Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

Our Values, Mission, & Goals

Our curriculum, worship, and institutional life are all informed by our four key values: Cross-cultural, Urban, Reformed, and Ecumenical.


McCormick is committed to the formation and equipping of Christian leaders who value cultural and racial/ethnic diversity and demonstrate competence in the cross-cultural practices essential for ministry in a church and society that are becoming more diverse and varied with each passing day.


McCormick recognizes the Chicago metropolitan area not only as one of the world’s leading centers for theological study but also as a microcosm of the pluralistic society in which we live and as a unique resource for studying and practicing contextual ministry.


Theological education at McCormick builds on and contributes to the Reformed tradition, recognizing its diversity, and the richness of its past and present historical expressions. We value and promote the fundamental core claims and values in the Reformed tradition, a tradition that is:

  • Convicted of the priority of God’s grace,
  • Called by Jesus Christ the transformer of culture,
  • Grounded in Scripture,
  • Committed to justice, freedom, healing, and peace for all people.


McCormick encourages recognition, appreciation, and study of the plurality and diversity of the Christian tradition. We are committed to educational efforts that form Christian leaders with denominational identity, interest in participating in efforts toward Christian unity, and willingness to engage in interfaith dialogues and partnerships.

Our Mission Statement:

  • We are a community of learning and teaching, challenged by the Holy Spirit and grounded in God's transforming love for the world in Jesus Christ.
  • We are called to nurture the gifts of women and men for faithful Christian ministry and leadership through rigorous academic study, practical experience and spiritual formation.
  • A seminary of the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 1829 and a progressive leader within the Reformed tradition, we are committed to institutional life, scholarship and ministry that are ecumenical, urban and cross-cultural.

Our Context, Current Situation, and Vision

The current context of theological education is characterized by many challenges and opportunities. The challenges are well-documented: financially stressed schools; decreasing enrollments; the need for different educational models of delivery; increasing student debt at the undergraduate and graduate level; and the overall decline in religious participation in general, especially among younger generations. Opportunities are also present: increased diversity from faith communities of color; an increasingly innovative culture within higher education; and younger generations committed to justice and service, albeit not always grounded in faith or the institutional church.

For McCormick’s mission to thrive in the 21st century, the seminary will need to live increasingly in to this changing context. By the year 2040, there will no longer be a racial-ethnic majority in the United States. The 2040 vision addresses three trajectories of change that will characterize McCormick’s future: 1) Unprecedented Diversity; 2) Innovation and Technology; and 3) the Next Generation. The seminary will faithfully respond to its current context and proactively adapt to these inevitable forces of change for the future. By doing this, McCormick, a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), within the Reformed tradition, will continue to train and form leaders for the 21st century church and world in ways that are cross-cultural, urban, and ecumenical.

For the complete statement, download the Strategic Plan 2016-2019