Chicago Theological Seminary

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Chicago Theological Seminary in Hyde Park
The Chicago Theological Seminary at its new location in Hyde Park
Motto Leaders for the Next
Established 1855
Type Private
Religious affiliation United Church of Christ
President The Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt
Dean Dr. Ken Stone
Location Chicago, Illinois, United States
Campus urban 78,000 gross square foot, 4-story seminary with full basement located in the center of the University of Chicago campus
Affiliations University of Chicago
Association of Chicago Theological Schools
Website www.ctschicago.edu
CTS Logo

Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is an ecumenical seminary located in Chicago, Illinois and is one of seven seminaries historically affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It is the oldest institution of higher education in Chicago, originally established in 1855 under the direction of abolitionist Rev. Stephen Peet[1] and the Congregational Church (now United Church of Christ) by charter of the Illinois legislature.[2] In addition to being a seminary of the United Church of Christ, CTS offers students coursework necessary to be ordained by both the United Methodist Church and Metropolitan Community Churches denominations.

In the 19th Century, Chicago Theological Seminary lead in the Christian Abolitionism movement, while during the 20th Century, the seminary stood as a bastion of Social Gospel Christianity. The seminary's preeminent religious activists and theologians among its faculty and alumni include Dr. Graham Taylor, Dr. Howard Schomer, G. Campbell Morgan, and Dr. Otis Moss III.

Chicago Theological enrolls a diverse student population representing more than 40 different faith traditions, perspectives and denominations, and houses The Center for the Study of Black Faith and Life (CSBFL), The Center for Jewish, Christian, & Islamic Studies (JCIS), The Center for the Study of Korean Christianity (CSKC), and The LGBTQ Religious Studies Center. CTS students hold academic reciprocity with the University of Chicago, the University of Chicago Divinity School, and with member schools of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools consortium.

The first in many fields, CTS remains the first theological school to introduce the field education experience into a seminary curriculum,[3] the first to create a distinct Department of Christian Sociology in an American theological school,[4] the first seminary to award a degree in divinity to a woman in the US (Florence Fensham, 1902),[5] the first seminary in the US to award the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his activism in the Civil Rights movement,[6] the first to elect an African American to lead a predominantly white theological school (C. Shelby Rooks, 1974 to 1984),[7] and the first free-standing Protestant seminary to endow a chair in Jewish Studies.[8]

History[edit]

Seal of Chicago Theological Seminary

Chicago Theological Seminary is the oldest institution of higher education in Chicago, having been established in 1855. Unintimidated by controversy, the seminary had a distinguished century-long record of setting trends in church life and leadership.

The very first CTS curriculum in 1855 provided for the scattering of students among congregations and missions across the Midwest. Students were encouraged to learn first hand the facts of community life and church needs in a restless, experimental culture. Although such a practice was unknown at that time, this curriculum was the beginning of the first field education component ever introduced into seminary education. Field Education is now a part of every accredited professional theological degree program.

Twentieth Century[edit]

Because of a deeply held conviction that training for ministry needed to combine the study of Christian faith and the world of secular knowledge and action, during President Ozora Davis' tenure in 1900s, CTS moved to the vicinity of the University of Chicago. Under his leadership the magnificent buildings of the seminary were financed and constructed, and the relationship with the University firmly established.

After Florence Fensham earned the first seminary degree awarded to a woman, the Congregational Training School for Women was founded at Chicago Theological Seminary in 1909 as an opportunity to provide Congregational women with advanced educational training. The school continued its mission until it was subsumed into Chicago Theological Seminary in 1926. CTS Alum Florence Fensham was the first dean, succeeded by Agnes M. Taylor and Margaret M. Taylor, when Dean Fensham passed away unexpectedly in 1912. The Chicago Theological Seminary decided to allow full acceptance of women to its programs in 1926, thereby eliminating the need for a separate institution for women.

Graham Taylor established at CTS the first distinct Department of Christian Sociology in an American theological school. Working closely with Jane Addams in Chicago, Taylor established the Chicago Commons settlement house and a graduate school of social work which later became the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration Social Service Administration. While a faculty member at CTS, Anton Boisen worked with a group of CTS students in order that they might become competent in ministering to the physically, mentally, and emotionally ill, and from that experience helped to found the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). Boisen's ashes are interred in the CTS cloisters.

