Meet Our Host

Jim Friend

HostJim is the Host and Producer of the Advancing Our Church Podcast. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops on stewardship, development, school marketing and governance.  

Jim has been the Chief Development Officer for the Faith in the Future Foundation since 2014.  In 2012, Faith in the Future entered into an historic management agreement with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to assume operational responsibility for 17 high schools and four schools of special education. The Foundation also assumed operational oversight over the Office of Catholic Education.  

Jim came to Faith in the Future from the Diocese of Allentown where he served as Secretary for Stewardship and Development. In the diocese Jim directed a team of professionals who were responsible for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, planned giving, parish stewardship, The Eastern Pennsylvania Scholarship Foundation and Development and Marketing for Catholic schools. In 2010, Jim assisted the Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown, to form the Bishop’s Commission on Catholic Schools (BCCS), a group of lay business leaders and entrepreneurs who were tasked with addressing more than a decade of declining enrollment, business and governance issues for the Diocesan Catholic School system. As a result of the BCCS, Diocesan staff and a school system-wide effort, the Diocese of Allentown grew Catholic School enrollment as a system for two consecutive years.

In 2002 Jim co-authored Stewardship materials that won the International Catholic Stewardship Council’s (ICSC) “Total Diocesan Stewardship Effort” Award for the Diocese of Camden. Under Jim’s direction, in 2010 the Diocese of Allentown won first place from the ICSC for “Total Annual Appeal Effort” for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. In November 2013 the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored Jim with the Award for Outstanding Fundraising Executive.

Jim graduated cum laude from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and earned a master’s degree in English and publishing from Rosemont College where he delivered one of the Commencement Addresses at Graduation. Jim and his wife Kristin were married in 1994 and have three children.