Financial Aid and Scholarship Overview
CTU proudly supports 70% of our lay and women religious students with either a full or partial scholarship. Thanks to a large and growing group of dedicated donors and excellent financial management of our school, Catholic Theological Union has a generous scholarships, awarded on both need and merit, to support our students in their studies and formation.
The priority scholarship deadline for Fall 2022 is February 1, 2022
Scroll down to review the many scholarships offered to make a CTU education accessible to all.
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“Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find;
knock, and the door will be opened to you.
The Bernardin Scholarship provides graduate theological education to lay men and women inspired by the vision of Cardinal Bernardin in the areas of reconciliation and peacemaking, interreligious dialogue, leadership development for the Catholic church, the consistent ethic of life, or the search for common ground in the church and the world. The scholarship is available for selected Master of Arts programs or the Doctor of Ministry program.
The Oscar Romero Scholars Program prepares Hispanic and Latinx lay men and women for professional ministry.
- -Applicants from the Archdiocese of Chicago are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship.
- -Applicants from the Diocese of Joliet are eligible for a 2/3 tuition scholarship.
- -Applicants outside of the Chicago and Joliet dioceses are encouraged to apply for the Romero program and will be considered for other scholarship funds.
The Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program provides an opportunity for Black Catholics to receive academic, personal, spiritual and professional education and training in preparation for professional ministry for the specific needs of Black Catholics.
- -Applicants from the Archdiocese of Chicago are eligible for a full-tuition scholarship.
- -Applicants outside of the Chicago dioceses are encouraged to apply for the Tolton program and will be considered for other scholarship funds.
The gift was established to support and augment CMSP’s 20-year commitment to recruiting and educating talented and highly motivated Muslim students for a variety of careers in interreligious and intercultural leadership. Specifically, the gift affords CTU with the opportunity to award two full tuition scholarships dedicated to the recruitment of Muslim students to any one of our degree programs at either the masters or doctoral level.
The International Women’s Scholarship is available to lay women from developing countries who are seeking credentials for Roman Catholic ministries in their countries upon completion of a Master of Arts program.
The Ladies of Bethany Endowed Scholarship supports lay or vowed religious women who demonstrate ministerial commitments to “creating an open heart to the reality of God”, developing the spiritual dimension, promoting attention to ecumenism, relating inter-culturally, and enriching each other spiritually from the richness of all cultures and religious traditions.
The scholarship recipient must be a lay woman or man (including religious sisters) who is pursuing a master’s degree with a concentration in Bible. The Sr. Barbara Bowe, RSCJ Memorial Scholarship recipient will be decided upon by the CTU Scholarship Committee.
Candidates for the Burke scholarship must be men and women of character and competence who demonstrate a significant financial need, a strong chance for success, and an appreciation of the Roman Catholic tradition of CTU and our mission of preparing men for priesthood and lay men and women for ministry.
Candidates for the Chapin-May Foundation scholarship must be men and women of character and competence who demonstrate a significant financial need, a strong chance for success, and an interest in serving or working with diverse populations and/or low income communities. These scholars must demonstrate an appreciation of the Roman Catholic tradition of CTU and our mission of preparing men for priesthood and lay men and women for ministry. They must also respect the racially and religiously diverse nature of our student body.
The Colucci scholarship follows the same guidelines used for CTU’s general scholarship endowment.
The Coluccis found that the seminal work of CTU in educating seminarians for ordination and preparing lay men and women for lives of ministry and leadership within the Church aligned with their deepest values. Bequeathing a large portion of their estate to CTU was a natural extension of their deep love for the Catholic faith and the Church’s future.
Through the Missionaries of St. Columban, CTU will provide additional scholarships for students engaged in Latinx ministries to pursue a Master of Arts in Hispanic Theology and Ministry, or a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies or Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in Hispanic Theology & Ministry.
Candidates with the following interests qualifications will be given preference:
- Interest in youth ministry
- Commitment to leadership in the Latinx community
- Willingness to travel to El Paso to visit the Columban Ministries on the border
- Open to taking Spiritual Direction
- Open to building a relationship with the Columban representatives and report on their studies
The Dolezal scholarship follows the same guidelines used for CTU’s general scholarship endowment.