In 1965 CTS launched a Doctorate of Religion program, one of the first professional doctorates in ministry. As standards for the professional doctorate were established by the Association of Theological Schools, the Seminary became one of the initial group of six schools to have fully accredited programs of study for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

Twenty-First Century[edit]

Among schools of theological education, Chicago Theological Seminary is especially friendly to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex concerns and is listed as an officially "Open and Affirming" institution of the United Church of Christ by the UCC Coalition for GLBT Concerns. The seminary has many openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students, staff and faculty; several of its faculty members have published books and articles regarding religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The institution offers an annual Gilberto Castaneda scholarship award for outstanding GLBT students. It is home to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Religious Archives Network. Students are invited to participate in the social activities of the Heyward Boswell Society. In 2006 CTS launched the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) Religious Studies Center (Queer Center), a grant-funded research program.[9][10]

Founded in 2009, The Center for Jewish, Christian and Islamic Studies is the only American program of its kind based in a free-standing theological seminary. Students in the Theology, Ethics and Human Sciences concentration enjoy resources appropriate to experientially and theoretically integrate theology with the human sciences.

New Chapel elevation

Notable Firsts[edit]

  • CTS is the oldest institution of higher education in Chicago.
  • CTS faculty and students participated in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad prior to the Civil War.[11]
  • First seminary to introduce field education into a seminary curriculum in the US.[12]
  • First to create a distinct Department of Christian Sociology in an American theological school.[13]
  • First seminary to award a degree in divinity to a woman in the US. (Florence Fensham, 1902)[14]
  • Faculty and students instrumental in founding the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) in 1930.[15]
  • First seminary in the US to award the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his activism in the Civil Rights movement.[16]
  • First African American to lead a predominantly white theological school (C. Shelby Rooks, 1974 to 1984).[17]
  • First free-standing Protestant seminary to endow a chair in Jewish Studies, advancing interfaith engagement and multi-faith education.[18]

Campus[edit]

The campus of the University of Chicago.
The Chicago Theological Seminary is an independent educational institution located within the broader campus of the University of Chicago.[19] From the top of Rockefeller Chapel, the Main Quadrangles can be seen on the left (West), the Oriental Institute and the Booth School of Business and Laboratory Schools can be seen on the right (East). The panoramic is bounded on both sides by the Midway Plaisance (South).

The original buildings were designed by Herbert Riddle and built between 1923 and 1928. Riddle was the architect for Mather Tower in the Loop, as well as many buildings in New York. The original CTS building complex was a harmonious, organic, integrated work of art, including stained glass windows, medieval style groin vaulting, furniture, lighting fixtures, ceramic ornament and tile work, architectural relics – all of the highest quality of its day.

New Building[edit]

The seminary, which was for decades located at 5757 South University Avenue in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, adjacent to the University of Chicago, during the 2011/2012 academic year moved to 1407 East 60th Street, also in Hyde Park. The building designed by Riddle that had served as a seminary for decades became home to the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago and the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics.

Construction of the new $30,000,000 CTS facility is a partnership between the University of Chicago and Chicago Theological Seminary.[20] In May 2008, University of Chicago Board of Trustees Executive Committee authorized the purchase of two Chicago Theological Seminary buildings and an adjacent parking lot. Additionally, the University of Chicago agreed to construct a new seminary building at 60th Street and Dorchester Avenue. The Seminary’s new building, designed with staunch commitments to environmental sustainability, is located at 1407 E. 60th Street, is LEED Gold-certified and fully ADA accessible.[21] As of 2013, the building project has acquired numerous private and public funds.[22]

Aerial view of new CTS building on University of Chicago campus

Lapp Learning Commons Library[edit]

The Robinson & Janet Lapp Learning Commons, centrally located on the third floor of Chicago Theological Seminary's beautiful new building, is a working theological collection of over 45,000 volumes. The library also receives over 700 periodicals and subscribes to multiple databases. The collection is strong in the theological subject areas of Bible, Church History and Theology. Special holdings include the Boisen Collection in Psychology and Personality Science, and The Campbell Morgan Collection named for Rev. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan. The Collection contains his sermons, writings, books, newspaper clips, lecture notes, photographs, and other archival materials. Particular fields of note also include African American religion and spirituality, women's studies, LGBT/queer studies, and Jewish and Christian studies.

