Annual Report 2023

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Message from the President

Dear Members of the CTS Community,

As I reflect on the year behind us and look forward to the year ahead, I am filled with gratitude and optimism. The 2022-2023 year was not just a page in the history of Christian Theological Seminary; it was a chapter of resilience, transformation, and an unwavering commitment to our mission and values. I hope you will join me in appreciating the diverse beauty of the tapestry that is CTS, woven of many threads that make possible the formation of visionary leaders and the practice of faithful leadership in action.

This year saw the announcement of Two Schools, One Mission at Christian Theological Seminary. The creation of the two signifies the distinct ways in which prospective students can engage in our degree programs. The School of Theology focuses on holistic formation and development of students, supporting their flourishing as humans and as religious leaders. The School of Counseling addresses the rising need for mental health professionals, allowing us to train more highly qualified therapists to enter the field. We recognize the growing need for this service, as our Counseling Center offered over 11,000 client sessions this past year. It is clear that at CTS, the practical application of knowledge is equally as important as the formation of compassionate and skilled therapists…


At CTS, we’re committed to forming excellent theologians and counselors who serve God’s transforming of the world. CTS recognizes the world’s deep need for well-trained theological and counseling leaders – and we work to form them every day.

Supporting Congregations

Innovative coursework benefits students and furthers CTS’ partnership with churches, providing support beyond graduating qualified ministers. Dr. Courtney Buggs partners with regional churches to give MDiv and Dual Degree students the chance to preach from the pulpit for the first time in a congregational setting. CTS also provides online Lifelong Learning courses open to all, including the Skills for Flourishing Congregations series.

School of Counseling

The formation of the School of Counseling demonstrates CTS’ commitment to training highly qualified counselors and therapists. Our student to faculty ratio is an incredible 10:1, the average student takes only 2.5 years to complete their degree, and 85% of those students receive financial aid. The MAMFT degree program boasts a 100% placement rate for graduates, and the MACMHC degree program has a 95% placement placement rate for graduates.

3rd Cohort in PhD Program

A third cohort of students was welcomed into the PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric program. The celebrated leaders selected to the third cohort include a nationally renowned author, influential pastors, a distinguished professor, and visionary storytellers.

DMin Program Excels

The Doctor of Ministry program now includes 28 enrolled students and has graduated 15 students in the last 3 years, boasting an impressive 83.3% persistence to graduation rate which is more than twice the average for similar ATS-accredited programs.

Compelling Preaching Initiative

CTS was awarded a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to establish the Compelling Preaching Initiative, an 18-month certificate program for preachers to engage in cohort learning about theology and pedagogy of preaching while further developing their own preaching method. This extension of the PhD Program targets lifelong learners.

Faculty Expands

CTS welcomed faculty members Dr. Nick Peterson (Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Assistant Director of the PhD Program) and Dr. Francisco Lozada, Jr. (Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of New Testament Studies).

Two Schools, One Mission

CTS announced Two Schools, One Mission at the State of the Seminary address from President David M. Mellott in April. The School of Theology and the School of Counseling allow CTS to fully embrace its identity as an institution that educates and forms counseling clinicians in addition to pastors, chaplains, educators, and community leaders.


CTS doesn’t focus solely on academic formation — it also provides practical ways for students and community members to live out their faith. It’s clear that at CTS, putting leadership into practice is just as important as the formation of compassionate and skilled leaders.

Counseling Center Takes Action

The Counseling Center provided more than 12,000 client sessions, MAMFT students offered free couples checkups, and resident therapists led topical support groups to serve the community. Like the balance of formation and practice students learn in classes like Yoga and Spirituality, CTS balances its efforts to form leaders with efforts to practice leadership in action.

Faith & Action Project

The Faith & Action Project provided many opportunities for community engagement including the Fall Event featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the Spring Conference featuring keynote speaker Rabbi Sharon Brous, panel discussions on poverty mitigation, and a free Youth Mental Health First Aid training.

