Education for Ministry 

The Alewife Deanery "Education for Ministry" (EfM) group meeting time is Monday 6:00 - 8:30 PM at the Church of the Good Shepherd at 9 Russell Avenue Watertown, MA 02472.

Our new season began in September 2016. For more information or to visit an EfM class, email Tom Tufts at

What is Education for Ministry (EfM)?

What is God calling me to do?

Have you ever wondered what God's purpose is for you - or how you can prepare yourself for the spiritual journey that is life?  Would you like to become more familiar with the Bible - where it came from and what its meaning is for today's world?  Have you questioned how "the church" has lived out God's word over the past 2000 years -- and how theologians like St Augustine, Luther, Calvin or Bonhoeffer have interpreted it?  If you are ready to challenge your mind and spirit, consider joining an EfM group this fall

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a theological program created for adult laypersons by the School of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee, TN.  Currently, over 80 Episcopal dioceses in the US offer the EfM program and over 22,000 people have completed it.  There are also EfM programs in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Bahamas. 

EfM is NOT a preparation for seminary but rather a preparation for living.  The program is designed to help laypersons reach a deeper understanding of their faith and put it into daily practice.  Although the program covers four years, participants enroll for one year at a time.  Year One covers the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament), Year Two the Christian Testament (New Testament), Year 3 the history of Christianity, and Year 4 ethics, spirituality, and living your faith in our modern world.  Participants meet weekly, for 9 months, for 2 ½ to 3 hrs to discuss the assigned reading. Discussions can get very lively with lots of differing opinions.  There are no papers or tests. The group is led by mentors who act as facilitators –  not teachers. 

The program also involves a reflection process that explores "Where is God in THIS?" – and the THIS might be roadside litter, getting caught in a traffic jam, or the war in Iraq.   Group members examine and reflect upon their own life experiences in light of their growing understanding of their faith.  The theological reflection process helps train us to find God's presence in our lives - from the mundane to the times of great joy or tragedy.  Learning to think theologically is also a marvelously effective skill for making one’s own life decisions and for coping with crises and dilemmas.

EfM is open to everyone.  You do not have to be Episcopalian - or even Christian - to join.  EfM also offers much to those seeking to develop their personal spirituality.  The annual fee is $350 (after Diocese subsidy), but scholarships are available. We are meeting at Church of the Good Shepherd in Watertown, MA a location with ample parking and easy access to the #71 bus between Harvard and Watertown Squares. We are starting the fifth year of this group with first, second and third year learners.

The EfM program helps us to live the prayer of Thanksgiving that we say following Holy Communion:

            Send us now into the world in peace,

            and grant us strength and courage

            to love and serve You

            with gladness and singleness of heart;

            through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

If you’d like to know more: