Enrich your life of faith

Please contact Summer@CTU.edu if you have any questions.

We invite you to take courses or workshops from CTU’s renowned faculty, visiting professors and facilitators. Attend daily mass, participate in formation activities or spend time reflecting in our meditation chapel. Our panel discussions and public lectures will address current issues in theology and ministry and plant the seeds of renewal. Enjoy walks or bike rides by Lake Michigan, take in the restaurants and social life of Hyde Park, or sit in the atrium and experience the wisdom of others while you share your own.


Join us for group outings to Chicago’s world-class museums, music venues, theaters, professional sports teams, outdoor festivals, and architecture tours. CTU’s location is a short walk from several CTA bus and Metra line train stops. Come retreat, study, reflect and rejuvenate your ministry at Catholic Theological Union. Craft your summer at CTU today!

Register early! Courses with low enrollment as of two weeks prior to the start of the course will be cancelled. All courses will be offered for 1.5 credits and may be audited, with 1.5 continuing education units available upon request. Workshops will be offered for zero credits, with 1.5 continuing education units available upon request.

Not ready to register?



The Wisdom of Ancient Israel

Dianne Bergant, CSA

Dianne Bergant, CSAObserving the regularity in creation, the ancient Israelites concluded that there was some kind of order inherent in nature itself.  They believed that, if they could discern how this order operated and then harmonize their lives with it, they would be successful and at peace.  The ability to perceive this order and to live in accord with it was known as wisdom. The Wisdom tradition of ancient Israel includes the books of Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth, Wisdom and Sirach, Song of Songs and Wisdom Psalms.  They will be examined with an eye to their emphasis on human behavior. The perennial themes of creation, suffering and death, retribution, and immortality will be discussed.




Race, Culture and Theology in Latin@ and Latin American Contexts

Nestor Medina

This course examines the complex interconnection between identity formation, cultural background, and faith tradition. It highlights how Latina/o and Latin American religious traditions and theological discourses are shaped by their unique historical contexts and developments of ethno-cultural traditions. Attention is given to central historical events, key authors and theological categories, and their implications for ministry.


Discerning Ministry: Integrating the Skills of Discernment in Your Life and Ministry

Marian Diaz

Are you discerning professional ministry or some larger life question? Do you work in formation with adults? Come learn and practice the basic skills of discernment and decision making that will serve you well throughout the many stages of life. Explore how to use these skills in facilitating discernment in others as well.








Religious Life and the Pope Francis Effect

Maria Cimperman
Maria Cimperman, RSCJ

Six years into his papacy Pope Francis has impacted the world greatly, and this influence extends definitively to religious life.  During our week together we will look at the Pope Francis effect on religious life. Topics include: 1) the mystical-prophetic call of religious life; 2) the vows; 3) community; 4) virtues; 5) calls to the peripheries.







Paul's Prison Letters and Experiences of Incarceration

Ferdinand Okorie, CMF

This course involves a close reading of Paul’s prison letters, Philippians and Philemon. It will discuss and analyze Paul’s experience of incarceration by the Roman Empire because of his religious beliefs. Our discussion will also engage the prison letters of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr., for a deeper understanding of religious beliefs and the experience of incarceration.






Workshopping Presentations for Diverse Ministerial Settings

John Barker

Do you have stage fright when presenting? Do you struggle to develop effective audio-visual elements? Do you tend to go off script? Bring an idea or a project and this workshop will help you craft an effective, creative presentation for your particular audience. Learn how to determine the purpose of your talk and structure it in an engaging way that will build your confidence. We will be presenting in class and utilizing peer evaluation in order to practice and improve our speaking skills.






Pastoral Care in an African-American Context

Kimberly Lymore

This course explores the psychological and cultural elements that contributed to the formation of an African-American identity. The goal is a better understanding of the African-American experience and a greater sensitivity to the strength and needs of this cultural tradition. Students develop a better understanding/ability to minister in the African-American community.




