Residential Life at CTS
Chicago Theological Seminary is located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. It is a much sought after neighborhood, which includes the homes of many notable Chicagoans, including President Barack Obama. Hyde Park is also the home of the University of Chicago, as well as several seminaries that are a part of the ACTS (Association of Chicago Theological Schools) Cluster. There is a quaint downtown area and numerous trendy shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and markets. It’s central location means that it is also well service 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. Rental charges for those who choose this option are billed directly from CTS and paid to CTS. Apartments ranging from studio to 2 bedrooms are typically available. Individuals, families, and students wanting to share an apartment are welcome. A significant 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: In addition to University Housing 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 to CTS. Some of the ACTS Cluster Seminaries offer housing to CTS students, as well. Unlike University Housing, you will need to apply to these independently and will pay rent directly to their housing office. As in most urban areas, landlords will typically require a security deposit equivalent to first and last month’s rent. Rental rates vary greatly depending on location, amenities and size. Please be sure to ask each housing provider what the upfront costs are and which fees, if any, are refundable. Parking may or may not be include, so if you are planning to have a car, be sure to inquire about parking availability and costs. Many area apartments and houses are serviced by public transportation such as CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) buses and trains or Metra (commuter rail that stops only a few short blocks from CTS), as well as FREE University campus buses. Maps, routes, and schedules, are available in the Office of Community Life and at: www.transitchicago.com, http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home.html and http://bus.uchicago.edu.
CTS & University of Chicago Graduate Student Housing
One of your many options for housing in the area around Chicago Theological Seminary is the University of Chicago’s Residential Services. 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. Through this agreement with the U of C, CTS students are considered for university housing alongside U of C students. Rental charges for those who choose this option are billed directly from CTS and paid to CTS. Apartments ranging from studio to 2 bedrooms are typically available. Individuals, families, and students wanting to share an apartment are welcome. A significant benefit to this housing is that it does not require the typical sizable deposits or fees of other apartments, only a $200 application fee. Students who wish to apply for university housing must do so through the CTS Finance Office and not the University of Chicago Residential Service.
Here are the steps CTS students should follow to apply for U of C housing:
- Download, print, and fill out the application, listing your housing preferences. * The application can be found at on the CTS website at (insert hyperlink). You can also get a hard copy from the Director of Community Life, Lisa Goods by fax, mail, or in person. Please do not fill out the online application on the University of Chicago website. (In order for CTS students to be eligible for housing, the applications need to come through the CTS Finance Office.) Where the application asks for your graduate school or department, write in “CTS”; you should do the same where it asks for a student ID#.
*Note: The application does not ask for the address of the property you would prefer; instead, it asks for the qualities you are looking for in a property, i.e. # of bedrooms, pet-friendly, parking needs, etc. You are then matched to an apartment based on your stated preferences (see step #5) and availability.
- Return the application and $200 application fee to CTS. Although the application asks that the check be made out to the University of Chicago, please make the deposit check payable to Chicago Theological Seminary, NOT THE UNIVESITY OF CHICAGO.
- The U of C will then assign you an apartment, and communicate that assignment to you by email. Attached to the email will be an offer letter, a lease, and other relevant documents. If pictures of the apartment are available online, a link will be sent to those pictures as well.
- You will then accept or decline the assigned apartment. If you decline the apartment, you may request that they assign you a different apartment. (However, there is no guarantee the new assignment will be more in line with your preferences.) If you decline the assigned apartment and decline the opportunity to be reassigned, you may request a refund of your $200 housing application fee. Please note that it can take up to 30 days to receive your refund. If you decide to accept the assigned apartment, please follow the remaining steps.
- If possible, print and bring the lease to the CTS Finance Office. * You will complete and sign the attached lease for the apartment as the “Tenant” only; a CTS administrator will sign the lease as the primary leaseholder. (Be sure to complete any Resident Information forms with your own email address and the phone number you will use in Chicago; future communications will come to that contact information.) The Finance Office will submit the signed lease agreement and related forms to the University of Chicago for you.
