What is EfM?
Lay persons face the difficult task of interpreting the richness of the church’s faith in a complex and confusing world. They need a theological education that supports their faith and also teaches them to express that faith in day-to-day events.
As the emphasis on lay ministry has grown, Education for Ministry has come to play an important role by providing a program that develops an informed and knowledgeable laity.
EFM is a four-year program. The seminar group is the nucleus of the Education for Ministry program. A group consists of six to 12 participants and a trained mentor who meet weekly over the course of a nine-month academic year. These meetings are usually from two and a half to three hours in length.
Participants are given weekly assignments to study with the help of resource guides. Year 1 participants study the Old Testament, year 2 participants study the New Testament, year 3 participants study church history and year 4 participants study theology.
Students spend between two and four hours in study and preparation each week. In the seminars, members have an opportunity to share their insights and discoveries as well as to discuss questions that the study materials raise for them.
More important is the development of skills in theological reflection. The goal is to learn to think theologically. By examining their own beliefs and their relationship to our culture and the tradition of our Christian faith, participants can learn what it means to be effective ministers in the world.
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. Liturgical materials are furnished with the course materials.
The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas has many active groups based in parishes across the diocese.
EFM Online provides people who cannot attend a weekly face-to-face group an opportunity to participate in this course of study.
Tuition for the program is $460 a year. Because the Diocese of Kansas is a sponsoring diocese, students here pay only $350.
Contact diocesan EFM coordinator Lynda Crowl (by email or (785) 969-6680) if you are interested in learning more about EFM, about starting an EFM program in your area, or if you would like to participate in an online EFM program.
For more information about EFM, visit their website – efm.sewanee.edu