If you want to learn to develop your abilities to serve the mission of the Church, a Catholic Philanthropy specialization will give you the operational and fundraising know-how you need.

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 specialization 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.

Please Note: A specialization is required for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program; and optional for the Master of Organizational Leadership (MOL) and the Master of Project Management (MPM) programs.

Graduates of the program will play a critical role in advancing the mission and ministry of the Church through professional resource development. Skills learned in the program will help graduates invite people to participate in the mission of the Church through giving.

This program seeks to help individuals understand Catholic philanthropy as evangelization, and to equip graduates with the tools necessary to meet people where they are and invite them to grow closer to Christ and His Church by giving of themselves and their financial gifts.


What You’ll Learn

Gain advanced business leadership skills and examine, in-depth, an understanding of Catholic charities and other nonprofits. When you graduate, you will be prepared to:

  • Demonstrate full knowledge of the “Theology of Gift” and how these principles affect modern philanthropy.
  • Synthesize professional best practices with the Catholic Faith and develop processes and plans formed by values of self-gift and service.
  • Demonstrate preparation in all areas of the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) test subject matter.
  • Demonstrate professional competence as a manager or senior mission advancement professional.
  • Evaluate the contemporary global business environment in an integrated manner to propose business solutions.
  • Demonstrate professional business communication.
  • Interpret results from multiple business support tools to inform decision making.
  • Take on leadership roles within your organization.
  • Apply advanced management strategies to improve employee productivity and business results.



Foundations in Catholic Philanthropy (3 credits)

Analyze foundational principles such as Gift, Generosity, Gratefulness, and Love - specifically, how they relate to charitable giving and motives. Synthesize these concepts through an exploration of sacred scripture, early Church writings, and modem Church works.

Transformational Giving (3 credits)

Interpret Major Gifts practices through the lens of SelfGift, compare different major gift approaches, and demonstrate mastery of major gifts techniques and presentation.

Mission Advancement Principles & Practice (3 credits)

Evaluate ethical, procedural, legal, and managerial principles and practices of running a successful Mission Advancement office. This course will also fulfill Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) test preparation necessary for the following sections: Donor Research, Volunteer Involvement, Leadership and Management, and Ethics, Accountability, and Professionalism.