- You will then sign a sub-lease agreement with CTS. * (See above note in step #8)
- Once the U of C receives the signed lease documents, they will send you an email with your copy of the signed documents as well as the amount of rent owed for the current month. Please see CTS Controller, Michele Carr with any questions about this amount.
- The U of C will send an additional email that will include instructions on moving into your apartment as well as the amount of rent due based on the number of days in the first month you will live in the apartment.
- Once you move in to your apartment, you will send your rent payments directly to CTS. You may receive an automatically generated email inviting you to pay your rent online through Net Pay. Please do not use the Net Pay online system; per our lease agreement, CTS students MUST pay their rent directly to CTS. Michele will issue monthly bills that will show the amount of rent due; payments may be made in the Finance Office. (Failure to pay rent on time will result in the same consequences as late tuition payments, i.e. late fees, inability to register for next semester’s classes, etc.)
- The University of Chicago will contact both you and CTS in May of the following year, giving continuing students the option to renew their leases for the next school year. If you wish to renew your lease see Michele Carr in the CTS Finance.
If you have questions about this process, please contact the Director of Community Life, Lisa Goods or the Controller, Michele Carr, at the contact information below:
Rev. Lisa Goods, Director of Community Life
Michele Carr, Controller
Apartment Location Services:
Web-based search engines:
Area School & Church Related Housing
The Disciples Divinity House* 1156 E. 57th St.
The Disciples Divinity House (DDH) is a scholarship foundation and residence affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination. In cooperation with the University of Chicago, it provides housing for Disciples students. However, any remaining housing is open to community members, including CTS students. DDH has dorm-style single rooms, with shared bathrooms and other communal amenities. Rent is charged on a quarterly basis, and rooms are available primarily for the academic year only. To inquire about living at DDH, please call 773-643-4411 or apply through their website: http://ddh.uchicago.edu/resources/ecumenical.shtml.
The Lutheran School of Chicago Various locations, near 54th & University
LSTC housing, after offering priority to its own students, is available to any ACTS (Association of Chicago Theological Schools) student, including CTS students. Located in the northwest part of Hyde Park, LSTC has 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments available, and many students share apartments. (You are responsible for finding your own roommate; LSTC does not assign roommates.) For rental rates and more information, please contact Paul Knutson, Facilities Operations Manager, at 773-256-0771 or see their website: http://www.lstc.edu/life/community/housing/.
Brent House* 5540 S. Woodlawn Ave.
While individual housing options may work for some, others may want to try communal living opportunities. These are much like DDH or I-House, but are typically run by independent housing cooperatives. In addition to having shared living spaces, they often share communal meals, create communal rules, and make decisions as a community. See these options below:
Qumbya Housing Cooperative Various locations
Qumbya is a cooperative with three houses, Bowers, Concord, and Haymarket, all located in Hyde Park. You must apply to each house separately, but you may apply to all three. Generally, residents have individual bedrooms and share common bathroom, kitchen, and living spaces. For more information or to apply, see: http://qumbya.com/.
Covenantal Community Housing Cooperative 6101 S. Woodlawn Ave.
The International House at the University of Chicago* 1414 E. 59th St.
Just across a wide parkway from CTS is the International House (I-House). I-House is a program center and residence that’s part of a national network dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and relationship. It is not a part of the University’s Graduate Student Housing, but is open to CTS students. I-House has dorm-style single rooms, with shared bathroom accommodations and other communal amenities. I-House has its own application process, which can be accessed through their website: http://ihouse.uchicago.edu/residency/. It is important to note that housing at I-House operates on a quarterly schedule (as does the University of Chicago) instead of on semesters (as CTS does), and likewise prices its rooms on a quarterly basis. Please be sure to inquire about the process for applying to move in during the summer quarter (during which our school year begins), and any special costs or requirements for moving in on your particular move-in date.
Student-to-Student Housing Form
For those seeking temporary or commuter housing (i.e. for a J-term course), Community Life is happy to connect students who live nearby and are willing to offer affordable temporary housing with CTS students who are traveling to campus to take classes and are interesting in staying with local CTS students. If you are interested in participating in this exchange, please fill out the student housing form.