Pastoral Theology and Augustine of Hippo

Joseph Farrell, OSA

This course will focus on specific sermons, including letters, De Doctrina Cristiana and De Civitas Dei as we explore Augustine of Hippo’s practice of pastoral care to the people entrusted to him. We will be concentrating on the pastoral ministry of Augustine and will, in a sense be using Augustine and his experience so as to enjoy a fuller understanding of the pastoral connection we have with this 5th century Bishop of Hippo. We shall examine in depth his experience of ministry during his five years of priesthood as it was upon the experience of those years which Augustine the Bishop built his habits of being a shepherd of the Church.  



Survey of Systematic Theology

Robin Ryan, CP

(This course will run for two consecutive weeks in the mornings for 3.0 credits.) This course consists of an overview of topics and themes in systematic theology. Among the areas that will be treated are: revelation and faith, Trinitarian theology, Christology, creation, sin and grace, ecclesiology, Mary and the saints, sacramental theology, and eschatology. The course is designed to give students a broad exposure to the ways in which these central themes are treated in the Judeo-Christian tradition and in contemporary theology.

This course runs during weeks two and three.



God of the People

Peter Casarella

The course will explore a theology of God through the lens of Latino/a experiences and theologies as well as selected Latin American sources. We will look at Biblical exegesis and theology, the philosophical questions of identity, language, and the breadth of reason, new mestizaje and its critics, translation theory, intercultural thought, the names of God tradition in Christian mysticism, Latino/a theological aesthetics, and the theology of the people in Latin America and in Pope Francis. 







Islam, Muslims & Islamophobia: A Catholic Response

Scott Alexander

This course will cover the epidemic of Islamophobia in contemporary U.S. American society. Its aim is: to assess the extent of the problem, including statistics regarding anti-Muslim hate crimes and an analysis of the so-called “Islamophobia industry”; to explore and deconstruct negative and harmful anti-Muslim stereotypes, particularly as key elements of dominant mainstream media, “alt-right” media, and social media narratives; and to articulate a ‘Catholic response’ based on Catholic social teaching, theology of interreligious dialogue, and the longstanding praxis of Catholic-Muslim dialogue in the U.S. in which Catholic Theological Union has played a significant role.



Land, Law, Love: The Book of Deuteronomy

Ethan Schwartz

This course is an intensive introduction to the biblical book of Deuteronomy. We will approach the book through the framework of three of its core themes: (1) the land that is promised as part of God’s covenant with Israel, (2) the law in which that covenant is realized, and (3) the love between God and Israel that undergirds that covenant. By the end of the course, students will achieve familiarity with the overall content and structure of the book of Deuteronomy; important primary texts from the book; the place of the book in the Pentateuch and the Hebrew Bible; and the significance of the book in Judaism, Christianity, and academic biblical studies.



Religion and the Law

David Dault

This course will provide students with the context and history of the recent debates surrounding questions of religious liberty. Beginning with an exploration of the Supreme Court’s landmark cases involving the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment, we will build an understanding of how the legacy of these decisions shape our present-day political landscape. We will examine the rationale for (and failure of) the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and subsequent passage of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). Forming a backdrop to these discussions, we will examine position papers promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on various religious liberty issues.


Worship with Children

Anne McGowan
Anne McGowan

Christians who are children because of their chronological age (birth to approximately 12 years old) claim their role as children of God in worship in unique ways.  This course will explore theological foundations, catechetical principles, and pastoral strategies for engaging children in the worship of the entire assembly and for preparing and celebrating liturgies in contexts where the majority of the worshipers are children.





Religious Writing for a Popular Audience - Workshop

Meghan Murphy-Gill

Are you interested in getting published in a popular religious magazine? This workshop will examine the differences between writing for audiences familiar with religion and writing for secular or non-academic readers. We will workshop how to turn academic essays and papers into opinion articles, personal essays, and news analysis for a variety of readers as well as discuss how to pitch publications.







