Financial Aid and Scholarship Overview

At Catholic Theological Union, we work closely with accepted graduate students to assess the availability of need and merit-based aid to lower the cost of their CTU education. Through government loans, scholarship money, and student worker stipends, we are able to assist students with their financial and vocational needs. Approximately 65-70% of our lay students receive financial aid.

Full-Tuition Scholarships

The Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program provides lay men and women full-tuition scholarships for graduate theological study to practicing Black Catholics active in paid or volunteer ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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 offers “Hispanic and Latinx” lay men and women a full tuition scholarship for a professional graduate degree that prepares them to minister in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Diocese of Joliet offers a similar scholarship program to Hispanic lay men and women within its diocese with the caveat that the student is responsible for 1/3 of tuition expenses.

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.

Partial-Tuition Scholarships

The Centennial Scholars Program provides partial scholarship support for a full-time, lay, Master of Divinity student situated in an urban ministerial setting beginning with the second year in the MDiv program.

The Diocesan Scholars Program is a tuition sharing program available to lay men and women and women religious whose diocese commits to financing 1/3 of tuition costs. CTU will cover an additional 1/3 leaving the student responsible for 1/3.

Dominican Scholars supports lay women committed to serving the Church in the context of the four pillars of Dominican tradition: prayer, study, community, and ministry.

The General Scholarship Fund offers need-based tuition scholarship awards to lay men and women, women religious, and diocesan priests.

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 Leadership in Ministry Scholarships 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 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 Rev. John Linnan Endowed, CSV Scholarship: lay associates of the Clerics of St. Viator, Chicago Province including Viatorian religious outside the Chicago Province pursuing training for the priesthood, or for an advanced theological degree.

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.

Programs available in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Chicago

In addition to the Romero and Tolton Pastoral Ministry 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.

Finding Federal Aid

As a part of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, Catholic Theological Union is now a participant in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan (Direct Loan) Program.


CTU’s financial aid and loan policy reflects its 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. Salaries of ministry graduates are generally not substantial enough to support a large loan repayment program.

Should you have further questions or concerns contact us at or 773.371.5451.