Education for Ministry (EfM) is a distance learning program for lay people designed and administrated by the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. The program is designed in a seminar format lead by certified mentors. The reading and discussion group offers lay people an organized program of study covering the Old Testament; the New Testament; the history of the Christian movement; and an overview of theology and major theological movements. Each topic is presented over a period of one year. The full program offers four years of study and discussion but we only commit to one year at a time. A minimum of six participants is required to form a group and a maximum of twelve are allowed in one group. A significant part of the group discussion follows the format of Theological Reflection in which the issues studied in the readings are applied to daily life and personal spirituality.
Since the program began in 1975 groups have formed throughout the world, assisting more than 80,000 participants in discovering and nurturing their call to Christian service. EfM groups consist of six to twelve participants and a trained mentor(s). West Missouri has both in-person and hybrid classes that meet weekly over the course of a nine month academic year. Classes are typically 90-120 minutes in length and time is needed outside of class for reading.
The 2023 registration fee is $325 which includes the yearly Reading and Reflection Guide. New or used additional reading material for years 1-4 can be obtained from any source. Upon request, the Diocesan Spiritual Formation Commission makes $125 available to help participants defray the cost of books and registration.
In the Diocese of West Missouri we have three active groups; two groups in the Kansas City area and one in Springfield. We would like to increase the diocesan participation in EfM. For further information, see the Sewanee Education for Ministry page.