Conference: The Future of Church Property

Conference Booklet
Click to view conference schedule

The Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate's Church Properties Initiative invites you to join us November 7-9th at the University of Notre Dame for a conference on “The Future of Church Property.”

Conference Agenda

The conference will feature innovative thought leaders, including

  • Academic Researchers, such as Fr. Bob Dowd, C.S.C. (ND Associate Provost); Prof. Bill Evans (ND Economics; co-founder Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities), Fr. Stephen Koeth, C.S.C. (ND History), Dean Stefanos Polyzoides (ND Architecture), and colleagues from DukeGeorgetown, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Villanova
  • Church Leaders, such as Bishop Kevin Rhoades (Fort Wayne-South Bend) and diocesan COOs like Betsy Bohlen (Chicago), Brian Mooney (Detroit), and Keith Parsons (Denver)
  • Industry Experts, from CBRE, JLLJulius Capital, and others
  • Nonprofit Organizations, such as Catholic Charities USACatholic Leadership Institute, Goodlands, Partners for Sacred Places, Trinity Church Wall Street and more!

View the full conference agenda with times, speakers, and more HERE

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The above link is for in person registration. For a free zoom registration, please register here. 

Why Church Property?

The Catholic Church is the largest social service provider in the world, providing education, humanitarian aid, and healthcare to more people than any other organization on the planet.

In order to live out its charitable missions, the Church is also the largest non-state landowner in the world, operating parishes, schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages, clinics, convents, monasteries, and more on every continent. 

With the sheer numerical size and diversity of the Church's portfolio in every corner of the world, there is a vast horizon of emerging multidisciplinary scholarly research of the role of these assets in climate change, history, urban planning, engineering, architecture, economics, sociology, finance, and more. 

The Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate is working to marshal the power of academic research, the leading industry best practices, and the creativity of on-the-ground innovators to help the Catholic Church and many other faith traditions as they face challenges in some regions of declining religiosity, increasing costs of aging buildings, and emerging pastoral concerns.

Too often, these challenges mean that real assets can be seen as liabilities instead of the financial, social, and spiritual assets that they can become for faith communities. This conference brings together those who are working to reverse this trend and unlock the power of property to further the mission of the Church.

Conference Overview

The conference will have four modules over the 3 days:

  1. Property, Mission, and Identity: Framing this conference within a broader ecumenical movement and rooting real estate within a theological context
  2. A Catholic Way to Build: How do we translate the distinctive tenets of our faith into modern real estate fields like architecture, finance, and law?
  3. A Way to Build Catholics: How do real assets directly support the Church's mission of living the Gospel?
  4. Practicums/Case Studies: Explore successful case studies and innovative uses of Church property with the experts that made it happen. 

The conference starts with registration at 2pm on Monday, November 7th, and concludes by noon on Wednesday November 9th.

A full schedule and speaker list will be published on this site shortly and sent via email to all who have registered. 

Prices, Sponsorship, and Booths

Prices are:

  • General admission: $150
  • Clergy/Religious: $75
  • Notre Dame Faculty/Staff/Students: Free

*Price includes dinner on Monday, and lunch and dinner on Tuesday. Please note any food allergies when registering. 

Registration pricing is heavily subsidized to make it affordable for students, religious/clergy, and nonprofit entities who would otherwise be unable to attend due to cost. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to support these groups, please email for more information on sponsorship. 



Conference registration opens at 1pm on Monday Nov 7th and programming kicks off at 2pm. The conference ends Wednesday with the 11:30am basilica mass on campus. 



The Morris Inn, directly across the street from the conference center, is the University's flagship hospitality experience. They can be reached at (574)-631-2000. 

Additionally, there are walkable hotels immediately south and east of campus, including the Ivy Court Inn and Suites, Fairfield Inn, and Embassy Suites. 

Travel to South Bend

Campus is 15 min away from South Bend International Airport which has flights to major hubs (Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte, etc). 

There is a train line (the South Shore Line) that runs from downtown Chicago to the South Bend Airport, as well as some Amtrak lines that stop in South Bend.

If you drive to the conference, there is a parking lot that requires payment just south of the conference center (see the ND Parking Page here for more info). 


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