Jim Friend

Jim offers over 30 years of service to Advancing Our Church. He has focused his career on serving Catholic organizations through philanthropy, leadership, and ministry. He began his career in the 1990s in parish ministry as a Youth Minister, Director of Religious Education, and finally, a Parish Administrator. In 2002, Jim moved into fundraising, first as a consultant and then as the head of development for the Diocese of Allentown (2006) and then the Faith in the Future Foundation in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (2014). Most recently, he was proud to serve as a Managing Director for Changing Our World, where he served as a consultant for Catholic organizations and Advancing Our Church flourished and grew. In 2023, Jim began as the first full-time Director of Mission Advancement for Saint John Vianney Center in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, where he is establishing a new Mission Advancement Office to sustain and grow the Center’s vital mission to the Church.  

In 2017, he began the Advancing Our Church Podcast to contribute to the ongoing dialogue around best practices and education on Catholic Stewardship, leadership, and Advancement. Since then, the podcast has evolved into topics such as evangelization, finance, and even Bitcoin. The podcast’s mission is to advance the mission of Jesus Christ in all ways we serve Him as a Church.   

Jim graduated with a B.A. from West Chester University and earned a Master’s Degree in English and Publishing from Rosemont College.  Jim is currently a Candidate for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Allentown, working on a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry. He serves on the Development Committee for the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry and is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for St. Ann School in Emmaus, PA. Jim and his wife Kristin have three young adult children and they live in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Jim and his wife Kristin have a ministry on his wife’s YouTube Channel, Kristin’s Crosses, where Jim offers prayers and daily reflections on Today’s Catholic Prayers. 

Jim has personal accounts where you can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter