Collegium was founded at Fairfield University in 1992 by means of a generous grant from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Inc. Lilly Endowment renewed its support for Collegium with a second three-year grant awarded in 1995. Other benefactors include the Amaturo Foundation, Inc., George and Marie Doty, the Mary J. Donnelly Foundation, the Koch Foundation, Inc., John McShain Charities, Inc., the William M. & Miriam F. Meehan Foundation, Inc., Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities, Inc., Collegium alumni/ae, and a major donor who wishes to remain anonymous. In July, 2002, Collegium became a part of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), which includes over 200 members in the United States and Canada.

Critical to Collegium's continuing operation is the support we receive from our member institutions. College of the Holy Cross is home to Collegium and provides us with office space and a variety of forms of institutional support. Member institutions pay annual membership dues that help cover the costs (travel, room and board, and institute-related expenses) of sending one faculty member to the summer program.