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Expand your fundraising skills and serve the Church more effectively by earning a graduate-level certificate in Catholic Philanthropy from the University of Mary.

Our 9-credit, 15-week, certificate program is taught by seasoned, successful Catholic fundraisers, many of whom have raised millions of dollars of donations during their careers. Learn primarily online with a one-week residency at our main campus in Bismarck, ND.

Provided in part through the Institute for Catholic Philanthropy—a one-of-a-kind partnership between FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and the University of Mary—our certificate in Catholic Philanthropy combines advanced teachings in the core operational aspects of business and philanthropy with courses devoted to the values and best practices that make Catholic charities and nonprofits successful.

Take the First Step

Get in touch with any questions or submit a simple application for admission.
We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!

At a Glance

Percent of family giving goes to organizations with religious ties

Program Length

9 credits/3 courses/15 weeks


  • Online, with a one-week residency at our main campus in Bismarck, ND

Scholarship & Aid

In keeping with our commitment to supporting working adults seeking further education, we offer each eligible candidate up to $3,000 in scholarships.

Is This the Degree For Me?

Who It’s For

  • Philanthropy professionals who want to improve their fundraising skills and boost their leadership skills employed in service to the Church
  • Professionals seeking to prepare for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) exam
  • Church leaders who want to elevate their fundraising skills
  • Students who want to take a step toward earning an MBA or MOL with a Catholic Philanthropy specialization

Career Paths

  • President/CEO
  • Executive Director
  • Director of Development
  • Director of Annual Giving
  • Director of Planned Giving
  • Major Gifts Administrator
  • Grants Administrator

What You’ll Learn

  • Content relevant to and in preparation for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) exam
  • How the principles of the “Theology of Gift” impact modern philanthropy
  • Best practices for modern fundraising and how they integrate with your Catholic faith
  • Skills and competencies for being a successful manager or senior mission advancement professional in service to the Church

Elevate Your Skillset

Once you’ve completed your certificate in Catholic philanthropy, you can then stack your earned credits into an online master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or apply them toward a Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) or Project Management (MPM)

Program Details

Program Information

Please visit our catalog for admission requirements and a full list of our courses.

Your first step is to get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission. We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!

If you are serving or have served our country, we sincerely thank you. Our military services office is here to work closely with active duty, retired, reserve, and eligible family members qualified for military benefits. Learn how we can help you with the application process and review the benefits you have earned.

For a full list of fees, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

The University of Mary is committed to putting your educational goals within reach. Learn what scholarships you qualify for.

We welcome students from various backgrounds, including transfer students from institutionally accredited colleges and universities recognized by the US Dept. of Education and those with military or career and work experience. 

How do I show my previous college, military, or work experience?

  • Official transcripts (if applicable) from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 should be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions.

    • Did you graduate from the University of Mary? Then we’ll get your Mary transcript for you!
    • At most other schools, you can request transcripts by going to the National Student Clearinghouse or by contacting the registrar’s office. 
      • Have your transcripts sent to:
        Office of Admissions
        University of Mary
        7500 University Drive
        Bismarck, ND 58504
      • Or request to send electronic transcripts to
  • Students with previous career or work experience can earn credits for prior learning.
    • You can choose to test for prior learning credits — we convert your test scores into college credit.
    • You can request a portfolio review for prior learning credits. You’ll assemble documentation to show your experience, which will be reviewed and evaluated by an experienced faculty member.
  • Military experience can count towards a degree.
  • All of our programs require you to fill out the general application form in addition to submitting the application fee and your transcripts.
  • Any program-specific requirements you’ll need to submit in addition to the items listed above can be found in our catalog.

At the University of Mary, we review every application on an individual basis, ensuring that the materials you submit are evaluated with care and attention. Reach out to us if you have any questions in filling out your application.

Get Started Today

Apply Online