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Chicago and Hyde Park

A diverse neighborhood minutes from downtown

“It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago – she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty, for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.”
-Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

The city was less than fifty years old when Mark Twain wrote those words, but his observation still holds true today. Ever-changing and evolving, the City of Chicago has greeted millions of immigrants and has been shaped by the dreams, values, and resiliency of these hard-working men and women. The city remains home to a spirit that encourages collaboration among diverse groups. Birthplace of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Chicago has gained a reputation around the world for being a center of religious thought and action. As part of its long history of welcoming and appreciating different religious traditions, numerous theological schools have taken root and grown in the city.

No matter what recreational activities you enjoy, Chicago has something for everyone. The city offers an impressive array of educational and cultural opportunities – from art museums and galleries to concert halls and theaters. Chicago is also known for its outdoor festivals, professional sports teams, comedy clubs, and arguably the finest architecture of any city in the United States. With some five-hundred parks, fifty-two thousand acres of forest preserves, a lakefront of continuous bike paths, grassy open spaces and beaches, and boulevards lined with flowers and trees, Chicago is among the most attractive cities in the world. It is a place where you can choose to fill your time with boundless activities or stroll along, taking in the vast skyline, beautiful buildings, and serene Lake Michigan.

Hyde Park Neighborhood

Nestled on a tree-lined residential street two blocks from the lake, Catholic Theological Union is a quiet retreat with the big city in its backyard. Ethnically diverse and culturally rich, Hyde Park has enjoyed a long tradition of dynamic community life. In addition to its many local bookstores, cafés, shops, museums, and international-fare restaurants, all of Chicago’s main attractions are only minutes away. Public transportation to downtown and two major airports is accessible just one block from CTU.

Before gaining national recognition for residents President Barack Obama and family, Hyde Park was well-known as the home of the University of Chicago. When the University was established in 1892, founding president William Rainey Harper, a biblical scholar, envisioned an academic village on the new campus that would include seminaries of many denomina­tions. Today, the six schools of theology known as the Hyde Park Cluster enjoy a national reputation for excellence. The cluster includes Divinity School of the University of Chicago and members of Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS): Catholic Theological Union, Chicago Theological Seminary (United Church of Christ), Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, McCormick Theological Seminary (Presbyterian), and Meadville/Lombard Theological School (Unitarian).