CTS students also have access to the University of Chicago Library library system—the 11th largest library collection in the United States. Through special arrangement, CTS students and faculty can utilize this grand resource in person.[23]

Academics[edit]

Accreditation & Ordination[edit]

The seminary is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and by the North Central Association. Further it is one of the 11 seminaries that form the Association of Chicago Theological Schools consortium.

In addition to being a seminary of the United Church of Christ, it offers students coursework necessary to be ordained by both the United Methodist Church and Metropolitan Community Churches denominations.

Degree Programs[edit]

Chicago Theological Seminary people[edit]

Presidents[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

Interior of the original seminary

  • Theodore W. Jennings, Jr.—Professor of Biblical and Constructive Theology
  • Ken StoneProfessor of Bible, Culture and Hermeneutics
  • John H. ThomasVisiting Professor in Church Ministries
  • Yoshio FukuyamaTheologian and Religiosity pioneer
  • Susan Brooks ThistlethwaiteAuthor, former CTS president, syndicated columnist, ordained minister, activist, theologian, and translator of the Bible.[32]
  • Clara E. PowellFirst female professor at CTS, English teacher, [33]
  • Clarence Beckwith
  • Rachel MikvaRabbi Herman E. Schaalman Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Director, Center for Jewish, Christian and Islamic Studies
  • Anton BoisenLeading figure in the hospital chaplaincy and clinical pastoral education movements.
  • Graham TaylorMinister, Social Reformer, Educator and Founder of Chicago Commons Settlement House which later became the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.[34]
  • Rami NashashibiCommunity organizer and American Muslim activist who co-founded and continues to serve as the Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN).

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Florence Amanda FenshamFirst woman in the US awarded a degree from a seminary (CTS), founder and dean of the Congregational Training School for Women, missionary, teacher, and activist Protestant laywoman[35] (BD, 1902)
  • G. Campbell MorganBritish evangelist, preacher and a leading Bible scholar (D.D., 1902)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.American pastor, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. (Honorary Doctor of Divinity, 1957)
  • John W. de GruchyAnti-Apartheid leader, Karl Barth Prize award recipient, former Robert Selby Taylor Professor of Christian Studies at University of Cape Town, and an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch. [36]
  • Margaret Palmer TaylorPioneer in sacred dance[37]
  • Philo CarpenterIllinois' first pharmacist, managing director of the Chicago Bible Society, abolitionist, school board member, board of health member, organizer of the Relief and Aid Society, and co-organizer of American Anti-Slavery Society.
  • Otis Moss IIIPastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (D.Min., 2012)
  • Jared Maurice ArterFormer slave, Virginia school superintendent, author. (B.D.)
  • Dean DraytonGeophysicist, Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) minister and president, United Theological College lecturer, author, and aboriginal advocate. (Ph.D.)
  • Desmond TutuSouth African anti- apartheid social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop. (Honorary Doctor of Divinity, 1986)
  • Dr. E.L. Kornegay Jr.—Founder and director of the Baldwin~Delaney Institute, author, and theologian(Ph.D., 2013)
  • Larry PickensUnited Methodist pastor, and ecumenical activist (Ph.D.)
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.—American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. (M.Div., 2000)
  • Adam KotskoAmerican writer, theologian, religious scholar, and translator, working chiefly in the field of political theology. (M.A, 2005; Ph.D., 2009)
  • Alden Ewart MatthewsChinese: 麻安德; Pinyin: Má Āndé; Congregational missionary to China and Japan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ The Chicago Theological Seminary Register, Volumes 1–4, By Chicago Theological Seminary
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ [5]
  7. ^ [6]
  8. ^ [7]
  9. ^ [8]
  10. ^ [9], LGBTQ Religious Studies Center at CTS
  11. ^ [10]
  12. ^ [11]
  13. ^ [12]
  14. ^ [13]
  15. ^ [14]
  16. ^ [15]
  17. ^ [16]
  18. ^ [17]
  19. ^ [18]
  20. ^ [19]
  21. ^ [20]
  22. ^ [21]
  23. ^ [22]
  24. ^ [23]
  25. ^ http://acmcgiffertjr.blogspot.com/
  26. ^ [24]
  27. ^ [25]
  28. ^ [26]
  29. ^ [27]
  30. ^ [28]
  31. ^ [29]
  32. ^ [30]
  33. ^ [31]
  34. ^ [32]
  35. ^ [33]
  36. ^ [34]
  37. ^ [35]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°47′23″N 87°35′51″W / 41.7898°N 87.5976°W / 41.7898; -87.5976