Christian Theological Seminary

Christian Theological Seminary
Former names
Butler University School of Religion
Type Seminary
Established 1855
Affiliation Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
President Matthew Myer Boulton
Location Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America
Campus Urban

Christian Theological Seminary is an ecumenical seminary related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, and provides four degree-level education courses, three dual-degree programs, a Doctor of Ministry program, and a PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric. While the seminary is related to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), students from a variety of religious traditions—including Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox and non-denominational—attend the school.

The current president of the seminary is the Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton, a professor of theology who previously taught at Harvard Divinity School. Boulton is also an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

CTS was founded by abolitionists as part of North Western Christian University in 1855. North Western Christian University became Butler University in 1877; in 1958, CTS became a freestanding institution. The Disciples and CTS share a long history of encouraging unity among Christian denominations and other faiths.

In 1966, its main building — a mid-century modern masterpiece designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes — opened. Barnes described the building as “pre-Gothic,” and said it reflects the Mediterranean architecture of biblical times. Two historic mansions on the campus now serve as the CTS Counseling Center — which offers counseling services to the public and allows students to earn professional credentials—and its Hospitality House, which accommodates seminary guests. Also housed in the main building is the HIVE, a shared workspace for faith-based nonprofits; the Center for Pastoral Excellence, the hub of a nationwide network supporting clergy; and the Desmond Tutu Center, a joint effort of Butler and CTS.

In addition to hosting and partnering on a wide variety of events, CTS invites the public to audit its classes, use the library, shop in its bookstore, and attend Wednesday Chapel services during the academic year. The CTS Café is also open to the public and is a popular meeting spot for our Midtown Indy neighbors.

Student Life

CTS students form an enriching, embracing and open community. The CTS Student Association represents the entire student body and includes the Black Student Caucus, Hispanic/Latino(a) Association, and Affinity. Students meet regularly for prayer and fellowship, and they are active in community events, including protests and vigils. More than 30 denominations and religious traditions are represented by CTS students. Students plan and manage weekly Chapel services. They enjoy the many cultural and educational events hosted at CTS.

Degree Programs

Christian Theological Seminary offers four graduate degree programs, three joint degree programs and two doctoral programs. These comprehensive degree programs provide professional and theological preparation for vocational callings, which may include pastoral leadership, counseling and family therapy professions, and working to improve the world in nonprofit or government roles.

Master of Divinity Reinvented for fall semester 2015 to prepare students for the demands of modern pastoral life and faithful community leadership, including in parish ministry, many types of chaplaincy, agencies and nonprofits, for-profit social enterprises, mission work at home and abroad, further study in theology or related disciplines, and other forms of church and service-based vocations. It is the basic theological degree in preparation for ordination..

In the spring of 2016, Christian Theological Seminary announced a partnership with the OPEN Network which allows all students to immerse themselves in studies with CTS’ esteemed faculty in Indianapolis plus brilliant practitioners and thought leaders at sessions all over the U.S. This approach was developed in partnership with the OPEN network for students who want a CTS MDiv but cannot relocate to Indianapolis.

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Provides professional preparation for students from diverse backgrounds to practice counseling, care, and psychotherapy in a multicultural and pluralistic society with individuals, couples, groups and families. The MAMHC degree meets academic requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor in the state of Indiana and many other states

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy Provides theological and professional preparation in marriage and family therapy. The program is one of two accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. It is approved by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and the MAMFT degree meets State of Indiana academic requirements for licensing of marriage and family therapists.

Master of Theological Studies For people who want to undertake in-depth theological studies, culminating in writing a thesis. This degree is excellent preparation for doctoral studies.

Dual Degree Programs
Master of Divinity with Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Master of Divinity with Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Master of Divinity with Master of Theological Studies

Doctor of Ministry The Doctor of Ministry degree program at CTS is an advanced course of study for those engaged in professional ministry broadly understood. The program provides leaders with an opportunity to integrate their experience in ministry with advanced academic study and develop new skills for more effective ministry.

PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric develops and prepares practitioner-scholars to be deeply connected to the church and also to the academy (though not necessarily via tenure-track, full-time professorial positions). Practitioner-scholars engage in scholarship from the perspective of their location in ministry, applying PhD-level research and analysis to African American preaching and other practices of sacred rhetoric. . Classes for the PhD program will begin in January 2017.

The Hispanic Summer Program The Hispanic Summer Program is held each year at one of several seminaries that sponsor this intensive two-week program. Hispanic/Latino students and bilingual students who are interested in Hispanic ministries may enroll for a maximum of two courses per summer, for two credits each, toward a CTS degree. Instruction is in Spanish and English, covers a wide range of the theological curriculum, and focuses on the Hispanic/Latino church and Hispanic ministries within multicultural settings. Financial assistance for travel, housing, and tuition is provided by sponsoring institutions.


Christian Theological Seminary is located at 1000 West 42nd Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. The seminary is centrally located within Indianapolis and is within walking distance of Butler University and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.


The Christian Theological Seminary Library[1] contains more than 210,000 volumes as well as over 1,300 current periodical subscriptions. Microfilms, audio-visuals, manuscripts, and special materials on the Restoration movement are available to scholars. The CTS Library is also home to the Congregational Resource Center, a resource library that contains videos, curriculum, denominational resources, and Vacation Bible School resources that are available on loan to pastors and leaders of local congregations.

Notable alumni


External links

Coordinates: 39°49′58″N 86°10′42″W / 39.8329°N 86.1783°W / 39.8329; -86.1783

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