assistance to all other IFYC alumni/ae in master’s programs.
    • The Rev. Dr. Robert G. Kemper Legacy Scholarship: Honoring the ministerial leadership of Rev. Dr. Kemper at First Congregational Church of Western Springs, Illinois, this scholarship provides full tuition assistance to a student who shows outstanding promise for parish ministry.
    • Morgan Ebling Scholarship: Honoring the legacy of Ms. Ebling, this scholarship provides significant tuition assistance to female students who demonstrate a commitment to community activism and networking.
    • National Baptist Convention of America Scholarship: This scholarship offers 30% tuition assistance for one NBCA member admitted to a master’s degree program. Additional Merit Scholarship may also be awarded.
    • The William and Lucille Nickerson Scholarship: Offered in memory of the parents of former trustee, Mr. Robert Nickerson, this scholarship provides significant tuition assistants to multiple students each year based on academic merit and financial need.
    • The Muriel I. Olsen Scholarship: Celebrating the life of Ms. Olsen, this scholarship provides significant tuition assistance to female students who demonstrate potential for congregational ministry.
    • St. John’s, Immanuel, and Peace United Church of Christ Scholarship: After the merger of three congregations, Faith Community Church of Bensonville, Illinois, established this scholarship to provide full tuition assistance for a United Church of Christ student.
    • St. Paul’s Good Shepherd United Protestant Church Educational Scholarship: Recognizing the history of this congregation, the scholarship provides significant tuition assistance to a student showing exemplary work in academic studies and ministry.
    • The Reverend Doctor Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Legacy Scholarship: Wanting to celebrate the distinguished ministry of Rev. Dr. Wright, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago endowed this scholarship to provide full tuition assistance for multiple students. Special priority is given to students recommended by the Trinity UCC Minister in Training program and Scholarship Committees.  Additional consideration is given to students whose professional aims include ministries in African American communities, urban ministries, rural ministries, or ministries in Africa.  Additional special consideration will be given to women.
  • Named Awards: Throughout the year CTS recognizes the scholarship, activism, and ministry of students. Currently, three awards are presented for student achievement.
    • C. Shelby Rooks Scholarship Award: Each October, the seminary recognizes the achievement of students in the areas of African American religious studies, activism, and ministry.
    • Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman Religious Leadership Award: Each fall, the InterReligious Institute recognizes the leadership and activism of students engaged in interreligious initiatives.
    • G. Campbell Morgan Preaching Award: Each March, the seminary recognizes students who exhibit exemplary skills in preaching and homiletics.
    • Gilberto Castañeda Lecture Award: Each May, the seminary recognizes the achievement of students in the areas LGBTQ advocacy, academics, and ministry.
  • PhD Tuition Fellowships: CTS awards a number of tuition fellowships to PhD students who demonstrate academic excellence.
  • Other Scholarship Opportunities: Many of our students fund their studies through additional resources. Please contact LaJeanne Grinnage, Student Success Specialist, to discuss additional funding opportunities and scholarships. These sources may include:

FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM:

CTS participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program. These low interest student loans from the US Department of Education are available to eligible US residents who are enrolled at least half time in a degree program. If you would like to apply for a Federal Student Loan, please view the fact sheet below or contact the Financial Aid Office.

How to Get a Student Loan Fact Sheet

CTS Return to Title IV Policy (R2T4)

CTS Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy