The Critical Needs Scholarship
The purpose of the Critical Needs Scholarship is to provide lay employees of the Archdiocese of Chicago with the opportunity to complete essential studies which meet critical needs of the Archdiocese in the following areas:
• Catechesis of children and adults and the formation of parents with children in sacramental preparation
• Ministry for African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Polish-immigrant communities
• Certification and training of teachers and principals, especially those serving inner city schools
• Liturgical ministry
• Evangelization to teens/early young adults
• Vitality of the parish system through a renewed sense of mission and stable financials
The program offers on-going assistance to the individual until completion of their course of studies, provided the candidate maintains satisfactory academic achievement and meets other program requirements. Participants in this program agree to provide three years of service to an Archdiocesan parish, school, or agency following completion of his/her studies.
For complete eligibility, assistance, and application information, view our updated Critical Needs Scholarship Flyer.
The Critical Needs Scholarship application cycle for the 2019-2020 academic year is now open. The application deadline is May 1, 2019.
To apply please download the Application and Proof of Employment Form
Feel free to contact the Institute with any questions at:
Lay Ecclesial Ministry Scholarships
The Archdiocese of Chicago recognizes the financial demands of pursing Master of Arts education. For this reason the Archdiocese has collaborated with participating Roman Catholic schools to create several scholarships opportunities. The Together in God's Service Scholarship may be applied to a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Degree at:
Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Loyola University Chicago
University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Mundelein
Together in God’s Service (TIGS) Scholarship
All participants who are accepted into the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation Program receive the Archdiocese of Chicago's Together in God's Service scholarship. The Archdiocese funds one-third of tuition, the partnering theological school waives one-third, and the student is responsible for the remaining one-third. To apply to the Lay Ecclesial Ministry program please fill out the application and mail in required recommendations with a check for your application fee.
If you are simultaneously applying to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, please note the following:
The LEM program recommendation forms suffice for both the LEM formation program and the USML MAPS degree.
The LEM and USML MAPS applications are the same so only 1 set of essay questions is needed.
The application fee of $60 covers both the Formation Program and the USML MAPS application.
Scholarship Programs offered by Catholic Theological Union and the Archdiocese of Chicago
Augustus Tolton Scholarship Program
This program provides financial assistance to African American students who are seeking advanced degrees in ministry. In addition to the formation provided by the Tolton program, students also participate in some elements of the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program. For more information on the Augustus Tolton Scholarship Program go to the Catholic Theological Union website at https://ctu.edu/initiatives/tolton-scholarship-application/.
Oscar Romero Scholarship Program
The Oscar Romero program at Catholic Theological Union provides financial assistance to Latino students who are seeking advanced degrees in ministry. In addition to the formation provided by the Romero program, students also participate in some elements of the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program. For more information on the Oscar Romero Scholarship Program go to the Catholic Theological Union website at https://ctu.edu/initiatives/romero-scholarship-application/.