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Aug 28, 2013

You will be welcomed many times over in the next few weeks. We genuinely mean it!

We want you to feel welcome. Be at home!

The next few weeks will undoubtebly be a bit stressful. You'll settle in, I promise. We think you'll even come to love this community!

To assist in easing some your fears about "beginning anew," here are some reminders and resources that may be helpful.

  • New student orientations are scheduled for Wednesday evening (August 28) and Thursday morning (August 29). For online, distance learners, we're holding an online (webinar style) session Thursday evening. For more information and details about new student orientations please visit the CTU calendar here. If you have questions about these sessions or need to RSVP, please email ASAP.
  • Instructions for course registration have been included in admissions letters.   You may also contact the Office of the Registrar at 773.371.5453 or for assistance.
  • Text books can be purchased from MBS Direct, CTU’s official bookstore vendor.  You can access the course book lists and buy directly from them. Click here to learn more.
  • Housing is still available in our Residence Hall, located directly across the street from our Academic Center, are still open for the 2013-14 academic year.  More information about housing and an application form can be accessed here.
  • General Scholarship funds continue to be available.  We encourage you to apply!  Download the application here.
  • Information on the application process for Federal Student Loans can be found at  If you wish to apply for student loans, please plan to initiate the process ASAP so that your application may be processed in time for the fall semester disbursement date.
  • Looking to secure a parking permit? Need information on using University of Chicago's wellness facilities? For all CTU has to offer, please consult the Student Services Guide here.
  • Welcome back events have been planned during the first and second week of classes. Please consult the online event calender for details on the Welcome Back Bash, opening Mass of the Holy Spirit, and more.
  • The Information Technology Department is able to assist with computer and network issues you may be experiencing. To contact the help desk email them at and/or visit them in the library on the 4th floor during business hours.
  • If you are experiencing personal struggles and challenges as you begin the semester, please seek out an Emmaus Staff member to assist you. Emmaus staff are trained to work with any student who may be having difficulties. To contact an Emmaus Staff member, please call 773.371.5447 or email

If there is anything else we can do for you as you settle in, please let me know. I can be reached at or by phone at 773.371.5523.

Please, be at home!

Ryan J. Hoffmann | Senior Director of Enrollment Management

Jul 03, 2013

I'm looking forward to a wonderful weekend with family and friends! Given the 4th of July holiday, I'll be able to take a few extra days off and enjoy all the sights and sounds Chicago has to offer. Fun, food, and fellowship will undoubtedly be part of the celebrations. As they should be. God has gifted this country with an abundance of blessings!

As fireworks blast off, families and friends gather, and food simmers on the barby, I hope you'll take some time to consider what this freedom means.

Are the celebrations about our individual freedoms? Has this become a jubilation of personal rights? There's a certain "it's all about me" in that approach. While upholding the dignity and worth of all people, wouldn't it be a better celebration if we focused on what freedom means to us as a collective people, under one flag? Better yet, for Christians, under one God? For Catholics, one Church.  

To be sure, there is much banter today about freedoms, rights, equalities and protections. As this should be, too.

But what about our responsibilities? I can't help but think of Luke 12:48, "to whom much is given much is required." We've been given much, indeed! 

To what have we been entrusted and for what purpose?

Where are our riches, gifts and talents, experiences calling us?

I think these are the types of reflections freedom brings. They are both personal questions and communal ones.

It seems that, in true paradoxical fashion, the more we live for others the more free we become.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shinning sea!  
Ryan J. Hoffmann, Senior Director of Enrollment Management | | 773.371.5523
Feb 11, 2013

This morning's news of Pope Benedict's resignation shocked the world. His bad health, he cites, is just too severe to carry on the responsibilities of the office.

Thank you, Benedict XVI, for your service and Catholic witness. Whether a fan or not, he committed himself to the cause. It's not an easy job, especially in today's increasingly complex world.

We pray, too, for his health. Retirement will allow him to better attend to his personal and physical needs. Be well, Benedict.

As you read pundits everywhere weighing in on today's developments, you can't help but ask, "What's next?" To be sure, there will continue to exist disagreements over liturgy and theology, ecclesiology and science, ethics and morality, dogma and tradition. Conservative and Liberal. Orthodoxy. Heterodoxy. And, everything in-between.

Will he be charismatic? A good communicator? Have the right vision? Pastoral prowess?