Dr. Richard Dolezal was a legendary educator at the Latin School of Chicago, deeply committed to his weekday vocation of high school English. Rev. Dolezal had studied for the priesthood before beginning his teaching career, returning to the seminary and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in 1976. He was a weekend assistant at several parishes before being assigned to St. Catherine, serving from 1994 to 2009.
Candidates for the Dominican Sisters Scholarship Fund for Lay Women must be women of character and competence who demonstrate financial need and provide references to recommend their candidacy and capacity for ministerial leadership. They must appreciate the mutually reinforcing missions of CTU and the Dominican congregations of women, in preparing for ministry in an intercultural and ecumenical environment. They must also demonstrate a commitment to social justice in their experience and desired ministry.
In order to encourage enrollment of international religious of our Corporate communities, CTU will offer a 1/3 scholarship to those religious of CTU Corporation communities who are not a member of the US provinces. Many communities are trying to promote internationality among its members, and CTU’s resources and expertise, with a student body of more than 40 countries represented, is a wonderful place for formation.
Eligible members of the Franciscan Mission Service community include currently serving FMS program
participants (who will have completed their term of service with FMS prior to beginning graduate school) and FMS
program alumni qualify for a 50% tuition scholarship on all Master’s level graduate degree and certificate programs. The scholarship is renewable in subsequent years of the program until completion of degree, subject to meeting the requirements of the scholarship. These scholars must demonstrate an appreciation of CTU’s Roman Catholic tradition and its mission to prepare women and men for a variety of ministries in the church, including ordained and lay. They must also respect the racially and religiously diverse nature of our student body. Scholars are expected to actively engage in extracurricular activities that demonstrate ministerial leadership.
The scholarship fund supports the Lay Ministry Formation Program of the Diocese of Gary. The Gary Diocese provides a $200 scholarship per CTU course for Gary Diocese students taking courses for credit at CTU. Diocese of Gary names the scholarship recipients and CTU matches the Gary Scholarship Fund donation from General Scholarship Fund.
The General Scholarship Fund offers need-based tuition scholarship awards to lay men and women, women religious, and diocesan priests.
All Former Jesuit Volunteers are eligible for a 50% tuition scholarship on all Master’s level graduate degree and certificate programs. The scholarship is renewable in subsequent years of the program until completion of degree, subject to meeting the requirements of the scholarship. These scholars must demonstrate an appreciation of CTU’s Roman Catholic tradition and its mission to prepare women and men for a variety of ministries in the church, including ordained and lay. They must also respect the racially and religiously diverse nature of our student body. Scholars are expected to actively engage in extracurricular activities that demonstrate ministerial leadership.
Candidates for the Lay Womens scholarship must be lay or women religious of character and competence who demonstrate a significant financial need, a strong chance for success, and an appreciation of the Roman Catholic tradition of CTU and our mission of preparing men for priesthood and lay men and women for ministry.
The Linnan scholarship endowment fund will provide funds for graduate theological education to those inspired by and drawn to the vision of the Clerics of St. Viator. The full-tuition scholarships will be made available to premier students who are committed to preparing for ministry and leadership in service to the church with the ecclesial vision of Vatican II and Pope Francis. Preference will be given to those individuals affiliated with the Viatorian order: international seminarians and lay Associates.
To establish the Loftus Family Endowed Scholarship to provide assistance to deserving lay students that have demonstrated financial need. It is a beautiful tribute to members of the Shevlin and Loftus families to inspire future ministers to have “lasting power” on the future of the Church.
The McAuley Scholarship was established by the Sisters of Mercy to support the preparation of women for ministry.
Candidates for the Mazza scholarship must be men and women of character and competence who demonstrate a significant financial need, a strong chance for success, and an appreciation of the Roman Catholic tradition of CTU and our mission of preparing men for priesthood and lay men and women for ministry.
This scholarship provides full tuition for one course annually in the area of liturgy. It is open to CTU degree students with a concentration in liturgy, students completing a certificate in liturgy, or to directors of parish liturgy seeking continuing education.
The Seeds Scholarship provides scholarship support to a student(s) in financial need who desires to participate in the Biblical Travel and Study Program but is unable to do so because of financial constraints.
