International Students

A world-renowned leader in progressive theology, CTS has always been attractive to students from outside the US. We celebrate the contributions international students bring to the vibrant diversity of our community and welcome you to apply to our programs!

In order to ensure a smooth transition to the learning environment, you should plan to begin your studies in the Fall Term. Transcripts written in a language other than English should be accompanied by a notarized translation. In addition to the general admissions application materials, international students who are non-native English speakers are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination score. Scores must be at or above 550 paper, 217 computer, or 81 on the Internet-based exams. The exam should be completed no more than two years prior to application. For some degree programs, the TOEFL requirement may be waived if the applicant has completed another degree, in English, in the United States. (TOEFL code: 1120)

Applicants may opt out of the TOEFL exam and complete the Duolingo English Proficiency Test. Minimum test score for Duolingo is 120.

Another benefit CTS offers international students is our Language & Writing Center. This is a free program set up to help, support or tutor students in academic writing. This is especially beneficial for students whose first language is not English and may want a little extra help.

I-20 forms are not issued until after an international student is admitted. If admitted, the admissions letter packet will include a CTS International Student I-20 Application and an estimate of the cost of attendance for the appropriate degree program. The form will explain the financial documentation requirements for the issuance of the I-20 by the seminary.

For more information regarding application as an international student, please contact Ruy DeMagalhães-Ortegano, Financial Aid Coordinator, at [email protected] or 773.896.2412.


The CTS campus is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It is a desirable, racially-diverse neighborhood, which includes the homes of many notable Chicagoans, including President Barack Obama. Hyde Park is also the home of the University of Chicago. There is a quaint downtown area with trendy shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and markets. Its central location means that it is also well serviced by public transportation. A community imbued with culture, you are just steps away from wonderful museums such as The Oriental Institute, The DuSable Museum of African American History, and The Museum of Science and Industry. And let’s not forget the beauty of Lake Michigan, 57th Street Beach and the view of Chicago’s iconic skyline from Lake Shore Drive, all of which are just steps away from CTS. Also, bordering the historic Woodlawn neighborhood, CTS is not only centrally located but resides within a community rich in both cultural diversity and diverse housing options.

CTS does not maintain its own residence hall: Each student is responsible for finding, applying for, and securing her/his own housing. However, for the convenience of our students, CTS has entered into an agreement with the University of Chicago which affords CTS students the opportunity to reside in University of Chicago graduate residences. Apartments ranging from studio to 2 bedrooms are typically available. Individuals, families, and students wanting to share an apartment are welcome. A benefit to this housing is that it does not require the typical sizeable deposits or fees of other apartments, only a $200 application fee which is refundable should you not secure suitable housing. For more information about how to apply for this housing, see our information brochure: “CTS & University of Chicago Graduate Student Housing.”

Other Housing Options: There are a plethora of wonderful rental opportunities in the communities surrounding CTS. Because this is an area in high demand, we suggest you begin your housing search soon after your acceptance. Some of the ACTS Cluster Seminaries offer housing to CTS students, as well. A list of other housing options and resources can be found here.

For more housing information, including temporary housing, please send an email to [email protected].