With more than a quarter century history of collaboration, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) will soon be working in even closer communion with McCormick Theological Seminary. Construction is nearly complete on the LSTC campus for McCormick's new headquarters. Faculty and staff of the Presbyterian seminary will take residence in the three-story, 40,000-square-foot facility Feb. 28, 18 months after construction began. Following a worship service and ceremonial walk to the campus on Thursday, Feb. 27, McCormick faculty and staff will be welcomed by faculty, staff and students from the Lutheran School of Theology.
The McCormick building will connect to the three-story, U-shaped Lutheran school, forming the northern border of the Lutheran Seminary's courtyard. The courtyard covers a new underground parking garage, equipped with a heated, snow-melting entrance and exit ramp, that the two schools will share. The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago leased the land for the building to McCormick in 2000.
This latest cooperative venture continues a 28-year partnership which began when McCormick moved from Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood to the Hyde Park neighborhood in 1975. At the time, the two theological institutions agreed to share classroom space and combine library resources for shared ownership of the Jesuit-Krauss-McCormick Library.
More recently, the two institutions pooled Lilly Foundation grant money for upgrading technological resources for instruction and research. They now share a joint technology team and a three-year, $505,000 Teagle Foundation grant to explore new ways to share administrative and physical resources and to encourage and assist neighboring Chicago seminaries to do the same.
In 1998, the two seminaries' governing bodies, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), entered into and celebrated a relationship of "full communion." The agreement, which also includes the Reformed Church in America and the United Church of Christ, allows the exchange of ministers and encourages the denominations to share heritages of worship, service and education.