Trinity Evangelical Divinity School


Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising

The Center for Transformational Churches is pleased to partner with the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving to offer the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising. The certificate program will be held on the Trinity campus on June 5-8, 2017.

I. About

Lake-Institute-LogoThe Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF) is a four-day intensive program consisting of four courses plus a practical application project. This certificate program provides the research, tools, and customized training to meet the growing needs of leaders in religious communities and fundraisers of faith-based organizations.

The focus of the ECRF is on the cultural, organizational, and philanthropic practices unique to religious institutions. These practices in turn enable donors motivated by spiritual and religious values to experience the joy of generous giving.

The ECRF program is offered by in partnership with the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, which is housed in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).


II. Who Should Attend

ECRF is designed for religious leaders in faith-based organizations and institutions who wish to learn more about the spirituality of fundraising and gain a core foundation in fundraising principles. The program is open and specifically tailored to all faith traditions.

Typical titles of attendees include:

  • Clergy
  • Laity
  • Judicatory Executives
  • Development leaders and professionals at faith-based organizations


III. Course Requirements

The program consists of 4 one-day seminars, selected required readings (to be completed in advance), and a final project.

Day One: Nurturing Generous Congregations & Organizations
Day Two: Nurturing Generous Donors
Day Three: Fundraising as Ministry
Day Four: Shaping a Theology of Money

Final Project: Upon completion of the four seminars, participants will apply the concepts learned in the course through designing and implementing a project over the next year at their faith-based institution. Examples of past projects have included designing a year-round stewardship program, the annual giving/fundraising campaign, a special fundraising initiative, development of a planned giving program, an educational program to foster generosity, and a leadership development program for staff and/or governing board. Upon completion of the project, candidates will submit a written evaluation as to the effectiveness of the project.


IV. Course Instructors

Days 1-3: Melissa Spas is the Managing Director of Education and Engagement for the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving. She joined the staff of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in 2016, having spent two years developing new initiatives and strategic partnerships for Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington. From 2007-2013, Melissa worked for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, where she contributed to the development, design, and delivery of strategic leadership programs and resources for Christian institutions. A native of Chautauqua, New York, Melissa is a graduate of Allegheny College and Harvard Divinity School, and she is an active lay person in the United Methodist Church.

Day 4: Donald C. Guthrie serves as Professor of Educational Ministries and Director of the Educational Studies PhD Program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He also serves as Executive Director of Trinity’s Center for Transformational Churches. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Georgia, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Donald is a co-author of Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving. Donald is a frequent teacher at conferences and retreats, often addressing cultural trends, intergenerational ministry, calling and vocation, and adult learning. Donald and Mary have two young adult children.


V. Details


Monday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday and Wednesday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Each day’s schedule includes 1 hour for lunch and two 15-minute breaks. Breakfast, coffee, and daily snacks are provided.


Hinkson Hall (in Rodine Global Ministry building) on Trinity campus


$1,275 per registrant
Includes program binder, daily breakfasts and break refreshments

Recommended lodging:

La Quinta Inns & Suites, 2000 Lakeside Drive, Bannockburn, IL 60015 – within walking distance of campus
Homewood Suites, 10 Westminster Way, Lincolnshire, IL 60069 – approximately 1 mile from campus
Please be sure to identify yourself as a Trinity guest to receive the discounted room rate.


For questions about the event, contact Esther Rajamani at [email protected] or (859) 368-1290.


(Registration Closed)