Enrich your life of faith

Continuing Education and Formation Programs

Continuing Education is offered at Catholic Theological Union to enhance an understanding of the Catholic faith, to further professional development or to prepare for transition to a new ministry. Catholic Theological Union’s Continuing Education program offers a flexible course of study. Without program requirements, Continuing Education students may choose to audit courses or to take them for credit. Upon admission, you may design an individualized sabbatical with the advisement of the Program Director, take part in formation opportunities throughout the year, choose to study in the Holy Land, audit courses and workshops in the Summer Institute and participate in the Hesburgh Sabbatical Program.


Faith-based formation for leadership

In April 2013, Catholic Theological Union welcomed the first cohort of executives from the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corporation (FSCSC) to a formation program for leadership team. Learn more about Faith-based formation for leadership.

For ministers in the Church, the Hesburgh Sabbatical Program is a curriculum-centered, community-based, holistic sabbatical that fosters both personal and professional renewal and provides continuing formation. Men and women from around the world come to beautiful Chicago for four months – fall or spring semester – to rest, to study, and to share their experiences and learn from others who are in ministry today.


With more than 2,000 alumni, the Hesburgh Sabbatical Program has provided renewal for clergy, religious, and lay ministers for more than 30 years.


The Eucharist is celebrated daily at CTU, and participants are invited to take advantage of the many spiritual traditions in the Archdiocese of Chicago, as well as to engage in spiritual direction and theological reflection.


Sabbatical participants can also audit a course at CTU for free, and will receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Participants who would like to extend their stay are able to take advantage of CTU’s professional ministerial degree programs – the Master of Arts in Biblical Ministry, Hispanic Theology and Ministry, Intercultural Ministry, Justice Ministry, or Liturgy – or continue their studies through CTU’s distance learning opportunities.


Learning modules, presented by members of CTU’s exceptional faculty, provide rich avenues for exploration.


All modules are presented from a pastoral perspective to help participants reflect upon their past ministry experience, while preparing for their next ministry. CTU also offers many scholarly and pastoral programs through the Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry and the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life. Additionally, CTU is the home of the Institute of Religious Formation, the Institute for Sexuality Studies, Religious Formation Conference, and the National Religious Vocation Conference. Events sponsored by these programs is available to Hesburgh participants.


Chicago boasts many exceptional universities, museums, art galleries, theaters, concert halls, and restaurants. World-renowned architecture is part of Chicago’s great legacy, and the city offers 500 parks, 52,000 acres of forest preserves, and 27 continuous miles of beautiful parks and beaches along Lake Michigan. The Hyde Park neighborhood, a culturally diverse section of Chicago in a tranquil lakefront setting, is home to five theology schools and the University of Chicago, which offers additional opportunities for enrichment. This neighborhood is an ideal place for a sabbatical that is both a respite and a time of exploration.

Costs and Application

The tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year will be $10,600.00 per semester, which includes all learning modules as well as room and board (breakfast, lunch and dinner).  If you require a US student visa, please note that there are costs associated with this process, including a SEVIS fee paid to the US government.


About Room and Board

The program is housed in the newly-renovate Residence Hall and Student Center located at 5401 S. Cornell Avenue.  This building was the former Aragon hotel and has now been restored to its classic original architecture with updated modern amenities.

  • Each program participant is provided a spacious private room that is fully funished. Each room has a private bath, a walk-in closet, a telephone, and individually controlled air-conditioning and heat.
  • Bed linens and towels are supplied by the Hesburgh Sabbatical Program and laundered weekly by CTU’s housekeeping staff.
  • Sabbatical participants generally take all of their meals in the CTU cafeteria on the first floor of the Residence Hall.



To apply to the Hesburgh Sabbatical Program, click here  for the application form, and here for the Confidential Recommendation Form.

To view a listing of Open Class Sessions for the 2017-2018 year, click here.

We look forward to you joining us for the Hesburgh Sabbatical Program.

*costs subject to change without notice

Dedicated to preparing men and women for the ministry of formation since 1971, the Institute of Religious Formation offers a comprehensive, spiritual, collaborative, intellectual, and experiential approach to learning, life, and ministry—all focused within the context of formation. The IRF has continually grown and adapted to the needs of the ever-changing world. It is a residential, nine-month program in which participants live in community and share their experiences with fellow ministers from throughout the world, allowing them to experience the global church in a real way.


By living, worshiping, and studying together, participants are able to model and live what is ideal in communities of formation. Through this process, participants develop the needed skills and tools for formation ministry. More than 1700 women and men have studied at the IRF program since its inception.


IRF uses several methods to prepare you for success in your formation ministry, including talks from knowledgeable professionals and ministers, dialogue, experiential intercultural living, self-reflection practices and formal research on current formation issues. Learning outcomes are:

Theological Renewal

Update your current thinking on issues related to Scripture, theology and spirituality.

Skill Development

  • Sharpen your interpersonal skills for formation including listening, interviewing, confronting; explore group dynamics.
  • Gain new insight into the role of formator as a spiritual guide; broaden skill and practice.
  • Hone your understanding of diverse expressions of religious life and the dynamics of intercultural community living and ministry.

Human Development and Growth

  • Broaden your knowledge of the psychological issues potentially encountered in formation and learn how to respond.
  • Expand your personal awareness and comfort level regarding healthy human sexual integration for yourself and those you’ll support in formation.
  • Better understand your role as a formation director in relation to the formation community, community members, superiors, spiritual directors, vocation director and others.


