» Mission » Why Support the CFPL

Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life, anchored in Jesuit tradition and Catholic Social Teaching, is committed to advancing the Common Good by improving the social conditions to allow for the full flourishing of individuals and society.

Through multi-disciplinary academic research, engaged teaching, events, publications, and other initiatives the Center seeks to:

•Prepare students to be global citizens
•Generate research-based solutions for current social problems – local, national, and global
•Provide a public forum for engaging issues where faith and public life intersect

Since beginning operations in 2006, the Center has developed a growing reputation for excellence and impact. Building on the Center’s proven track record engaging students, mobilizing faculty for multi-disciplinary research, and leveraging the vast resources of the Jesuit network, the Center will build on its primary goals.

A generous gift to The Center for Faith & Public Life will enhance the education and experience of Fairfield University students by providing opportunities to challenge them to make a meaningful difference for others. It is a pledge to strengthen the University’s core mission to develop the creative intellectual potential of its students and to foster in them ethical and religious values and a sense of social responsibility.

Donor investment opportunities are designed to help the Center for Faith & Public Life in its continuing mission to empower Fairfield University graduates with Jesuit principles, a balance of critical thinking skills, ethical awareness and an inherent sense of responsibility for others. Our benefactors play a critical role in helping the Center prepare graduates to make a defining difference in their personal and professional communities, whether located throughout the United States or in other parts of the globe.

Watch the Video

Jesuit education has never been more important to our world and to the effectiveness of Fairfield University in preparing graduates to successfully confront challenges and compete in the globalized workplaces of tomorrow.

The Center for Faith & Public Life (CFPL) is critical to these efforts and provides a unique platform for global engagement of our students and faculty.

  • Watch the Video

    Preparing Students for Global Citizenship

    "The Center provides students with hands-on experiences in local, national and global contexts, to support the education and formation of “men and women for and with others” by creating opportunities for responsible citizenship, fostering solidarity, and cultivating passion for progress towards a more just and equitable world”

    Read more»

    Fairfield University led the foundation of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN) in 2006 --a collaborative initiative among Jesuit Universities across the globe which unites students to educate them raise awareness about pressing humanitarian issues and to engage them in implementing response strategies for national and global crises and disaster relief efforts.

    Through Academic Service Learning and JUHAN, 55 faculty have developed more than 85 courses that integrate academic content with applied and experiential learning serving over 3,500 students. Sustained partnerships have been developed with over 35 community-based organizations around the globe to support ongoing, engaging experiences for students to put their knowledge into action in support of social good. Additionally, the Center engages over 30 students each year in annual visits to the United Nations and Washington, D.C.

    In the next ten years Center seeks to:
    Provide every Fairfield University undergraduate with hands-on experiences in local, national and/or global contexts in order to expand his or her capacity for critical thinking and complex problem-solving and to inspire their commitment to ethical standards and contributing to positive social change.
    Create an active alumni network among those that have participated in Service Learning and JUHAN to enhance learning and career development opportunities for current students as well as alumni.

  • Watch the Video

    Generating Research-Based Solutions

    The Center was founded to be a catalyst for multidisciplinary research on critical social issues, particularly those that resonate with the priorities of the Society of Jesus such as migration and the displacement of persons; education of women and girls; and promotion of peace and human rights.

    Read more»

    The Center has attracted funding from high profile funders such as Carnegie Corporation and the Ford, Teagle, Wabash and Hagedorn Foundations, to support research on critical issues such as migration, demonstrating growing national recognition and program efficacy.

    Recognized as a major contributor to the national debate on migration policy, the Center has successfully led research projects that provide insight to the nuanced challenges for undocumented students in higher education and is helping to shape a new model for constructive dialogue on contentious issues within a faith-based framework.

    In the next ten years Center seeks to become a go-to resource for socially-engaged, interdisciplinary research on underexplored, but critical topics of national and global importance, including:
    The long-term impact of supportive practices in higher education on undocumented students in the U.S.
    The emerging crises of unaccompanied minors seeking to come to the United States, including their reasons for leaving their homes.
    Improving education and employment opportunities for women around the world with an initial focus on India. The 2011 National Census in India revealed an alarming sex ratio imbalance between girls and boys which is impeding economic growth, and resulting in social and political tensions and violence against women. The CFPL seeks to launch the second phase of Impact India 2021: Elevating the Value of Women and Girls in Society that will study the familial attitudes about education for girls and employment for women in India.

  • Learn More

    Public Dialogue

    "Through annual lectures and public events, the CFPL is a catalyst for thinking and debating issues of critical importance that demonstrate the role that faith plays in public life.”

    Read more»

    "Fairfield on Wall Street, another innovate program founded by the CFPL, brings Fairfield University’s young alumni working in financial services into community with one another and engages them in constructive reflection on the spiritual and ethical impact of their Jesuit education on their practice as professionals.

    The Center is also actively involved in promoting inter-faith activities on campus through helping to organize and sponsor inter-faith dialogues and events which promote awareness and celebrate a diversity of beliefs.”

