McCormick Theological Seminary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
McCormick Theological Seminary
Established1829; 191 years ago (1829)
AffiliationPresbyterian Church (USA)
Endowment$69.5 million[1]
PresidentDavid Crawford (interim)
Academic staff

McCormick Theological Seminary is a school of theology of the Presbyterian Church (USA) located in Chicago, Illinois. It shares a campus with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, bordering the campus of the University of Chicago. Primarily a seminary serving the Presbytery of Chicago and the Synod of Lincoln Trails, McCormick Theological Seminary also educates members of other Christian denominations.


Monument to the seminary in Hanover
The school was named after Cyrus McCormick.

Hanover Seminary was established in 1829 as a preparatory school in Hanover, Indiana for prospective ministers in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., hoping to serve on the western frontier of the expanding United States. After about ten years, the seminary moved a short distance to New Albany, Indiana where it became the New Albany Theological Seminary. When the western frontier boundary moved, the school also moved and opened in Chicago's present-day Lincoln Park neighborhood in 1859 where the school was first known as the Theological Seminary of the Northwest. In 1886, it was renamed in honor of American industrialist Cyrus McCormick (1809–1884), who had served as a member of the seminary's board of trustees.

In 1975, facing a dire financial situation and declining enrollment, McCormick sold the Lincoln Park campus to DePaul University and moved to the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago. This move divested the institution of infrastructure while reinforcing its commitment to urban ministry. Sharing facilities with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), McCormick began to help foster important ecumenical cooperation between the Presbyterian and Lutheran churches. In 2003 McCormick reinforced and recommitted itself to its ecumenical partnership with LSTC by building a new building on the LSTC campus.

The Lincoln Park campus, on Fullerton Avenue between Halsted and Racine Streets, is now part of the DePaul University campus.

Young Lords takeover[edit]

In 1969, the Young Lords and 350 local community residents led by their founder as a civil and human rights movement, Jose Cha Cha Jimenez, and aided by seminary students, sat in at the seminary's administration building and held it for a week, demanding $650,000 to be invested in low income housing. The seminary had a fence surrounding it and the community would have to walk several blocks around it to get to a shopping strip on Lincoln Ave. McCormick Theological Seminary was planning an expansion as well as several other institutions in Lincoln Park. A Lincoln Park Poor People's Coalition was meeting with them to get McCormick to invest in affordable housing. The seminary refused and talks broke down. The Young Lords were the center of the coalition and they chained the doors and took administration offices over and held them for a full week. During the take-over, the seminary students volunteered to be human shields to prevent the police from entering the building. By the next morning Latino community residents brought food and supplies and many of these families with their children joined the Young Lords inside. At one point President McKay of McCormick Theological Seminary threatened to bring in the police. The Young Lords responded by threatening to burn down the library. A negotiating committee which included attorneys from the newly formed People's Law Office met with President McKay and he agreed to all of the Young Lords' demands. This included: $650,000 to be invested in low income housing; $50,000 seed money for two free health clinics; $25,000 for a Young Lords Puerto Rican Cultural Center; and $25,000 to open up the People's Law Office.

Notable people[edit]


The Fifth Quarter Century at McCormick, 1929-1954. by Dr. Ovid R. Sellers. McCormick Theological Seminary, 1955.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 14, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2010.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°47′46.8″N 87°35′56.2″W / 41.796333°N 87.598944°W / 41.796333; -87.598944