Academic Programs 

 Practical Stewardship and Fundraising for Religious Leaders (AM-690) 
Summer 2004

Religious leaders operate "gift-driven" charities.  Often frustrated because they don't know how to raise money for outreach, social ministry projects, budgets and buildings, these leaders turn to outside fundraising companies and flash-in-the-pan campaigns to meet pressing financial needs.  Meanwhile their secular peers in other charities are literally raising billions each year. This course will teach basic annual fund, major gifts, foundation grants, capital campaigns and planned gift fundraising, essential skills for any religious not-for-profit leader.  Students will differentiate philanthropy, development, and biblical stewardship as they review sacred texts and current resources. Attention will be given to practical stewardship methodologies used today in North American Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course fulfills an instructional requirement of the Association of Fund Raising Professionals (AFP) for CFRE certification.  

Meeting Day, Time and Dates:
Monday, June 14 – Friday, June 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Ronald Lundeen
Faculty Associate in Practical Theology and Executive Director of Institutional Advancement

Contact Information:




Course Syllabus

It's Not Just About Money

Sometimes it seems so simple.  We ask people to give to the church each year to support its ongoing work.  Yet underneath this established tradition lie extraordinarily complex theological, economic, and organizational issues.

Why do most churches, even in affluent areas, struggle with financial issues?  Why do some people make significant financial commitments to their churches, while two-thirds or more of congregants give very little?

This is a comprehensive course, led by 4-5 instructors with significant experience in philanthropy, church organization, and church effectiveness.  Its not just about money, but about how we create congregations of the future – communities of faith that shake off the bonds of comfort, complacency, and convenience and reach out to serve in ever greater measure.

This course will encompass a wide variety of conceptual issues about how congregations can touch the hearts and souls of members by helping them re-define what the “good life’ actually is; and will also contain practical, useful, and relevant ways to address the annual pledge drive, capital campaigns, and planned giving initiatives.

Course Outline

Monday:  A review of terminology; individual situations and challenges facing each class member in the area of Stewardship; overview of Christian, Muslim and Jewish Stewardship themes.  Ahmed El Hattab, an experienced Muslim fund raising professional, and Yehezbel Landau, a Jewish professor at Hartford Seminary will make presentations and lead discussions.

Tuesday: Mark Dollhopf of New Haven CT talks about the application of contemporary stewardship themes in the global arena of denominations and large faith based organizations. Mark is well known among Roman Catholic Stewardship professionals and other denominational leaders.

Wednesday:  Michael Durall talks about contemporary congregations and the particular, unique challenges faced by class participants.  Michael is one of America's best read authors in the area of Stewardship practice for the congregation. Wednesday evening there will be an informal class picnic on campus.

Thursday: Rev. Steve Perry, an Arizona parish minister, a California business person and religious philanthropist talks about the giver and the donor; the individual philanthropist.

Friday:  Bill Hautt, founder of Focus Consultants, Inc. and Vice President of Young Life, Colorado Springs, CO, will discuss successful capital campaign planning and implementation.  Class members will share action plans for stewardship challenges they face in their professional situations.


1.  Review basic elements of congregational health and stability that provide the foundation for more effective stewardship.

2.  Learn problem solving techniques from expert stewardship practitioners representing the spectrum of Abrahamic faith traditions.

3.  Develop new models for Stewardship applicable to specific situations represented by class participants.

4.  Reflection is continuous, and the class is all-consuming for the participant.

Pre-Course Requirements

1. Complete a written survey on congregation giving, membership, stewardship issues, etc.

2.  Participate in phone or email conversations with the course instructors as they prepare relevant presentations.

3.  Select one of the required texts or select another book approved by the instructor for your written report.

4.  Gather a representative assortment of stewardship material used by your congregation/faith community.

Requirements for credit:

Either a class presentation or an original reflective written paper of  approximately 15 pages focused on a Stewardship action plan for the participants unique situation, and a required book report of 2-3 pages.

Suggested readings

Barna, George.  The Second Coming of the Church.  Word Publishing, 1999.
, AndrewThe Gospel of Wealth 1889  Find it online at: 
Chaves, Mark & Miller, Sharon.  Financing American Religion.  AltaMira Press, 1999.
Durall, Michael.  Beyond the Collection Plate:  Overcoming Obstacles to Faithful Giving. Abingdon Press, 2003.
Durall, Michael.  Creating Congregations of Generous People.  The Alban Institute, 2000.
Gomes, Peter.  The Good Book.  (Chapter 14, The Bible and Wealth).   William Morrow and Company, 1996.
Miller, Donald.  Reinventing American Protestantism.  University of California Press.  1999.
Schaller, Lyle.  44 Ways to Increase the Financial Base of Your Congregation.  Abingdon Press, 1989.  (Still a classic)
Woolever, Cynthia.  Beyond the Ordinary:  Ten Strengths of US Congregations, Westminster John Knox Press, 2004

Wuthnow. Robert.  The Crisis in the Churches:  Spiritual Malaise, Fiscal Woe.  Oxford University Press, 1997.

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