Financial Aid and Scholarship Overview

CTU proudly supports more than 93% 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.

 

 
Important information regarding scholarship applications:
  • –  The priority scholarship deadline for Fall 2023 is February 1, 2023.
  • –  The scholarship application for the 2023-24 academic year is included in the program application form.
  • –  Doctor of Ministry applicants should email the Admissions Office at admissions@ctu.edu to apply for scholarship.

Please contact us at 773.371.5412 or at admissions@ctu.edu with any questions. We are here to help!

Scroll down to learn more about our many unique scholarship opportunities to support your studies at CTU.

Full-Tuition Scholarships

The Bernardin Scholarship provides graduate theological education to lay men and women who are committed to the same spirit of faithful service that Cardinal Bernardin showed to the Church and the world.
 

 

Bernardin Scholars commit to growing in and realizing the vision of Cardinal Bernardin: 

  • – Reconciliation and Peacemaking 
  • – Interreligious Dialogue
  • – Consistent Ethic of Life
  • – Leadership Commitment for the Catholic Church
  •  

The scholarship is available for Master of Arts programs or the Doctor of Ministry program.

 

  • Requirements (to be submitted as part of the degree application)
  • – A reference from someone who can directly speak to your interest and potential to grow in the areas of reconciliation/peacemaking, interreligious dialogue, and/or consistent ethic of life (this may also serve as a reference for your degree application).
  • – A 500 word essay that describes your understanding of and motivation to further explore any/all of the following key areas of Cardinal Bernardin’s vision:
    • – Reconciliation and peacemaking
    • – Interreligious Dialogue
    • – Consistent Ethic of Life
    • – Leadership Commitment for the Church

Please contact us at 773.371.5412 or at admissions@ctu.edu with any questions. We are here to help!

The International Women’s Scholarship

 

 
Catholic Theological Union (CTU) offers a limited number of full scholarships to lay women from developing countries who want to enhance their existing ministerial experiences through the study of theology. These scholarships cover tuition, single student housing, health insurance, and a book allowance, as well as providing a personal stipend for up to two years. This scholarship is available to women who are willing to enter into an educational partnership between the community in which they minister, themselves, and Catholic Theological Union. The terms of this partnership center on a firm commitment to serve the Church in one’s country upon completion of the educational component.

 

Requirements (to be submitted as part of the degree application):
Eligible applicants are lay women from developing countries who complete the following:
Essay
Please provide an additional one-page typed essay describing the following:
-Why the applicant deserves this scholarship
-How she hopes to use her CTU theological education when she returns to her country

Statements
-A statement of commitment to serve the Church in one’s country.
-A statement from a church, community, or faith-based organization willing to enter into an educational partnership with CTU and the International Women’s Scholar.
-A statement from a sponsor indicating a willingness to financially support additional emergency expenses, up to $3,000 US dollars.

Reference
Please provide an academic letter of reference (this may also serve as a reference for your degree application).

Interview
Finalists may be required to participate in an online interview.

 

Please contact us at 773.371.5412 or at admissions@ctu.edu with any questions. We are here to help!

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.

 

This scholarship covers 12 credit hours per academic year.

 

Please contact us at 773.371.5412 or at admissions@ctu.edu with any questions. We are here to help!


 
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.
 
Please contact us at 773.371.5412 or at admissions@ctu.edu with any questions. We are here to help!


 
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.

 

Please contact us at 773.371.5412 or at admissions@ctu.edu with any questions. We are here to help!

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.


 
Pathways@CTU is a new Living-Learning community of students who will serve as a catalyst to help deepen CTU’s institutional commitment to justice and activism with new programming, new outreach, and new insights to bring to their classrooms and the Church. The Pathways@CTU program is focused on forming young adults, especially those from Hispanic/Latin@, African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ+, and other marginalized groups, for ministry in today’s Church.

 

Over the course of a two year mutual commitment, this community of students will earn a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies while receiving:

 

  • Full-tuition scholarship
  • Graduate assistantship
  • Intentional community living with housing provided
  • Living stipend
  • Integrated personal and community formation
  • Leadership development

Learn more about Pathways@CTU and how to apply.

Partial-Tuition Scholarships

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
  • Dreamer/DACA
  • 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.

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.

 

Qualifying CTU students may seek funding for their education through the GI Bill®. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Priority Deadline: February 1st

All scholarships applications are reviewed by a Scholarship Review Committee throughout the year but there is a February 1st priority 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:

 

  1. Complete the Admissions Application
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA)(US citizens and permanent residents only)
  3. Complete the relevant CTU scholarship application.
  4. 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 admissions@ctu.edu or 773.371.5451.

*Full-tuition scholarships provide students 100% tuition assistance for the length of their program as long as they maintain good academic standing, and completes their program as outlined in their financial aid offer letter. Priority consideration is given in the order in which applications are completed.