EfM in the Diocese of Rochester
The Episcopal Diocese of Rochester is an official sponsor of the Education for Ministry (EfM) program. EfM is a distance-learning course offered by the School of Theology at the University of the South Episcopal seminary in Sewanee, Tennessee. It is designed to equip lay people to minister more effectively in the church and in the world. Participants study the Old Testament during the first year, the New Testament during the second year, church history during the third year, and theology during the fourth year. Participants commit to one year at a time. EfM follows the principles of adult education. So, there are neither lectures nor tests. Rather, participants spend 2-4 hours a week in individual study, then share their insights and questions during the weekly seminar.
A typical seminar session starts with a prayer. During the first hour, participants discuss the textbook readings. During the second hour, participants share their faith stories, engage in theological discussions, explore spiritual disciplines, and discern their personal ministries. The seminar includes a brief worship service [such as Compline] led by one of the participants.