Depending on what's important to you, the questions abound. I know I've made a "short list" in my head of what I'd like to see in the next Pontiff. I imagine many are crafting similar lists. These things matter. It's important. Our faith - today, tomorrow, and in the future - depends on it.

Even so, let us not meet this moment with a hyper-intensity (and sensitivity!) that overshadows our reliance on the Holy Spirit's agency. In the end it will be the Spirit's in-dwellings, working in tandem with Cardinal electors, that will call forth and elect a new Pontiff.

The moment we find ourselves in - amidst conjecture and spin, news coverage and blogs, articles and radio segments - shouldn't only be about our human tendency to speculate and prescribe. The fanfare, hoopla, ornate caps, gowns, and shoes of it all will no doubt be reason to get excited. There's greater depth than this, though.

This is a moment for prayer. Reflection and contemplation. Discernment. Deep thinking. Recollection and remembrance. 

Our pause to do the inner work required of faith matters, too.

The Holy Spirit is beckoning us forward.

Are we listening?

Come, Holy Spirit!

Ryan J. Hoffmann | Senior Director of Enrollment Management | 

Dec 20, 2012

The Newtown Elementary school shootings have left us disheartened, to say the least. Perhaps fearful. Sad. For some, despairing. As Catholic Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, exhorted, “Evil visited this community today.” So it did. The violence perpetrated on children, and the deaths, shook us severely. Rattled us ruthlessly. The struggle to make meaning of it all persists.

Hopefully it motivates us, too. Out of crisis comes commitment. As we know from Scripture and our experience, times of despair cry out for God, not because it’s God’s fault, but because it brings us face-to-face with the rawness, ugliness, if you will, of humanity.  The underbelly isn’t pleasant. It’s messy. It’s complex. It is, yes, ugly.

Since the tragedy I’ve looked many places for comfort. For a rationale, an answer to the question why. I suspect you've been there as well. No simple rationale or easy answer exists.

God – a little help, please? Perhaps a clue?

I imagine God patiently and lovingly whispering in my ear, “I’ve already given you the greatest clue you’ll ever need – it is my Son and the Word – Jesus.” For Christians, Jesus is the primordial clue.

Jesus as primordial clue translates to Christianity as enduring peace. A man of nonviolence, amidst a world of severe violence, chose not to become an aggressor. Chose, in a sense, not fight nor flight. Alternatively, he chose nonviolent resistance. A third path. Dialogue. Relationship. Witness and testimony, parable and creed. Perhaps our response can be similar?

Jesus, Prince of Peace. A significant – transforming – clue. Jesus, triumphant over death, destruction, violence. Although not easy, in the face of persecution, he overcame.

He trusts we will, too.  It won’t be easy or expedient. It will take our human-ness engaging all of humanity.







Laughing, once again?

In the thick of darkness, the Prince of Peace illuminates the way.

Ryan J. Hoffmann | Senior Director of Enrollment Management | | 773.371.5523

Oct 26, 2012

CTU is a unique learning community. While some places boast of being a big university with thousands of students, CTU takes pride not in size or numbers, but how we serve - together

At the heart of this community is lay and religious learning together. Should-to-shoulder. Heart-to-heart. Issue-by-issue. Mission and vision. Theology and ministry. While individual charisms, callings, and vocations vary, the building up of God's reign in the here-and-now is a constant goal.

It's more than this, too. At CTU it is not only that lay and religious are learning side-by-side, but that they are crafting, dialogically and collaboratively, future church - together.

The issues, values, dreams and hopes of the laity are put in dialog with, inform, speak to those preparing for ordination. Similarly, those living in a religious community bring their perspective, wisdom and experience to the conversation. All gifts are brought forth and treasured.

As a community, as diverse church, we wrestle with making meaning of it all - together.

It gets real at times, too. Making meaning of God's grace and our limitedness - the big questions of life and faith - is not easy, to be sure. Creative tensions, stern conversations, spirited dialog, respectful disagreements happen. If we weren't taking seriously the charge to live the Gospel daily there would be no need for investment.

The product of our yearning - together - makes this community, our faith, and church that much stronger.

  • Lay and Religious
  • Full and Part-time Students
  • Ministers and Scholars
  • Campus and Online Learners
  • Young Adults and Career Changers
  • Domestic and International Students

There's more diversity at CTU than this, too; I'm sure of it. We're all in this together.


Ryan Hoffmann, Senior Director of Enrollment Management | | 773.371.5523