Why do you believe what you believe?
How are your beliefs manifest in the way you live?
What does it mean to be a Christian today?
SEEK ANSWERS THROUGH STUDY, REFLECTION, AND COMMUNITY.
Every Christian is called to ministry at baptism. But “ministry” can — and does — mean something different for every Christian. Education for Ministry (EfM) is a unique four-year distance-learning certificate program created by Sewanee School of Theology at the University of the South. Since 1975, EfM has led thousands of Christians across the country and around the world more deeply into their baptismal identities — some have been helped to discern calls to further study and ordained ministry, but most have been enriched and empowered to minister confidently and effectively in their day-to-day lives.
What can I expect from EfM?
- A safe, confidential space to ask questions, share doubts, and identify, reflect on, and share significant events in your faith life
- A deeper knowledge and understanding of Scripture, Church history, and Christian theology and spirituality
- An ability to reflect theologically on culture, current events, and personal experience, as well as on the Christian tradition and your own beliefs
- A transformed understanding of your relationship to God, the church, and our culture at large
- An evolving sense of personal call and theology
What will be expected of me?
- An open heart and open mind
- Sincere seeking and honest inquiry
- A good-faith commitment to the life and work of the group, including weekly meetings ( 2 1/4 hours long), 2 retreats, and regular independent reading and reflection (about 2-4 hours per week)
What else do I need to know?
- EfM is a four-year program, one year at a time. It is not necessary to commit to the full four years of study when you join, (although it is our hope that you will!). New members must begin at Year One, however. If you are exploring EfM for continuing education or in preparation for the diaconate, certain attendance requirements do apply.
- EfM is a 36-week program. New Yorkers are busy, we get that! For the health of the group, we hope you will prioritize EfM and try to attend at least 30 sessions. Please speak with the co-mentors if you have concerns about your schedule and we’ll help you determine whether EfM will be a good fit for you.
- EfM is a program of Sewanee School of Theology. The program is designed and administered by Sewanee. Sewanee trains and accredits mentors, and develops and designs materials and curriculum. There is a $375 annual tuition to cover the costs of materials and administration . Members may transfer between groups (which exist in more than 90 dioceses throughout the US) should they relocate.
- EfM is not “Bible Study.” Although Years One and Two take students deeply into Scripture (and indeed, all four years are steeped in the Word), members must be prepared to engage their hearts as well as their minds. Reflection and personal application is the ultimate aim of the program.
EFM RETURNS TO ST. JAMES’ THIS SEPTEMBER – DON’T MISS OUT!
Interested parishioners and non-parishioners are invited to contact the Rev. Zack Thompson.