Focus and UMary partnership

Catholic Philanthropy Certificate

The Institute for Catholic Philanthropy—a shared project of FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and the University of Mary—is proud to offer a graduate-level certificate program in Catholic Philanthropy (pending HLC approval). The three-course program, which can be completed over the course of a summer, offers advanced training for professional fundraisers or those seeking to enter the field of fundraising in service of the Church.

While the program is intentionally designed as a standalone graduate certificate, students may also choose to pursue the specialization in Catholic Philanthropy as a concentration which can be added to any of the graduate programs offered through the Gary Tharaldson School of Business, including the online MBA.

This program is ideal for professionals who wish to advance their careers and gain leadership and fundraising skills that can serve faith-based philanthropic endeavors in a variety of settings.

Graduates of the certificate will be able to:

  • Sit for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) examination, prepared with all of the principles necessary to obtain the highly-sought CFRE credential.
  • Demonstrate full knowledge of the "Theology of Gift" and how these principles impact modern philanthropy.
  • Incorporate professional best practices in the field of fundraising and synthesize those practices with the Catholic Faith.
  • Demonstrate professional competence as a manager or senior Mission Advancement professional in service of the Church.

Led by the faculty of the University of Mary and industry professionals, the Institute for Catholic Philanthropy enables participants to explore and reflect upon the foundations of charitable giving—most notably the “theology of gift”—in the context of the Catholic Church’s rich tradition of scholarship, understanding and experience, including sacred Scripture, early and modern Church writings and contemporary sources.

Program Details

  • Courses are offered over the summer months, with most coursework being delivered in a convenient online format. The program does include a one-week residency in July on the University of Mary campus in Bismarck, ND.
  • Instruction is offered from proven professionals in Catholic Philanthropy, and content has been prepared with leaders of FOCUS and the University of Mary.
  • Designed to fit the busy schedules of working professionals, students can obtain this advanced training without sacrificing their current employment.
  • With tuition costs under $5,000, the program offers an affordable opportunity for meaningful professional development.

A timely and robust program, the Certificate in Catholic Philanthropy draws from some of the greatest teachers of past and present with the aim of forming leaders who
 can successfully cultivate and direct charitable giving in the achievement of human flourishing.

Required Courses

There are three courses needed to complete the Catholic Philanthropy Certificate:

  1. Foundations in Catholic Philanthropy
  2. Transformational Giving: Activating the Gift
  3. Principles and Practice

Professional Education at the University of Mary

A trailblazer in online and evening-based professional education, the University of Mary leverages years of experience and advanced technology to deliver a superior learning environment.

  1. Online Learning

    Utilizing Canvas, the student learning management system, participants complete all of their requisite studies in a cloud-based setting that is truly 24/7—all via one’s desktop, laptop, tablet or cell phone. In addition to course materials and assignments, participants are able to engage their instructors and one another in a convenient online setting that combines all the benefits of classroom learning with the flexibility needed for working professionals wherever they may reside.

  2. Scholar Practitioners

    It is one thing for an instructor to know the academic principles behind good fundraising, but quite another for he/she to have success in the field.

    After decades of experience in professional education, the University of Mary recognizes the immense value of instructors who have served as effective professionals in the field of fundraising. Instruction will be supported by industry-leading professionals at FOCUS and the University of Mary.

  3. Student Support

    Students in the Catholic Philanthropy Certificate will be assigned an individual student success advisor to support them in their efforts. Our goal is to allow you to be successful, so you have a person assigned to you to assist in that effort.

Career Outlook

Employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Strong employment growth driven by the continued need to raise money should result in great job opportunities!

+ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Required Courses

There are three courses needed to complete the Catholic Philanthropy Certificate:

  1. Foundations in Catholic Philanthropy
  2. Transformational Giving: Activating the Gift
  3. Principles and Practice