Education for Ministry
Education for Ministry is a four-year course of study in theological bible study and reflection for laypersons. The EfM program is administered through the School of Theology at The University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee.
Every baptized person is called to ministry. During the Service of Confirmation, we ask God to "Renew in these your servants the covenant you made with them at Baptism." Send them forth in the power of the Spirit to perform the service you set before them." The Education for Ministry Program provides people with an opportunity to discover how to respond to the call to Christian Service and carry out their ministries.
Laypersons face the difficult and often subtle task of interpreting the richness of the church's faith in a complex and confusing world. They need a theological education which supports their faith and also trains them to express that faith in day-to-day events. As the emphasis on lay ministry has grown, EfM has become an important part of that growth by providing a program that develops an informed and knowledgeable laity.
The fact is that all baptized Christians are called to be active participants in the church's total ministry. The EfM program is preparation for the ministry to which we are called.
The seminar group is the nucleus of the EfM program. A group consists of six to twelve participants and a trained mentor meeting weekly over the course of a nine-month academic year. These meetings are usually two and a half to three hours in length.
Through study, prayer, and reflection, EfM groups move toward a new understanding of the fullness of God's kingdom.
Study―Participants are given weekly assignments to study with the help of resource guides. They are responsible for setting their own learning goals. In the seminars, members have an opportunity to share their insights and discoveries as well as to discuss questions which the study materials raise for them.
Reflection―Theological Reflection is the hallmark of EfM. The goal is to learn to think theologically. By examining their own beliefs and their relationship to our culture and the tradition and the tradition of our Christian faith, participants can learn what it means to be effective ministers in the world. In coming to terms with the notion that everything we do has the potential for manifesting the love of Christ, we discover that our ministry is at hand wherever we turn.
Worship―The seminar is supported by a life of prayer and regular worship. EfM groups are encouraged to develop a pattern of worship appropriate to their situations.
The Mentor―Seminar groups work under the leadership of mentors who contract to serve as guides and administrators.
Enrollment and Tuition―Enrollment is done directly through the mentor. See the list of Seminar Groups to find a mentor in your area. The fee for one academic cycle is $375 in the Diocese of Milwaukee. Reduced tuition is available if the seminar group has enough students to support it. Scholarships are available.