Understanding by Design - Pedagogy Workshop

Elizabeth Labarge

Are you a DRE, catechist or a religion teacher who wants to learn a new approach to support your students’ learning? This workshop will explore the principles and practice of Understanding by Design, which works from the desired outcomes to develop curriculum in pursuit of understanding. This form of backward design promotes an integration of knowledge and transferable skills.



Augustine the Philosopher,

Paul Comacho

In this course we will explore the philosophical thought of Augustine of Hippo (354-430), a figure who exemplifies the Late Antique ideal of philosophy as a way of life. Using the Confessions as a central text, we will examine how Augustine’s intellectual, moral, and religious conversions were influenced by—and in turn transformed—the philosophical culture of his day.  We will also consider Augustine’s enduring philosophical legacy by reading texts from his corpus which explore: the possibility of knowing God; the relationship between faith and reason; the possibility and limits of language; the meaning of freedom; the role of subjectivity in time; and the centrality of love for the moral life.  



Survey of Systematic Theology

Robin Ryan, CP

This course consists of an overview of topics and themes in systematic theology. Among the areas that will be treated are: revelation and faith, Trinitarian theology, Christology, creation, sin and grace, ecclesiology, Mary and the saints, sacramental theology, and eschatology. The course is designed to give students a broad exposure to the ways in which these central themes are treated in the Judeo-Christian tradition and in contemporary theology.

This course runs during weeks two and three.




Black Preaching and Storytelling

Maurice Nutt, CSsR

In the Black preaching tradition the ability to “tell the story” is essential.  There is something about stories that capture the imagination of the hearer in ways that no other method can. In this course, Black rhetorical traditions will be delineated and identified through the study of African American preachers and analysis of sermons from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Unique characteristics such as call and response, celebration in preaching, and Black hermeneutics will be explored. Each student will be required to preach one homily using both Black and storytelling preaching traditions as a model. 



Lay Leadership of Prayer

Richard McCarron

Lay ministers can preside at more than a dozen liturgies in the Roman Catholic Church. This course will explore the dynamics of lay leadership of prayer: the knowing and the knowing-how to preside through consideration of ritual expressions, vocal skills, prayer genres, bodily enactment, and collaborative evaluation of various lay-led liturgies. Both new and experienced lay presiders will find a space for developing and refining the ministry of leadership of prayer. Must be taken with Lay Preaching to complete the W4205 requirement for MAPS and MDiv.






Lay Preaching

Richard McCarron

Preaching the Good News of the Gospel is a vocation of all the baptized. In this course, we will look at more formal situations for lay ministers to engage in preaching. Through the lens of liturgical preaching—reading the signs of the times, the scripture, and the context of those gathered—students will explore a basic method for crafting, composing, delivering, and evaluating preaching in pastoral settings. Must be taken with  Lay Leadership of Prayer to complete the W4205 requirement for MAPS and MDiv.




Critical Skills for Pastoral Leadership II

Facilitated by Marian Diaz, various professional speakers

This course expands upon the work of Critical Skills for Pastoral Leadership course offered in August each year. The workshop will cover the following topics:

Day One: Collaborative Leadership – Teambuilding

Day Two: Transforming Conflict

Day Three: Recruiting Volunteers and Hiring Team Members

Day Four: Supervision and  Team-centered Evaluations

Day Five: Strategic Planning for Mission and Vision

The Mountains of Matthew: Lectures on the Five Great Discourses in Matthew

Benedict Viviano, OP

This course will cover the five discourses in the Gospel of Matthew.  

  1. Sermon on the Mount chaps. 5-7;
  2. Apostolic Discourse chap. 10; Discourse on the Parables of the Kingdom, chap. 13.
  3. Peter commissioned and Discourse on the Community, chaps. 16, and 18;  
  4. Woes and Judgment, chaps. 23-25;
  5. Great Commission, chap. 28: 16-20.