Proclaiming the Dignity of All

CTS proclaims the inherent dignity of LGBTQIA+ persons. In April, the CTS Connection e-news shared articles written by students and faculty from diverse theological and counseling perspectives highlighting how LGBTQ+ issues affect our community. CTS clergy stood with trans children at the Indiana State House and in a clergy vigil inside the Governor’s office.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

The Faith & Action Project provided grants totaling $105,000 to four efforts aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty in Indianapolis. These innovative efforts are working to mitigate poverty and provide meaningful and lasting changes that will help local families and communities flourish.

A Community Where Everyone Belongs

We want the world to know there are Christian churches and communities who are open and affirming, who proclaim God’s unconditional love and support for all, where everyone has a place and belongs just as they are – including the marginalized. Including LGBTQIA+ people. Including trans kids.

Advocating to End Gun Violence

Advocating for an end to gun violence, President Mellott and Dean Gunning Francis penned a Letter to the Editor signed by faith leaders from every mainline Christian denomination in the state of Indiana that called on the Governor to convene a special legislative session to address the rising tide of gun violence and repeal HB 1296.

Year in Review

Bar Graph: United Methodist 22%, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 10%, Non-Denominational 8%, African Methodist Episcopal 6%, Baptist Missionary Assoc. of America 6%, Episcopal Church 6%, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 6%, American Baptist Church 4%, Baptist (Other) 4%, Christian Church (Independent) 4%, United Church of Christ 4%.

Degree Enrollment

33  MDIV
21  PhD
22  DMIN
2  MTS
1  Non-Degree
16  Dual Degree

Gayle Spicer presenting an award at the Annual Day of Giving Campaign

At a Glance

Our alumni and friends continue to bless our students and faculty with their generous and faithful gifts. Whether you support the CTS Annual Fund, our outreach and academic programs, or an endowed scholarship fund, your gifts to Christian Theological Seminary are deeply appreciated.

Two Pie Charts. The first is for "Annual Giving - $358,887", showing: 73% Annual Fund (Unrestricted), 24% Disciples Mission Fund (Unrestricted), and 3% Annual Restricted. The second pie chart is for "Total Giving - $1,796,382", showing: 74% Programs, 20% Unrestricted, 5% Endowment, and 1% Annual Restricted.
Financials, Fiscal Year End June 30, 2023


In fiscal year 2022, Christian Theological Seminary provided $1,338,817 to students in the form of scholarships. Of this amount, $1,083,791 was provided by scholarship funds in our endowment and $255,026 was funded by our operating budget. Christian Theological Seminary maintains a draw rate of 5% off of our endowment. While scholarships make up 17% of our spending from the endowment, the largest allotment of endowment fund support comes from board designated funds within our endowment. These board designated funds support salaries, facilities, technology, faculty development, and services to our students and community.

Student Demographics: Total Students - 167, Percentage of Degree Seeking Students Living in Indiana - 78%, Students to Faculty Ratio - 6 to 1. European American - 79, African American - 75, Unknown - 7, Hispanic - 5, Asian American 1, Female - 115, Male - 51, Other 1
Bar Chart Showing "Theological Studies Enrollment by Denomination (Top Three): Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) - 16, United Methodist - 11, Non-denominational - 10
Degree Enrollment by School. School of Counseling: MAMFT- 28, MACMHC - 30. School of Theology: MDiv - 33, MTS - 4, DMin - 26, PhD - 24. General Enrollment: Non-Degree - 5, Certificate - 1, Dual Degree - 16
Two Schools, One Mission


Counseling Center Residents 17
CTS Student Interns 51
Clients 881
Client Sessions 11,218

Christian Theological Seminary’s Counseling Center has been providing subsidized, affordable mental health and marriage and family therapy services to the greater Indianapolis area since 1967. In addition to providing a unique and immersive training environment aimed at developing the next generation of mental health clinicians and marriage and family therapists, the CTS Counseling Center has long worked to fill gaps and increase access to equitable and high-quality mental health services for individuals who otherwise could not afford treatment or receive individualized and thoughtful care.

Faith &

Public Events 2
Community Convenings 3
Grant Recipients 4
Grant Support $105,000

The Faith & Action Project connects advocates, inspires actions, and empowers local organizations through public events, conferences, and its grant program to make a lasting difference and mitigate poverty in Indianapolis. In the past seven years the project has supported 27 organizations with more than $775,000 in grant funding.


We extend our gratitude to those whose support enables us to live out our values and accomplish our mission.