Education for Ministry in the Diocese of Washington
Education for Ministry, (EfM) is a unique four year distance learning certificate program in theological education based upon small group study and practice. Since its founding in 1975 this international program has assisted more than 80,000 participants in discovering and nurturing their call to Christian service. EfM helps the faithful encounter the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition and bring it into conversation with their experiences of the world as they study, worship, and engage in theological reflection together.
Looking for a group?
For information on current groups and vacancies go to Seminar Groups and contact the class coordinator. You may also contact the Diocese EFM coordinator.
EFM is a program of theological education-at-a-distance of the School of Theology of the University of the South. Students sign up one year at a time for this four-year program.
It covers the basics of a theological education in the Old and New Testaments, church history, liturgy, and theology.
The seminar group is the nucleus of the Education for Ministry 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 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.
The program grants a certificate at the completion of the four years and 18 Continuing Education Units for each year's work.
Education for Ministry 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.
Lay persons 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.
• 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 lean what it means to be effective ministers in the world. In coming to terms with the notion that everything we do has 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 $340 in the Diocese of Washington. Reduced tuition is available if the seminar group has enough students to support it.