The Rev. Donald Senior, CP Endowed Scholarship is designed to support lay women and men who are seeking master’s level degrees in theology and ministry and are committed to serving in a leadership position.
The family of Dr. Mary Rose Shaughnessy (her twelve nieces and nephews) established an Endowed Fund Scholarship at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) to be awarded annually to Lay Ministers seeking advanced degree from CTU, in programs similar to Mary Rose’s own pursuit of an advanced degree in religious studies from CTU.
Awarded each year to student(s) who show interest in combining study of Sacred Scripture with applications to the spiritual life, characteristics typifying the teaching and writing career of Fr. Stuhlmueller. First priority in the award of scholarship assistance is given to women from developing countries, who otherwise meet the qualifications stated above.
Candidates for the Wheeler scholarship must be men and women of character and competence who demonstrate a significant financial need, a strong chance for success, and an appreciation of the Roman Catholic tradition of CTU and our mission of preparing men for priesthood and lay men and women for ministry.
Archdiocese of Chicago Cooperative Programs
In addition to the Romero and Tolton Pastoral Scholarship programs, CTU collaborates with the Archdiocese of Chicago to resource lay ministers
The Critical Needs Scholarship provides tuition assistance to lay employees of the Archdiocese of Chicago who are undertaking studies which relate to the critical areas of need in the Archdiocese. For more information, contact the Archdiocese of Chicago.
The Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation program (LEM) supports Chicago-based lay, Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies students in Chicago in their studies through formation and a partial scholarship. The scholarship covers 2/3 of the recipient’s tuition – 1/3 from the Archdiocese and 1/3 from CTU. We can help you prepare the LEM application prior to submission to the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Post Graduate Volunteer Benefits
In addition to the named scholarship opportunities with certain faith-based postgraduate volunteer programs, Participants in Amate House, AmeriCorps, the Lasallian Volunteers and the Franciscan Volunteer Network are eligible for one free course, and for priority consideration for the Bernardin Scholarship and the Rev. Donald Senior, CP Endowed Scholarship.
Other Scholarships and Aid
Outside scholarships and financial aid are available to our students though organizations such as the Forum for Theological Education, the Centennial Scholars, and others. We also accept the vast majority of scholarships and grants that students receive from outside institutions. Fastweb and Cappex are great resources for identifying other forms of available financial aid.
Deadline: March 1st
All scholarships applications are reviewed by a Scholarship Review Committee throughout the year but there is a March 1st deadline for those who plan to start their studies in the upcoming fall term. All merit scholarships are very competitive therefore early submissions are recommended. Scholarship applications are accepted starting in October. For merit-based aid, consideration is based on the information you provide on your application for admission, the scholarship aid application, and your financial aid interview
Rolling Scholarship Decisions
The Scholarship Review Committee will also consider applications for the General Scholarship Fund (based on availability) on a rolling basis throughout the year. For need-based aid, consideration is based on the information you provide on your application for admission, the FAFSA, the scholarship aid application, and your financial aid interview.
Federal Student Aid
Any student who is enrolled at least half-time in a graduate degree program at CTU, who is in good academic standing with the school, and who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States may be eligible to receive federal student loans. Information on federal direct loans is available from the Federal Student Aid website.
CTU’s financial aid and loan policy reflects our commitment to helping you follow your call to service. Although it may be necessary to borrow money to pursue your education, CTU urges students to do so with great care and only apply for loans that meet your needs when you have a clear strategy for repaying any loans after graduate school. Salaries of ministry graduates are generally modest and may not be enough initially to support a large loan repayment program.
In accordance with Federal Guidelines, CTU has adopted a Direct Loan Quality Assurance Policy and Procedure.
CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid
A government grant has been made available to CTU for student who have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Information and an application for aid can be found at HEERF and CARES Act.
Student Worker Stipends
We offer students the opportunity to work on campus. After you are admitted, you will receive access to our online course management system. It has more information on available student employment.
Applying for Financial Aid Guidelines
To apply for need-based aid students should do the following:
- Complete the Admissions Application
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA)(US citizens and permanent residents only)
- Complete the relevant CTU scholarship application.
- Schedule an appointment with the Enrollment and Financial Aid to get help completing both your admissions application and your scholarships application.
Should you have further questions or concerns contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773.371.5451.