Education for Ministry - EfM
Education for Ministry is a program of theological education at a distance administered by the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. In the Diocese of Los Angeles, EfM is considered one of the cornerstones of our adult Christian Formation and Education Programs. St. Cross is the host of one of the many active groups in our Diocese.
Lay persons face the difficult and often subtle task of interpreting the richness of the church's faith in a complex and confusing world. They need a theological education which supports their faith and also teaches them to express that faith in day-to-day events. As the emphasis on lay ministry has grown, EfM plays an important role by providing a program that develops an informed and knowledgeable laity. Participants in the EfM program study the entire sweep of the Christian tradition from the earliest period to the present. Participants learn the disciplines of biblical exegesis and interpretation, systematic theology, church history, ethics, and liturgics. Through study, prayer, and reflection, EfM groups move toward a new understanding of the fullness of God's kingdom.
The EfM program does not evaluate or recommend individuals for ordination. Many people think that one must be ordained in order to be "a minister." The fact is that all baptized Christians are called to be active participants in the church's total ministry. This total ministry is nothing less than the exercise of the church's vocation to continue the ministry of Jesus. He reconciled the world to God. We are called to incarnate that reconciliation in our own time and in our own place through worship, service to others, and by proclamation of God's Word to all people.
EfM is preparation for the ministry to which we all are called. It is that vocation for which we pray at the end of the Eucharist: "And now, Father, send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord."
EfM is a four-year curriculum. Each "year" is a nine-month cycle of study. Students enroll for one cycle at a time. The current seminar group has 9 enrolled students, mentored by Susan Tucker and Cameron Johnson. Alumni can now enroll to take any year.