Guidelines and requirements

Admissions

Join with students from all walks of life and corners of the globe who flourish in the richness of the Roman Catholic tradition, teaching, and practice that is at the core of our mission. Academic programs at CTU are open to all qualified students who wish to prepare for ministry or desire to study theology for personal or professional growth.

Application Process

Applying to CTU involves three steps:

  1. Read the general admissions guidelines and application requirements
  2. Complete and submit the online application*
  3. Send supporting documents to CTU (transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statement).

We would like your application to CTU to be as seamless and simple as possible. Therefore, please review all information carefully.
*The online application for admission is for continuing education, certificate, and masters-level programs only. E. Dmin app contact edmin@ctu.edu 

General Admission Guidelines

  • CTU operates on a rolling admissions basis and enrolls students four times a year:
    • Fall semester (September-December)
    • Spring semester (January-April)
    • May term
    • Summer Institute (a three-week program in June)

    Students are encouraged to apply early so that there is adequate time for admissions processing, academic advising, financial aid counseling, etc.

  • As a graduate school of theology and ministry, CTU requires a bachelor’s degree for admission. Students may be admitted to CTU without a bachelor’s degree if they can demonstrate bachelor’s equivalency. Those without a bachelor’s equivalent can petition CTU for special student status (please be advised that accreditation limits the number of special students we can admit).
  • Upon admission, students must provide proof of medical health insurance and be in compliance with immunization requirements of the State of Illinois.
  • CTU reserves the right to require a formal evaluation of applicants and a personal interview with admissions officials.
  • All other materials (e.g., transcripts and reference letters, etc.) may be sent to apply@ctu.edu or by mail: Assistant Director of Admissions, Catholic Theological Union, 5401 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615

Disclaimer

CTU prepares people for service in the Church and society. The good of the Church is the chief criterion for decisions concerning whether or not to accept, advance, and graduate any student in programs preparing people for professional ministry. Thus, CTU reserves the right to accept or reject any applicant, advance or dismiss any student, and recommend or refuse any student for graduation. All such decisions made by CTU are final.

Application Requirements

Continuing Education Applicants – For Audit
Application Requirements Personal Statement Questions (1 page in total length)
(1 page in total length)

Provide an essay (brief autobiography) in which you describe:

  1. Your faith journey.
  2. Why you wish to take continuing education classes at CTU.
  3. Any additional information you would like to share regarding your application.
Continuing Education Applicants – For Credit
Application Requirements Personal Statement Questions (2-3 pages in total length)
  • Application for Admission
  • $55 Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • Personal Statement
  • Transcript(s) which confer a bachelor’s-level degree (or submission of BA equivalency documentation)
  • English proficiency
  • One (1) Reference Letter (reference letter instructions – PDF)
Provide an essay (brief autobiography) in which you describe:

  1. Your faith journey
  2. Your understanding of and participation in:
    • Pastoral ministry
    • Church or faith community
    • People of God
  3. Why you wish to take continuing education classes at CTU.
  4. Whether or not you foresee yourself pursuing a certificate and/or degree program at CTU in the future, and why.
  5. Any additional information you would like to share regarding your application.
Certificate Applicants
Application Requirements Personal Statement Questions (4-5 pages in total length)
  • Application for Admission
  • $55 Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • Personal Statement
  • Transcript(s) which confer a bachelor’s-level degree (or submission of BA equivalency documentation)
  • Transcripts from all college and/or universities attended where academic credit was earned
  • English proficiency
  • Two (2) Reference Letter (reference letter instructions – PDF)
Provide an essay (brief autobiography) in which you describe:

 

Your preparation for theological and ministerial study:

  1. Your faith journey including relationships and personal experiences that have influenced your beliefs.
  2. The ways you nourish yourself spiritually, psychologically, physically, etc. and attend to your overall well-being.

 

Your understanding of theologians and pastoral ministers:

  1. Your understanding of and participation in:
    • Pastoral ministry
    • Church or faith community
    • People of God
  2. What you believe are the most important characteristics, attributes, or qualities of those wishing to provide religious or faith-based leadership.

 

Your hopes for education at Catholic Theological Union:

  1. Why you wish to pursue a certificate at CTU.
  2. How you see yourself using this education to be of service to others.
  3. Any additional information you would like to share regarding your application.
Master’s Degree Applicants
Application Requirements Personal Statement Questions (5-6 pages in total length)
  • Application for Admission
  • $55 Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • Personal Statement
  • Transcript(s) which confer a bachelor’s-level degree (or submission of BA equivalency documentation)
  • Transcripts from all college and/or universities attended where academic credit was earned
  • English proficiency
  • Three (3) Reference Letter (MA in Theology applicants must have at least one academic reference). (reference letter instructions – PDF)
Provide an essay (brief autobiography) in which you describe:

 

Your preparation for theological and ministerial study:

  1. Your faith journey including relationships and personal experiences that have influenced your beliefs.
  2. The ways you nourish yourself spiritually, psychologically, physically, etc. and attend to your overall well-being.

