Education for Ministry


EFM is an international program which helps individuals discover how to respond to the call of Christian service.  EFM helps students encounter the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition and bring it into conversation with their experiences of the world as they study, worship, and engage in theological reflection together.

St. John’s supports Education for Ministry (EfM) groups that participate in a distance-learning program for adult Christian formation offered by the School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. The Diocese of Central NY has been a partner in the EfM program since 1987, and EfM groups have met here at St. John’s Ithaca since the early 1990s.

EfM groups often include St. John’s parishioners and members of the Episcopal Community at Cornell. The groups generally meet in the Chapman Room on Tuesday evenings from September to June. Individual questions and insights from the weekly assignments are discussed, and the group engages in a theological reflection exercise together.The program takes four years to complete and is broken up into these courses of study:

  • Year One: The Old Testament
  • Year Two: The New Testament
  • Year Three: Church History
  • Year Four: Theological Choices

All adults are welcome to participate in EfM, regardless of denomination and previous training. Participants sign up for one year of the four-year program at a time. Recent graduates and alumni are honored on EfM Sunday. Information about the annual EfM alumni gathering is available on the DCNY website at the link below.

It is easy to find more information about the EfM program! Check the bulletin board near the first floor restrooms and St. John’s kitchen, talk to EfM alumni at coffee hour, contact the EfM Co-Mentors for St. John’s, or click on links below for Sewanee and DCNY websites:

Contact: EfM Mentor Matthew Sanaker