Education for Ministry (EfM)
Education for Ministry is a 4 year course in theological education for mature Christians. Participants will deepen their knowledge of the Bible, study the development of Christianity and Christian theology, and consider the impact of faith on everyday life. The program is offered by the School of Theology of the University of the South through groups that meet locally in a seminar setting with a trained mentor. EfM has been offered at Good Shepherd since September 2006.
Students enroll for one year at a time. Our group meets weekly from mid-September through mid-June, currently on Wednesday evening from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Participants spend a minimum of 2 – 3 hours weekly preparing for the seminar, reading from the text provided and supplementary materials and completing suggested exercises. As adults the students are expected to be responsible for their work – there are no tests or papers to complete and there is no grading. The seminar is a time to discuss questions and insights from the readings, to explore and reflect on our lives as 21st century Christians and to develop confidence in our own call to ministry. The seminar also includes time for worship and fellowship.
A seminar group consists of six to twelve students and one or two mentors. Mentors must successfully complete an 18-hour training session and retrain every 18 months. The mentor’s role is to help the participants to express their points of view in a congenial atmosphere and to encourage each participant to achieve his or her goals. The mentor also handles all administrative duties.
All students begin with Year One, the Old Testament, and then proceed through Years Two, Three and Four. Year Two covers the New Testament, including an overview of 1st C. Judaism and the influences of Roman and Greek culture. Year Three deals with the development of Christianity, the church and theology until the time of the American Revolution. Year Four finishes Church History until the end of the 20th century and covers 20th Century theological developments. Participants may earn 18 Continuing Education credits for each year they complete.
Should YOU consider EfM? Participants are drawn to EfM for a variety of reasons. Most want to increase their knowledge of the Bible. Others want to learn more about church doctrines and theology. Many people are looking for others who are interested in discussing important matters of faith and practice. Others want support as they explore their call to lay ministry as members of the Body of Christ. Mostly EfM is for people who want to grow in their confidence and ability as Christian ministers and witnesses; to become more of the person God is calling them to be in the world.
For more information contact Linda Crocker, EfM mentor, through the church office. You can also visit the EfM website: http://www.sewanee.edu/EFM/