CTU strives to prepare students not only academically, but also spiritually and personally for the vocation they are called to pursue. All students enrolled in a master-level degree program and who are not members of a religious community participate in a formation program.
The majority of these students participate in the Emmaus Formation for Ministry Program. Through the practice of spiritual reflection, this formation program assists students in forming a ministerial identity that integrates personal and spiritual life with ministerial and academic experiences.
It is made up of four components:
- two retreats each year
- spiritual direction with a qualified spiritual director
- participation in a theological reflection group each semester
- two yearly covenant meetings with the director to outline and evaluate personal goals for the year.
Emmaus also offers a variety of workshops, social gatherings, and related opportunities designed to support and fulfill the needs and interests of independent students. For students preparing to be pastoral associates or directors of religious education in the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Emmaus program coordinates its requirements with those of the Together in God’s Service Program of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Two other programs designed to serve students are the Oscar Romero Scholars Program and the Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program. Both are jointly sponsored by CTU and the Archdiocese of Chicago to provide financial support for Hispanic/Latino/a lay people and Black Catholic lay men and women, respectively, who are preparing for professional ministry within the Church. In each of the programs, scholars participate in theological reflection, retreats, and workshops, and are expected to commit three years to working in the Archdiocese after graduation.