Catholic Theological Union

After the close of the Second Vatican Council, three religious orders in Chicago, Illinois decided to close their individual seminaries and to create a seminary that would be based on a model of collaboration wherein all resources, libraries, professors, staffs, and finances would be shared.

ctuTo enable their future priests to learn in an ever-changing and diverse world, they moved from their rural settings to an urban center – Hyde Park. To heighten the academic training of these seminarians, they moved near a major university (University of Chicago).  And to ensure that a spirit of ecumenism would be a part of the students’ formation, they became neighbor to other seminaries.  Such an experiment had never before been undertaken, but they believed they could create a new way of training men for the priesthood.


It would not take long, only a few years, in fact, for CTU to open its doors to lay students.  Almost since its founding, lay men and women, religious sisters and brothers, and seminarians have studied alongside one another, preparing to serve God’s people.

CTU has grown to be the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry in North America.  Students from all over the world, of every age and vocation, study together.  They learn about the Catholic faith as well as how to dialogue with other Abrahamic faith traditions – Protestant, Jewish and Muslim.

Today, there are 24 religious orders who send students to CTU. In fact,sems one in every six religious order priests in the United States is a CTU graduate.  In any given academic year, there are a few hundred lay students from the United States and many countries throughout the world preparing at CTU. With nearly 4,000 graduates serving in the United States and in 65 countries worldwide, CTU has brought, and will continue to bring, God’s hope and love where it is most needed. 

With a distinguished and world-renowned faculty, CTU is a place where students are challenged, mentored and prepared for whatever they are called to do next with their lives.