The Institute for Catholic Philanthropy

FOCUS and UMARY partnership logos.

A project of FOCUS and the University of Mary

In their shared work of serving the Church, the leadership at both FOCUS and the University of Mary has recognized a critical need.

For 2,000 years, the Church has benefited the world through the generosity of countless faithful souls who gave of themselves and their wealth in service to others—often at great personal sacrifice. However, as with many aspects of our culture today, there is a wide gap between the Catholic understanding of the human person and the universal call to charitable giving and the business of fundraising.

The best way to fulfill one’s obligations of justice and love is to contribute to the common good according to one’s means and the needs of others, and also to promote and help public and private organizations devoted to bettering the conditions of life.”

Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes "The Church in the Modern World"

The world has never produced more wealth, and that is why the world has never needed a firmer grasp of the obligation to serve others with that wealth.

That is why FOCUS and the University of Mary are partnering to found the Institute for Catholic Philanthropy. Led by FOCUS professionals in fundraising and missionary work along with the faculty of the University of Mary, the Institute for Catholic Philanthropy seeks to address the critical shortage of professionals trained with the necessary skills required to serve the Church.

The Institute for Catholic Philanthropy will offer a three-course graduate-level Certificate in Catholic Philanthropy, which is also offered as a full MBA Concentration.

Together, FOCUS and the University of Mary believe that professionals with a proper understanding of both the essentials of successful fundraising and the Catholic perspective on giving—including the Theology of the Gift—will allow for the Church to serve the needs of our time more effectively and fruitfully, for the benefit of many souls and for the common good.

About FOCUS and the University of Mary

The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) was founded in 1998 and invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. During the 2017 – 2018 academic year, more than 660 missionaries are serving full-time on 137 college campuses, located across 38 U.S. states and at three international locations (two campuses in Austria and one in England). More than 20,000 students have been involved with FOCUS, who after graduation have the opportunity to move into parish life to continue their missionary work. Within this number, 674 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects — God willing — to have 75,000 students transitioned into many of America’s 17,000+ Catholic parishes. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to peers on campus. To learn more, visit us at

The University of Mary is a Catholic University based in Bismarck, North Dakota. The University of Mary exists to serve the religious, academic and cultural needs of the people in this region and beyond. It takes its tone from the commitment of the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. These Sisters founded the University in 1959 and continue to sponsor it today. It is Christian, it is Catholic, and it is Benedictine.

Learn More

To discover how you can receive the training offered through this unique collaboration, visit:

  1. Graduate Certificate in Catholic Philanthropy
  2. MBA Concentration in Catholic Philanthropy