Student Life

CTS is not just a seminary, it is a community – a living, breathing, organic community. Whether you join a student organization, attend a worship service, share a post or encourage a classmate, community life is a major part of the CTS experience.

On campus or online, community life is where learning intersects with living. It is where faith begins to shape into praxis. The CTS experience is more than academic, it is the relationships we build with one another and how we learn from each other.

Beyond the classroom, our students meet, bond, challenge, and grow with one another at a number of intersections. Weekly Chapel Services. Lectures. Special events and conferences. Fall and Spring Fest. Community Lunch. Online Worship. Town Hall Meetings. Fireside Chats. Online chat rooms where the entire community can exchange ideas and concerns.

Housing:

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 sizable 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 housing@ctschicago.edu.

Student Organizations:

Each student brings their own passions and experiences to the Seminary. There are several organizations and programs to meet your needs and interests. Here is a list of active groups;

  • Bayard Rustin Society: Seeks to serve the unique needs of Black LGBTQ students.
  • Charles Shelby Rooks Society: The Rooks Society celebrates diasporic ties to Africa, academic excellence, cultural, community, spiritual and social cognizance, and activism.
  • Business of Ministry Action Plan: Business of Ministry Action Plan seeks to help students build a foundation for business success in ministry.
  • Deirdre Jackson & DeMarcus Jones Center for Hip-Hop Thought & Activism: To use Hip-Hop music and culture as a source of intellectual reflection, engagement, civic participation, and resistance.
  • Heyward-Boswell Society: Serves as the outreach and support group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community and their supporters at CTS.
  • International Student Organization (ISO): Mission is to build religious leadership from the multi-diverse cultural and denominational perspectives, nurturing a global understanding.
  • PhD Student Association: Fosters a community of learning among Doctoral students.
  • Student Government: Consists of elected representatives of the student body who serve as liaisons and advocates to the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees.

Community Chapel/Spiritual Life:

Worship is central to community life and spiritual formation at CTS. Through worship, we encounter the divine and celebrate the many gifts we have each been given. Community Chapel happens every Wednesday at noon (Central Time) in the 4th floor Main Chapel during the Fall and Spring semesters. Chapel services are streamed and archived to allow our online and evening students to participate in the experience.

We are intentional about making our Chapel as diverse and different as our community. Worship at CTS is a collaborative effort of students, faculty, and staff. While one service might be a formal academic convocation, another might be a traditional African American or Latin service, another might be an interfaith worship including elements from Islam, Judaism, and other religions.

In addition to Wednesday Chapel, there is a Pastoral Care Team that provides spiritual care and support to the CTS community. This team is comprised of both local and online alums who serve as a first response for all in need of pastoral counseling and care. The Pastoral Care Team also facilitates vocational discernment workshops in the fall and spring semesters.

Lapp Learning Commons:

Research is a critical part of your graduate school experience. That’s why CTS has amassed one of the finest libraries and literary collections anywhere. What’s more, you have access to the collections at a number of other ACTS resources. Click here for more information on the Learning Commons and other research resources available to the CTS Community.

Language & Writing Center:

Another benefit CTS offers students is our Language & Writing Center. This is a free program set up to help, support or tutor students in academic writing. So, if you have been away from school for a while or just would like someone to look over your work, we have you covered. This is especially beneficial for students whose first language is not English and may want a little extra help.

Click here for more information: https://libguides.ctschicago.edu/writingcenter

Anti-Harassment/Anti-Discrimination

General Policy Statement and Notice of Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment

Chicago Theological Seminary is committed to fostering the full humanity of all its members. All forms of discrimination and harassment impugn the full humanity of any human being and for this reason, are not tolerated in this Seminary. Chicago Theological Seminary does not discriminate, or tolerate discrimination or harassment, against any member of its community on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex/gender, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state, or local law in matters of employment or admissions or in any aspect of the educational programs or activities it offers. Click here to be taken to the full policy and see members of the Anti-Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Task Force.