In 1964, Cardinal Leo Suenens of Belgium spoke at the University of Chicago and urged that seminaries of the future might be urban based, in the context of a great academic center, and ecumenical in spirit. That speech inspired the founding of CTU in 1968, when several religious orders combined their seminary resources, moved to Chicago’s Hyde Park, and began a daring experiment in collaboration.
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The Paul Bechtold Library contains 150,000 volumes and receives 500 periodicals, providing resources for study and research by students and faculty members. The library’s holdings include the Weber-Killgallon collection in religious education, and the library collection is particularly strong in materials related to religious orders, religious life, and Franciscan Studies.