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Education for Ministry
HomeMission & Ministry > Education for Ministry

Education for Ministry (EfM or EFM) is an adult formation class intended for the education of the laity in the Episcopal Church. It is also recommended for those considering ordained ministry. EfM is administered by the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.  Visit their website for the program here.

"If you want a sustained experience of spiritual and educational formation,
EfM is the program for you.  It is worth every moment of your time!"

- Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves


 The cost of this program is currently $350 per year.  Some parishes may offer scholarships or subsidies.

About EfM:

  • EfM is NOT "bible study," although studying the Bible is part of the program.
  • EfM is Group Spiritual Development. It is not group therapy.
  • EfM is a program of lay theological education that includes both individual study and group work in seminars under the guidance of a trained mentor.
  • EfM groups have 6 - 12 people and one or two mentors.
  • EfM groups normally meet once a week for 34 weeks, spread over an academic year of about 9 months.
  • EfM meetings usually include worship, discussion of the texts assigned for that week, and either a common lesson or Theological Reflection.
  • EFM is offered in four one-year segments. You only sign up for one year at a time!

The heart of the program is a method of theological reflection that "breaks open" scripture by using a four-source model of Action, Tradition, Culture and Position. The class also features lessons in the Old Testament, the New Testament, Church History, Theology and Ethics. It is a class that equips people for the ministry of the church and involves a real commitment to the work, and to the ministry to which Christ has called each of us in the church.

What EfM students say:

  • "There's a lot of things I just didn't know - it is fascinating!"
  • "Discussions as well as readings are real eye-openers - leading to self discovery."
  • "Discussion and college-level academic materials help you understand how your faith was formed."

EfM Groups

A list of existing groups is maintained by the diocesan EfM coordinator, Deacon Jackie Sebro.  Anyone can join an existing group.  EfM is designed so that students at different levels of study (different years in the program) meet together.  Students in all years share common lessons and theological reflections.  Groups typically include members from multiple congregations.

EfM alumni may want to sign up again to work with the all-new study materials available for academic year 2013-2014.

New students are encouraged to talk with the many EfM alumni in the Diocese of El Camino Real about their experience.

For more information about EfM in the Diocese of El Camino Real, contact the Rev. Jackie Sebro, jmsebro@tcsn.net.