Education for Ministry

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a unique four-year distance learning certificate program offered by the Beecken Center of The School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee in theological education based upon small-group study and practice. Since its founding in 1975, this international program has assisted more than 80,000 participants in discovering and nurturing their call to Christian service.

Our local cohort of Education for Ministry was started here by Ada Wong-Nagata and Susan Salisbury back in 2010. Two of those graduates, Juli Kennedy and Kari Stewart are now co-facilitators of a group seven that meet Monday evenings and is comprised of members from various local parishes. Each year has a different theme or focus and this year it is “Living Faithfully in a Multi-cultural World” which is very applicable to our current group as we are from different cultural backgrounds and churches.

Collectively, we have read through various current academic texts, theological essays and the bible. We meet 36 times throughout the year to discuss our insights and challenges in a non-judgmental, confidential space. Through these readings we encounter the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition and current theological scholarship and bring it into conversation with our experiences of the world as we study, worship, and engage in theological reflection together. We have worked hard to create a safe and supported space to explore our faith in community, praying for each other and practicing holy listening in our group. In particular this past year we have challenged ourselves by writing group collects to sum up our theological discussions.