Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
The School of Philanthropy

Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising

The Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF) is designed for pastors, judicatory executives, clergy, senior ministers, development leaders of faith-based organizations and all people of faith who wish to gain an expertise in fundraising principles and practices and to train development personnel who serve faith-based organizations. Four core-courses, selected readings, online peer-group conversations and the successful completion of a final project frame the requirements for the ECRF.

Working in partnership with theological schools and religiously based educational institutions, the Executive Certificate educational program may be designed to be completed within a one-week timeframe, a combination two two-day onsite sessions combined with online sessions, or four one-day periods extending over six to nine months.

The ECRF is offered in partnership with host institutions who have worked with Lake Institute to tailor their particular class design. The first pilot was offered by Christian Theological Seminary in June 2013. We will continue with pilot offerings through 2014 with an official launch of the ECRF program in 2015.

Full participation in the ECRF: Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising is applicable for 22 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.


(1) Four one-day seminars (8:30am - 5pm)

  1. Nurturing Generous Congregations & Organizations

  2. Nurturing Generous Donors

  3. Fundraising as Ministry

  4. Shaping a Theology of Money

(2) Final Project

(3) Online Community available

(4) Required readings

COST: During the pilot launch of ECRF, program participants pay between $900 (early bird registration) and $1,200 (standard class rate), a reduced total fee for the program, in addition to travel and lodging expenses. The Pilot Programs are supplemented by endowment and partnership resources, to best meet the needs of the course participants during this 2 year period. Evaluation and external review findings from the Pilot Programs will be applied to the program launch in 2015. In 2015, the ECRF will not be supplemented, and each participant will be required to pay the full cost of the certification program, $1,200 (early bird registration) and $1,500 (standard class rate). Please note that the partnering theological institution who hosts the program may adjust the costs slightly to include meals and in some cases lodging.

Click here for a list of ECRF offerings

Lake Institute is currently in conversation with other institutions regarding offerings for 2015. For more information please contact us at or call 317-278-8998.