Since its inception, CTS has lived and served on the frontier. Established in the boomtown of Chicago in 1855, the Seminary’s first mission was to train church leaders on what was then America’s western frontier. CTS was originally located on the Chicago’s bustling Westside in what is now the Humboldt Park area. In 1928 the seminary made the historical move to its current location in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago’s Southside.
Throughout its history CTS has been a pioneer in theological education:
- Its very first curriculum in 1885 required students to combine theory and practice, action and reflection by serving in churches and mission settings across the Midwest. In doing so, CTS created the first field education component ever introduced into a seminary curriculum in the US.
- In the early 20th century, CTS professor Graham Taylor established the first distinct department of Christian Sociology in an American theological school. Working closely with Jane Adams, Taylor established the Chicago Commons settlement house and a graduate school of social work, which later became the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration.
- CTS faculty member Anton Boisen worked to equip a group of CTS students to minister more effectively to the physically, mentally and emotionally ill. These experiences would later lead to the founding of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) in 1930.
- In launching a Doctorate of Religion program in 1965, CTS became one of the first seminaries to establish a professional doctorate in ministry. It was one of the initial group of six schools to have fully accredited programs of study for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
In addition to being a pioneer in theological education, a commitment to social justice and societal transformation has been a hallmark of CTS:
- CTS faculty and students participated in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad prior to the Civil War.
- As immigration increased on the frontier, CTS led the charge for being relevant and inclusive by having theology and Bible courses taught in other languages.
- In 1902 CTS graduated Florence Fensham, one of the very first women in the US to prepare for ordination by receiving a Bachelor of Divinity degree.
- During the 1960s, CTS students and faculty were involved various activities and efforts to advance the cause of Civil Rights.
ATS Member Status: Accredited
5757 South University Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Alice W. Hunt, President Ph: 773-322-0223
Kenneth A. Stone, Academic Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ph: 773-322-0239
Denomination: United Church of Christ
Fall 2010 Data:
Enrollment: 225 (138.8 FTE)
Faculty Full-Time: 15
Faculty Part-Time: 8
Approved Degrees: MDiv, MA in Religious Leadership, MA (Religious Studies), DMin, STM, PhD
Comprehensive distance education program: no
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