Education for Ministry (EfM) is a program from The School of Theology, Sewanne: University of the South, that began more than thirty years ago and is active in parishes across the country and beyond. There are currently 7500 active students in the U.S., with about 1200 students outside the U.S. There are about 30,000 graduates from this four year program. The Diocese of Atlanta has 55 active EfM Groups and a full-time EfM Coordinator.
The program is a combination of biblical studies and theological reflection exercises based on a detailed syllabus from the Seminary to guide our work. We meet on Monday nights from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. Our group members are led by the educational materials as we work through:
- Year One–Old Testament
- Year Two–New Testament
- Year Three–Church History
- Year Four–Theology
We have students from all four years in our group, sharing their respective lessons in each week’s seminar. The inclusion of discussion from across the three years enhances the student’s in-depth study of his/her specific year.
We have built a group dynamic from our diverse members that bridges the social and demographic backgrounds of our parish. We work with serious commitment to explore personal spirituality in a supportive atmosphere with corporate accountability and warm fellowship.
The educational lesson materials provide a background to enter the theological reflection discussions each week as we explore our culture, our experiences and our Judeo-Christian history and traditions. We are finding the group’s activities to be a multi-layered, foundational connection between our daily lives and our spiritual journey.
The goal of EfM is to be transformational for the student as we reflect on the ministries of our life, current and future. St. George’s goal is to have an on-going EfM program so our parishioners can enter EfM whenever the need and time is right for them.