Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Chicago Catholic Scripture School

Important links:


Interview with Dr. Brian Schmisek, on April 28, 2017



Welcome to the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago!

At the request of the Office of Lifelong Formation at the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) became the new home for the Chicago Catholic Scripture School (CCSS) in the fall of 2017. This has broaden IPS’s mission of adult scripture study to include CCSS courses in English. IPS has been teaching CCSS courses in Spanish since the fall of 2014.

The IPS Chicago Catholic Scripture School provides in-depth knowledge of the Bible within a Roman Catholic framework. Parishioner leaders, catechists, parish staffs, and anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of scripture will benefit from this program.

Benefits of Bible Study

  • Apply the Bible to life events and your parish ministry
  • Interpret the Bible and its social justice dimensions
  • Become a more effective leader
  • Obtain Biblical formation for religious education
  • Step toward professional leadership in your parish
  • Enrich your personal spiritual and liturgical life

Parish sites, course materials, fees, and (in most cases) instructors will remain the same. Students may take courses toward certification or they may audit. IPS will provide certificates of completion for students (excluding Audit students) who complete the two-year Basic or four-year Advanced programs.

If you're a current student, please let us know your level and location.
If you're an alumnus of the program, we'd also love to know about you so we can keep you informed about CCSS events and learning opportunities as they become available. Just let us know you're an alumnus.

For questions or assistance, please contact Director, Kevin Pease: kpease@luc.edu or 312-915-7485.

The Chicago Catholic Scripture School (CCSS) is a center for comprehensive formation in the area of Scripture for Catholic adults including: laypersons, Deacons, parish catechetical leaders, catechists, RCIA leaders, pastoral associates, youth ministers, parish Bible study leaders, lectors, and others who work with Scripture in various parish ministries.

Our goal is to help bring students into a closer relationship with God's revealed Word in the Roman Catholic tradition. Empowerment of the Word, and one's response, transforms lives.

Program Description
The Chicago Catholic Scripture School (CCSS) uses the Catholic Biblical School Program published by Paulist Press.  The program guides students through every book of the Bible in four years (Twelve units). Students may register for one unit at a time, or one year at a time.

CCSS can be undertaken in two phases:

Basic Biblical Studies
The first two years (six units) focus on methods of biblical study and prayer with the Bible in the Roman Catholic tradition, including a comprehensive study of some major books of the Old and New Testaments. Students who fulfill the requirements of the first two years receive a Certificate of Basic Biblical Studies from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago

Advanced Biblical Studies
The remaining two years (an additional six units) delve more deeply into the Old and New Testaments, covering all other books in the Bible. Students who complete this phase receive a Certificate of Advanced Biblical Studies from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago.

Study Options
The Chicago Catholic Scripture School offers two options of study.  The first one is the Certification Program. Certification Program students are required to complete homework and examinations. The second option is referred to as the "Audit Program" and it is open to those students who wish to learn more about scripture, but are not interested in a formal Certificate. Audit students are expected to read Biblical content, supplemental readings, review homework assignments, be prepared to participate in class discussions, and to attend Scripture School Special Events. However, they are not required to submit written homework or take tests.

Current Site Locations and Classes:


Online Courses Available!

First Year Class

  • St. Anne Parish 120 N. Ela Street, Barrington, IL 60010 Tuesday, April 2 1:00–3:00pm/7:00–9:00pm
  • St. John of the Cross Parish 5005 S. Wolf Road, Western Springs, IL 60558 Wednesday, April 3 10:00am –12:00 pm/7:00-9:00pm
  • Old St. Patrick Parish 711 West Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60661 Tuesday, April 2, 7:00 – 9:00p

Second Year Class 

  • St. Benedict Parish 2215 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60618 Thursday, April 4, 6:15 – 8:15 pm
  • St. Walter Parish 11772 S Oakley Avenue, Chicago, IL 60643 Saturday, April 13, 8:30am – 12:30pm

Fourth Year Class

  • St. Athanasius Parish 1615 Lincoln Street, Evanston, IL 60201 Sunday, March 31, 6:15 – 8:15 pm

Course Fees:

Certification Program
$195.00 for one unit
$585.00 for one year

Audit Program
$95.00 for one unit
$285.00 for one year

Program Requirements

  • Access to a computer with internet access
  • An individual (not shared) email address
  • Purchase of course workbook (one per year, each covering three units)
  • Optional purchase of recommended reference books




2019 -2020 CALENDAR


Year One


Year Two


Year Three


Year Four