    In the next ten years Center seeks to:
    Strengthen and grow efforts to develop and facilitate public discussions on current social issues related to the Center’s work such as humanitarian action, civic development, and the role of faith in public life.
    Continue to develop a vibrant inter-faith dialogue amongst students to promote deeper appreciation of Catholic Social Thought and an understanding of other faith traditions and to make the Center a hub for all belief traditions to interact.

Investment Opportunities

Endowed Funds


Center for Faith & Public Life Endowment

(gift commitments welcome at all levels)

In 2005, Fairfield University established an endowment for the Center for Faith & Public Life to support the core operations of the Center and to ensure its long-term success. Through investments and additional gifts from generous donors, the principal of the endowment for the Center is currently more than $4.1 Million, which generates $170,000 annually to support infrastructure, programs and services. The important work of the Center over the last nine years has prompted the University to set a strategic goal within Fairfield Rising to increase the Center’s endowment through the creation of four new endowed naming opportunities:

Director of the Center for Faith & Public Life — $2.5 Million
Research Fellowship — $250,000
Faculty Chair of Service Learning — $250,000
Faculty Chair JUHAN — $250,000

Donors who establish one of the above named funds will receive annual reports summarizing the activity and expenditures.

Fund for Global Citizenship

Individual Named Endowment - $50,000 and above

The Fund for Global Citizenship helps Fairfield University meet its responsibility to prepare students for leadership and service while addressing extremely serious issues, challenges and concerns facing our nation and world. Providing applied learning and engagement opportunities for students to advance the Common Good is critical to the mission of the Center. To that end, Fund for Global Citizenship supports costs related to student involvement/engagement in the following CFPL programs and activities:

The Office of Service Learning, including adding new courses, expanding the Associates Program, and International Service Learning scholarships
Humanitarian Action and Relief
Public Service Internships
Community Engaged Research Projects
Student/Faculty Immersion Trips and Conferences

Donors who contribute $50,000 or more are invited to establish a named fund within the larger Fund for Global Citizenship and will receive annual reports summarizing the activity and expenditures.

Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Named Endowed Scholarship – $50,000 and above

The Scholarship Fund for Undocumented Students at the Center for Faith & Public Life provides direct financial aid to student(s) registered at Fairfield University who are not legal residents of the United States. The Fund is administered by the Office of Admission at Fairfield University in accordance with established policies and procedures for student financial aid. Recipients must demonstrate high academic achievement, good character and financial hardship. The student(s) and their families will be made aware that the scholarship they have received was awarded by the Scholarship Fund for Undocumented Students at the Center for Faith & Public Life or by a specific donor, as appropriate. Additionally, donors who contribute $50,000 or more are invited to a name a scholarship and will receive annual reports summarizing the activity and expenditures.

Gifts for Immediate Use


Director's Discretionary Fund

Goal: $150,000 Current Use Account (gifts welcome at all levels)

The Director's Discretionary Fund is designed to allow for long-term flexibility and helps the Center for Faith & Public Life keep pace with new developments. Donors are invited to make unrestricted gifts to the Fund, which provides vital support to seed new projects and activities, underwrite additional personnel, purchase new technologies or fund any programmatic need that may fall outside the scope of annual budget. A gift to a Director’s Discretionary Fund is a gift to the future.

Help women and girls in India!

Goal: $850,000 for Year 1 (gift commitments welcome at all levels)

Working closely with network partners and key stakeholders in a wider geographic area of India’s population, the CFPL seeks to identify the contributing causes of the sex ratio imbalance crisis and generate evidence-based innovative research on familial attitudes about educational opportunities for girls and employment for women that maps a path to social change that will be discernible in the National Indian Census of 2021. Impact India 2021 requires $2.3 million in philanthropic commitments over three years to support all elements of the investigation.

Become a CFPL Friend


In fiscal year 2013-14, more than 600 undergraduate students, from all five schools, participated in one or more programmatic areas at the Center for Faith & Public Life. While all activities and services are free of charge to Fairfield University students, support is needed on an annual basis to make the experiences for students and young alumni possible.

CFPL Friends join with the Center for Faith & Public Life by making annual gifts to sponsor:
$5,000 – Annual current use scholarship for an undocumented student or underwrite the CFPL’s annual trip to the United Nations
$2,500 – Development of a new Service Learning course
$1,500 – Service Learning Associate leadership experience for one student for one academic year
$1,000 – International Service Learning experience for one student or a year-long JUHAN Student Fellowship
$750 – Service Learning Associate leadership experience for one student for one semester $500 – Sponsor a student on a trip to United Nations, Washington, D.C., or JUHAN service experience

Donor Recognition


The Center for Faith & Public Life is pleased to recognize donor generosity at all levels in:

The CFPL Newsletter

List of Benefactors at www.fairfield.edu/cfpl

University publications or electronic communications, including Fairfield’s Annual Honor Roll of Donors

Fr. Rick’s favorite button!

Fairfield University | 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield CT 06824 | 203-254-4000