  • Renew your personal spirituality and gain a deeper understanding of your congregation’s charism along with a contemporary understanding of the vows and models for theological reflection.
  • Explore contemporary issues in religious life today, locally and globally.


Make a contribution to your congregation/province formation program by evaluating and/or suggesting new components through research on a specific project.

Costs and Application

Costs (2017-2018):

  • Tuition, room, board and workshop fees total $22,450.
  • This includes tuition and all program costs plus room & board which includes: a private room, private bath and full meal plan of three meals daily.

Other Costs:

  • While attending the Institute of Religious Formation, all participants must have health insurance. If a participant does not have health insurance through his or her institute/diocese, she or he may purchase it through the health plan of Catholic Theological Union/University of Chicago.
  • Additional personal expenses such as books, spiritual direction, and English language classes.
  • All fees are subject to change


Who can Apply
All candidates must be a current or potential formator for a religious institute or dio­cese. All applicants must have an undergraduate degree or equivalent ministry experi­ence and be proficient in English.


When to Apply
Applications are processed in the order they are received. If you are a non-US citizen, please plan to submit your application as early as possible because of the time required to secure documents and visas. Residency begins in late August and continues through mid-May with a three-week Christmas vacation from mid-December to early January. IRF participants are required to reside on campus due to the community nature of the program.


How to Apply
Request application by emailing pmichalenko@ctu.edu, or download an application by clicking here.

Once you have the application, complete all information and submit with non-refund­able application fee. Upon receipt of your application, additional information will be forwarded to you about how to submit your letter of recommendation, along with a request for other supporting documents.


To view a catalogue of Open Class Sessions for both the Institute of Religious Formation and the Hesburgh Sabbatical Program, click here.

Program Overview

In addition to their coursework, all CTU students participate in spiritual formation that helps them integrate their theological coursework into their daily lives. This formation takes place in a communal fashion, and the formation cohorts are organized in the following way:


  • Students belonging to religious communities participate in the spiritual formation programs of their respective religious communities;
  • Students enrolled as Bernardin Scholars engage in formation with their cohort, led by Bernardin Center director Steve Millies;
  • Students enrolled as Romero Scholars will receive formation in their cohort, led by Romero Program  director Marco Lopez;
  • Students enrolled as Tolton Scholars engage in formation with their cohort, led by Tolton Program director Kim Lymore; and
  • All other students engage in formation through the Emmaus Program, led by Emmaus Program director Maryellen Knuth.

Join the internationally renowned faculty of Catholic Theological Union for an experience in the Holy Lands of the Bible unlike any other.


Stand on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and watch the early morning fishing boats. Climb the Mount of Olives and stand before the panorama that is the Old City of Jerusalem. Walk the streets of Ephesus and imagine Paul preaching there. Stand on the Areopagus in Athens, overshadowed by the Parthenon, and ponder the origins of early Christianity.


For more than 30 years, CTU Bible faculty have led Biblical Study and Travel Programs. This year’s program will be guided by Sr. Laurie Brink, O.P., Associate Professor of New Testament Studies. The program has two parts: a pre-trip online seminar and a three-week travel seminar.

Encountering the Bible Lands, Part A

Prior to the travel seminar, an online course introduces participants to the history, geography, and archaeology of the ancient Biblical world. Students learn that acquaintance with nonliterary sources has important implications for our understanding of the Biblical text. This course may be taken for graduate- level credit at no additional cost. Course runs from February 21-April 11, 2018.

Encountering the Bible Lands, Part B

Embark on a three-week travel seminar visiting significant archaeological and historical sites in Israel/Palestine, Greece, and Turkey. Daily tours provide participants with an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, Paul, and the early Christians. On-site lectures integrate the archaeology and history with the biblical text. This travel seminar may be taken for graduate-level credit at no additional cost. The trip will run from April 29 to May 19, 2018. Download an application here.

Download the flyer here for more information about the itinerary and details about the trip.

For more information about our other Biblical Travel offerings, either Journey to the Holy Land with Rev. Donald Senior, CP or Holy Land Retreat With Sr. Barbara Reid, OP and Rev. Leslie Hoppe, OFM, go to http://www.ctu.edu/travel/

Deepen your faith this summer

Summer Institute participants have the opportunity to study with CTU’s renowned faculty on campus in Chicago or online. With accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), CTU offers the highest quality theological preparation and formation for people of varying needs and interests. Courses may be audited, taken for Continuing Education Units (CEUs), or taken for credit after a short admissions process. Blended (online and on campus) classes are also available.


Click to find out more about Summer Institute 2018 and to register for courses.


If you have any questions, please contact:


Sallie Latkovich, CSJ
Director Phone: 773.371.5436
Email: slatkovich@ctu.edu


Summer registration fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$50


Audit fee per course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$350


Graduate academic fee per credit-hour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $890


Room and Board per week (Sunday through Saturday) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500


Room only per night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$60


Parking per week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $25

A Collaborative for Theological Education, Formation, and Community, cosponsored by Catholic Theological Union (CTU) and the Religious Formation Conference (RFC) will be offered as a pilot program beginning with the Fall semester, 2018. Roman Catholic Sisters and Brothers who are currently in formation and have completed their canonical novitiate year are invited to participate. Participants will enroll in a graduate theology program at CTU, share community in a designated space in the residence hall, and participate in ongoing formation together as an intercongregational, intercultural, and intergenerational cohort.