The Fellowship of Catholic University Students is today’s fastest-growing national Catholic outreach for the rising generation


BISMARCK, ND — The University of Mary’s opportunities to serve the needs of Catholic higher education and the nation continue to grow. Today, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) — the largest and fastest-growing Catholic evangelization outreach for college students in the U.S., led by founder Curtis Martin — and the University of Mary, North Dakota’s only Catholic university, announced a partnership that will bring more than 400 missionaries to the Bismarck campus for a five-week training period.

“FOCUS is pleased to announce that we will be adding a second location for New Staff Training starting in 2018. This new campus location will be the University of Mary located in Bismarck, North Dakota,” said David Allen, FOCUS events manager. “Incredibly, we have outgrown our ability to house all our staff at the current location for new staff training, held each summer in Ave Maria, Florida. While we will continue to use Ave Maria University’s campus, we are so happy to have the University of Mary as our new partner in our missionary training, and we look forward to adding a great location that will support all our formation needs.”

FOCUS has been blessed with tremendous growth over the years. This past January at SEEK, FOCUS held its national conference in a convention center for the first time, which hosted nearly 13,000 attendees.

This training event and continued collaboration renews an already strong partnership between these two institutions. University of Mary President Monsignor James Shea, who serves on the FOCUS Board of Directors, lauded their work and mission.

“FOCUS emboldens young men and women to share the hope and joy of the Gospel with their peers, fellow college and university students and enkindles in them the desire for a deep and meaningful encounter with Jesus Christ and His Church,” added Shea, completing his seventh year as president of the Catholic university in Bismarck, ND “In just a few short years, FOCUS and its team of fervent young missionaries have re-energized Catholic higher education across the country. FOCUS missionaries serve so selflessly in this noble and good pursuit and have already transformed the hearts of so many; we are humbled to be asked and honored to help in any way we can.”

FOCUS inspires thousands of students to rally many thousands more at campuses across the country, sharing the beauty and joy of the Catholic faith.

More details will come in the following months regarding the specifics around the training.

About the University of Mary

The University of Mary continues to be one of the most affordable Catholic universities in America. Founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Mary offers nearly 60 undergraduate, and 14 master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs in Physical Therapy, Nursing Practice, Education and Occupational Therapy. The University of Mary is also home to the new and innovative Year-Round Campus — where students have the option to earn their degree in 2.6 years and master’s in four years. With over 3,200 students, Mary has locations in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Kansas, Arizona, Rome, Italy and Arequipa, Peru as well as vibrant online offerings. For more information, visit


The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) was founded in 1998 and invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. During the 2017 – 2018 academic year, more than 660 missionaries are serving full-time on 137 college campuses, located across 38 U.S. states and at three international locations (two campuses in Austria and one in England). More than 20,000 students have been involved with FOCUS, who after graduation have the opportunity to move into parish life to continue their missionary work. Within this number, more than 660 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects — God willing — to have 75,000 students transitioned into many of America’s 17,000+ Catholic parishes. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to peers on campus. To learn more, visit us at