 

Your understanding of theologians and pastoral ministers:

  1. Your understanding of and participation in:
    • Pastoral ministry
    • Church or faith community
    • People of God
  2. What you believe are the most important characteristics, attributes, or qualities of those wishing to provide religious or faith-based leadership.

Your identity as a developing theologian/pastoral minister:

  1. A contemporary issue/s you see as being most important in today’s ministerial and/or theological landscape and how you hope to contribute to dialogue around this topic/s.
  2. Your orientation toward and response to people with ideas, beliefs, traditions, and/or practices different from your own.

 

Your hopes for education at Catholic Theological Union:

  1. Why you wish to pursue a certificate at CTU.
  2. How you see yourself using this education to be of service to others.
  3. Any additional information you would like to share regarding your application.

An applicant seeking admission to CTU who does not have a bachelor’s degree, but who has extensive pastoral leadership experience and has taken several training programs and/or courses at the college level over a period of several years, may apply for an evaluation of BA equivalency.

 

Accreditation standards limit the percentage of students without an undergraduate degree allowed both in admissions to the degree programs and in registrations in courses. A student successfully assessed for the equivalency would be free of those constraints.

 

An evaluation of BA equivalency happens concurrently with CTU’s standard admissions process. Prospective students should complete and submit all paperwork needed as a part of CTU’s standard admissions requirements.

 

In addition to CTU’s standard admissions process, those without a BA who wish to be granted BA equivalency must also provide:

Procedures Outcomes / Skills Demonstrated
1. Copies of educational certificates and/or evaluations received (Archdiocesan/Diocesan programs, Lay Ministry Institutes, Community Organizing Training, Deaconate Formation, etc.) along with official transcripts from colleges and universities attended. The applicant’s ability to engage and dialogue with complex topics, issues, and ideas is demonstrated by grades and cumulative grade point average in transcripts, and successful completion of ongoing/continuing education opportunities.
2. Written description of ministerial roles, such as RCIA Coordinator, Social Justice Advocate, Catechetical Leader, Pastoral Associate and/or other leadership roles. A breadth and depth of professional-level experiences inclusive of leadership, is demonstrated along with communication, problem-solving, interpersonal, and basic computation skills.
3. A letter of recommendation from a Pastor or professional supervisor with whom the applicant has worked. The candidate’s professionalism and his/her professional competencies (e.g., decision-making skills, etc.) are confirmed.
4. A letter of recommendation from a facilitator of the prior educational training which addresses the applicant’s ability to engage in graduate level study for academic pursuits. The candidate’s aptitude for and propensity toward graduate-level study are verified. Competency in bachelors-level work is attested.
5. A five page typed essay addressing the following question: “How has my professional life and experience prepared me for graduate study at CTU?” Ability to express him/herself clearly in writing is demonstrated, including evidence of reflective, critical thinking and analytical skills, development and organization of coherent written thoughts, and adherence to standard grammar, spelling, and syntax.
6. A timeframe when the applicant is available for an interview with the appropriate program director. Ability to express him/herself clearly, process ideas, thoughts, and to analyze well when communicating orally through a verbal expression that is clear, logical, and organized.

If you have questions about demonstrating bachelor’s equivalency, or need more information, please contact:

Office of Enrollment and Management

Phone: 773.371.5451

Email: admissions@ctu.edu

International Students at CTU

CTU welcomes the international student into our diverse community. We look forward to the rich experiences that you bring and contribute to the entire student body, faculty, and staff.

Considering the total cost of studying at CTU is a critical component in the decision to study here. We ask that the applicant allocate enough time between applying to CTU and when he/she wishes to start taking classes at CTU due to the visa application process.The amount of time needed to secure a visa can vary depending upon the applicant’s home country. We recommend applying at least 6 months before an applicant hopes to start classes at CTU. Since communication is also an important part of the admissions process, we ask that you contact the Admissions Office through email (admissions@ctu.edu).

This information is subject to change. For the most current information on student visas visit www.travel.state.gov.

The procedure for obtaining a valid Student Visa (F-1 visa) begins after a student has been admitted and may be a lengthy process. International students wanting to study at CTU must have a valid F-1 Non-Immigrant Student Visa. The student must apply for the visa at his/her U.S. embassy or consulate in their country. In order to apply for the student visa, the student must receive a valid I-20 form from CTU. In order for CTU to give the student an I-20 form, one must be admitted to CTU as a student and must submit to CTU:

 

  • Original Official Affidavit of Financial Support (I-134)
  • Copy of his or her passport ID picture page
  • Copy of visa page, if holding a current visa
  • Official copy of a current bank statement showing funds available,and
  • $2,000 monetary deposit towards his/her enrollment.