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Education for Ministry

Education for Ministry (EfM) is an international program of lay theological education established in 1975. Participants in EfM programs study the breadth of the Christian tradition from the earliest period to the present. Students learn the disciplines of biblical critical interpretation (exegesis), systematic theology, church history, ethics, liturgics and ascetical theology.

Students belong to small “communities of learning” or seminars in which the events of each person’s life may be examined in the light of the materials being studied. Most of these communities are made up of people in the same parish, although it is certainly possible to be a member of an EfM group outside your own parish. Non-Episcopalians are also welcome to join the groups. While the course materials provide substantial academic content, the focus of the program is on life as ministry and in understanding that ministry.

The EfM program can be completed in four years, although some people take one year at a time and occasionally skip a year. It provides Christians with basic skill in theological reflection, which lays the foundation of Christian ministry. Through this process, students sharpen their skills of personal and cultural assessment and enhance their ability to be effective in a variety of ministries.

To learn more about the EfM program based at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., click here.


If you have questions about Education for Ministry in the Diocese of Atlanta, please contact diocesan EfM coordinator RuthElizabeth Conine