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iccfa university

July 19–24, 2019
Fogelman Executive Center • University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee

Countdown to the 2019 ICCFA University








This five-day program is designed to offer intensive instruction and networking opportunities in a college-campus setting. You can attend for just one or two years, or you may go on to complete four years and become an “ICCFAU graduate.”

2019 ICCFAU Registration now Open!

Hotel Accommodations

Students should make their reservations directly with the Fogelman (901.678.5410) or the Holiday Inn University of Memphis (901.678.8200). To receive the deeply discounted room rates, identify yourself as part of the ICCFA group. We do expect these facilities to sell out so make your reservations early.

The Fogelman and the Holiday Inn University of Memphis are currently sold out. ICCFA has obtained a room block at the Four Points by Sheraton Memphis East.

5877 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38119
Phone: (901) 767-6300
Room Rate: $112 single/double

Program Details

ICCFA University 2019 colleges

21st Century Services | Dean Glenda Stansbury

How do you respond to a family who says, “We don’t want a traditional funeral?” You’ll learn how to go beyond tradition with innovative offerings. Become certified as a funeral celebrant trained to provide meaningful alternatives to clergy-led services.

Click here to view the courses in the College of 21st Century Services.

Cremation Services | Dean James R. Starks, CFuE, CCrE

Cremation doesn’t have to mean “no service” or “no memorialization.” You’ll discover how to better serve families, improve cremation operations and increase your company’s cremation-related revenues. You’ll also earn three types of certifications: operator, administrator and arranger.

Click here to view the courses in the College of Cremation Services.


Funeral Home Management | Dean Todd Van Beck, CFuE

Too many managers consider “creativity” someone else’s department. In funeral service, creative management is
the key to differentiation. You’ll learn Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s creative service management system and its specific applications to our profession.

Click here to view the courses in the College of Funeral Home Management.


International Studies | Dean Jim Hammond

Globalization is making the world a smaller place. Be sure you know how to serve families of all nationalities and religious backgrounds in your community. You’ll learn about the funeral customs of all major religions and population groups from around the world.

Click here to view the courses in the College of International Studies.


Land Management & Grounds Operations | Dean Gino Merendino

Exceptional cemetery service starts with the grounds and operations department. Without effective land management and a commitment to an attractive, well- maintained property, there will be no sales or service. You’ll learn how your grounds management team can succeed and continuously improve interments, landscaping, buildings, grounds maintenance and exceptional client experience and satisfaction.

Click here to view the courses in the College of Land Management & Grounds Operations.


Leadership, Administration & Management | Dean Gary M. Freytag, CCFE

The cemetery, cremation and funeral service profession is changing, and so are the skills needed to manage and lead effectively. You’ll receive solid, relevant, results-focused training targeted at today’s required core competencies.

Click here to view the courses in the College of Leadership, Administration & Management.


Sales & Marketing | Dean Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE

The principles of sales and marketing don’t change; only technique and application do. Learn how to take the tried- and-true principles of cemetery and funeral sales and apply them within today’s highly mobile, multi-cultural, high-tech, information-driven marketplace.

Click here to view the courses in the College of Sales & Marketing.

Hospitality & Event Management | Dean John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE

Going into its second year, this college is designed to give students a foundation in funeral home/cemetery hospitality and catering management. Classes will cover topics ranging from basic event planning and the essentials of the hospitality and catering markets to interpreting financial budgets, leadership and catering team management.

Click here to view the courses in the College of Hospitality & Event Management.

What is ICCFA U?

ICCFA University is held for five days each July. Undergraduate students enroll in one of the University’s eight colleges and spend the entire five days learning about that area of the profession. Students who complete four colleges become ICCFAU graduates (the CEO program does not count towards graduation), but attending four years is not required for enrollment. Some students enroll for one or two years, attending just those colleges that are most relevant to their jobs. But many students do choose to go on to study for four years or more as a way of broadening the scope of their knowledge.

Who can attend?

ICCFA University is open to employees of all cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories and related businesses. Prior college attendance is not required. In general, it is designed for students who are:

  • Company owners and chief executive officers.
  • Managers seeking to develop additional skills and knowledge in order to improve their techniques and operations.
  • Managers who are interested in moving into new areas of responsibility.
  • Managers new to the cemetery and funeral service profession.
  • Staff interested in advancing into management positions.
  • Staff interested in improving their skills to better serve their employers and their client families.
  • Suppliers who want to network and gain a better understanding of their customers’ challenges.

What is the Masters Program?

The Master’s Program allows ICCFAU graduates to return to the University and take personally selected courses from each of the colleges. Because the college curricula are continually refined to reflect changes in the profession, there are always updated courses and new information available for continued professional development. Students registering for the Master’s Program must include a daily itinerary of their selected classes along with their registration.

What is the CEO Program?

Available to chief executives and company owners, the CEO Program allows top-level professionals to attend ICCFAU and take personally selected courses from each of the colleges. Students registering for this program are required to include a daily itinerary of their selected classes along with their registration. The CEO program does not count towards graduation.

Are Continuing Education credits available through ICCFAU?

Yes. Funeral directors can earn up to 25 CE credits, pending individual state approval. Please note that due to onerous and/or expensive filing requirements, the ICCFA no longer applies for continuing education credits in Pennsylvania or Virginia. ICCFA members applying for the Certified Cemetery Executive, Certified Funeral Executive, Certified Cemetery Funeral Executive, Certified Cremation Executive and/or Certified Supplier Executive designations through the association’s certification program will earn a total of 80 points toward certification upon completion of each college.

Have more questions?

View the ICCFA U Orientation Guide.


The ICCFA Educational Foundation, along with associations around the country, offer scholarships to those wishing to attend the ICCFA University.

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What Past Students Have to Say

“ICCFA University is by far the most transformational experience you can have within the death care profession. By attending, you will gain a network of friends and knowledge from the best of the best. You arrive in Memphis as an individual, but will leave it as a member of the ICCFA University family.”

— Chris D. Cooke, Superintendent of Cemeteries, City of Evansville, IN; 2013 ICCFA University Valedictorian

“Being a part of the ICCFA University has been inspiring to a degree that no other program for our industry comes close to. It is that inspiration that drives me to send as many people from our organization each year as possible—so they can inherit the same inspiration that I have felt from year to year—and use it to make our organization better, as well as our industry as a whole.”

— Lauren Blevins, COO, Williams Funeral Homes & Crematory, Columbia, TN; 2012 ICCFA University Graduate and CEO program attendee

“A top notch program. The latest stats, trends and info in our industry. Education is always the best available. The people deliver sincere caring and sharing. I hope to keep coming back for many years to come.”

— Caren Harville, CCE, CFuE; CEO, Glen Haven & Sholom Memorial Parks & Mortuaries, Sylmar, CA; 2013 ICCFA University Graduate

“Every year that I attend I am amazed how much I learn, how much information and tools were shared openly, and how much I am inspired to reach beyond and improve my company. The networking and resources available are outstanding at ICCFA University. ICCFA University’s deans and speakers are the best. It would take me years to accumulate the collective knowledge I have gained here at the university. Thank you!”

— Alesia Skinner, Paxtang Cemetery Association, Harrisburg, PA

“The overall experience was enlightening and very informative. The networking is great. All classes are interactive and all questions are encouraged and answered. It really is a career builder with useful information you can bring back to your workplace and implement immediately. Very highly recommended.”

— Kevin Ronayne, Catholic Cemeteries, Diocese of Brooklyn/St. Charles Cemetery, Middle Village, NY

“The connections I have made and the insight I have gained at ICCFAU are extremely valuable and eye-opening. I was very fortunate in being able to attend and I absolutely plan on coming back next year. It’s worth it! Thank you for giving us this opportunity to see what’s out there, what mind-states our industry is in and all it can be in the future. I still maintain that every funeral home in America can be a contemporary funeral home, regardless of price. I learned more about the service part of the funeral service industry in one week than I have in two years interning.”

— Heather T. Mitchell, Cascade Memorial, Bellevue, WA

“I truly believe this university should be a requirement by any company in this industry. I have been in this business for over a decade, and this was my first year attending. Like others, I find we can become complacent and stagnant in our thinking. Not only did we learn new and exciting things from our industry leaders, but I found myself saying, “Oh yeah, we used to do that. That does work. Why did we stop?” I strongly recommend the university to both “old dogs” as well as new people in our business.”

— Jeff Sultemeier, Lakeland Hills Memorial Park, Burnet, TX

“As a supplier, I can’t begin to tell you what this meant to me. I’ve been in this business 35 years, and I have never experienced anything like this before. I was convinced I knew everything there was to know about this business. Time to step back and pay just a little more attention to what my customers really need and experience on a day-to-day basis. Simply priceless!”

— Brett Coates, Biondan North America, Toronto, Ontario