Encountering Christ in Harmony: An Asian-American Theology,

Linh Hoang, OFM

The first pastoral response written and endorsed by the USCCB addressing the Asian and Pacific Island American Catholic communities will be the main focus of this class. The response Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters addresses the themes of identity, generation, leadership, and culture of encounter. These themes will be the foundation for further study and development of an Asian American theology in the Church.



June 3-7



Augustine's City of God as a Pastoral and Spiritual Resource

Joseph T. Kelley

After situating Augustine’s City of God in its 5th century political, religious and social context, this classic text will be probed for the challenges and questions it presents to the 21st century church and world. We will explore Augustine’s rhetoric and argument from key selections across the 22 books of City of God in order to discover how the Bishop of Hippo understood the relationship between Christian faith and social responsibility. Augustine’s insistence on divine grace as essential for a virtuous life will be explored for it pastoral applications to situations of conflict at local, regional and global levels. His eschatological vision will be examined with regard to implications for the spiritual life of Christian activists.   




Online Course

Philosophical Ethics

Herman Stark

Traditional Catholic ethics has based itself on the history and development of the natural law theory. This course traces the development of the human person as ethical subject. Various contemporary positions of ethics are also present. Special attention will be given to the thought of Bernard Lonergan and his influence on ethical decision making.

This course runs June 24-August 2



Mini Sabbatical


Reframing Retirement for Mission:

June 7th – July 5th

Sharing Wisdom and seeking meaningful ministry after retirement

CTU will be offering a month-long mini-sabbatical in Chicago for men and women religious and diocesan priests who are discerning and/or transitioning into retirement.  The four weeks will run from Friday, June 7th to Friday, July 5th. Reframing Retirement for Religious will include three weeks of speakers, one to one spiritual direction, daily prayer and mass and other recreational activities. The final week will consist of a retreat.


This program is for men and women religious and diocesan priests who are retired or are contemplating retirement in the near future. It intends to assist the participants in making the difficult transition from a fully active ministry to retirement, with a special focus on recognizing and living their retirement years as a fruitful period of life with possibilities for personal growth as well as new opportunities for engaging in ministry.


Retirement need not mean withdrawal from meaningful work on behalf of Christ’s mission and ministry, but it does require a realistic, necessary and creative adjustment in how to continue to respond faithfully to the call to bring Christ to others and to our world.


Fees: $3500, inclusive of programming, room and board and parking.


Critical Skills for Pastoral Leadership

August 12-16, 2019

In consultation with the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, this wide-ranging weeklong seminar explores topics including leadership, management, mission integration, planning/visioning, finances, fundraising, and human resources management, among others. Open to all men and women, ordained, professed, and lay, who serve in a leadership capacity in church or congregational ministry.


Daily Times:

•   Monday 1PM-4PM
•   Tuesday, Wednesday 9AM-12PM and 1PM-4PM
•   Thursday 9AM-11:30AM and 1PM-4PM
•   Friday 9AM-12PM


Summer registration fee $50

Audit fee per course $400

Workshop fee $250

Graduate academic fee per 1.5 credit-hours $1335

Mini sabbatical fee $3500: inclusive of programming, room and board and parking.

Room, board and parking per week $500

(Sunday through Saturday)

Room only per night $60

Parking per week (for commuters only)  $25

Credits and Continuing Education

Unless otherwise noted, all Summer Institute courses are offered for 1.5 credit hours. Academic credit is available for current, new, and visiting students. Those auditing classes or who seek continuing education credits (CEUs) are welcome.

Housing and Parking Information

Please reserve housing here. Early as housing is limited.

Register Early!

Please note that courses are subject to change. Courses with low enrollment as of two weeks prior to the start of the course will be cancelled. CTU is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

For billing questions or to pay by credit card, please contact the CTU Business Office at 773-371-5405. For registration questions please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@ctu.edu or 773-371-5454.