The Archdiocese of Chicago and Catholic Theological Union sponsor the Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program. It provides an opportunity for Black Catholics to receive academic, personal, spiritual and professional education and training in preparation for professional ministry within the Archdiocese of Chicago. The legacy of Fr. Augustus Tolton is evident today through the commitment of men and women of African ancestry who are currently pursuing theological studies at Catholic Theological Union.
Formation has been a key component of the ATPM Program since its inception. Formation serves as a bridge between theory and praxis. Formation sets the foundation and integrates spiritual formation, theological understanding and praxis, all within the context of the African American Catholic culture in Chicago.
• Have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent
• Must be a practicing Black Catholic in a Roman Catholic Parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago
• Exhibits a sense of call to professional ministerial leadership within the Roman Catholic Church
• Must be actively involved in church related ministry with movement/potential towards ministerial leadership
• Able to minister in, or on behalf of, the Archdiocese of Chicago for three years following graduation
The Tolton Program was named after Fr. Augustus Tolton, born in 1854, ordained in 1866, who was the first recognized African-American priest in the United States. In 1887, Fr. Tolton became pastor of the first Catholic Church for African American Catholics in Chicago. A tireless minister and man of God, Fr. Tolton died on July 8, 1897. In February 24, 2010, the Archdiocese of Chicago officially petitioned the Congregation for Causes of Saints to begin the process for investigation into the life of Fr. Augustus Tolton. Fr. Tolton’s status is now Venerable, moving him closer to sainthood.